Hoima, Uganda | URN | Police in Hoima today Wednesday 18th fired live bullets and teargas to disperse rowdy supporters of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party who were protesting against a move to block their candidate from radio stations.
Reports indicate that Asinansi Kamanda Nyakato, the FDC candidate in the Hoima parliamentary race had been blocked from accessing radio stations across the district. FDC supporters claim that the move was planned by the government through the district security committee which issued a directive to proprietors of all the radio stations to block Nyakato from talking to the electorate.
Reports that Nyakato had been blocked from accessing radio stations started circulating last week. However, our reporters could not independently verify the report because none of the said radio stations has a written instruction issued against hosting the FDC candidate.
On Wednesday morning, FDC supporters took to the streets, marching to the office of the Hoima resident district commissioner (RDC) Samuel Kisembo to express their dissatisfaction on the matter. But they were intercepted by the police on account that the protest was unlawful.
Hoima district police commander Christopher Katumba told this publication that the demonstrators had not sought permission from the police to hold a procession in the streets of Hoima. Amid resistance, police fired live bullets and teargas to contain the crowd.
Four of the protestors were arrested and are currently detained at Hoima central police station. According to police, the arrested individuals are charged with holding an unlawful demonstration and causing commotion within the town centre.
Jackson Wabyona, the coordinator Alliance for National Transformer (ANT) party in Bunyoro region says it is unfair to deny the FDC candidate radio airtime yet the NRM candidate, Harriet Businge is being allowed to freely campaign on all the radio stations in Hoima. The three commercial radio stations in Hoima include Liberty Broadcasting service (LBS), Spice FM and Radio Hoima.
The Hoima Woman MP seat fell vacant after Tophace Kaahwa Byagira, the former Woman MP opted to represent the people of the newly created Kikuube that was carved out of Hoima and became operational on July 1, 2019. The Electoral Commission has set September 26 as the polling day.