Bloody riots broke out in Uganda’s capital of Kampala and other cities following the arrest of opposition presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi.
Kyagulanyi, a musician and MP, who is known as Bobi Wine, has constituted a formidable opposition to the country’s long serving ruler, Yoweri Museveni.
Violent protests broke out on Wednesday and continued Thursday after Bobi Wine was arrested over violation of COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
He was on a campaign tour when he was arrested. He is still being detained and has been denied access to his lawyers and doctors.
Police in a statement on Wednesday said three people were killed and 34 others injured in Kampala.
Nabakooba said that the number could continue to grow if one takes into account the countrywide incidents.
Brig. Flavia Byekwaso, military spokesperson, told Xinhua by telephone that security in the capital and other major towns has been beefed up to quell the riots.
“We have to show more presence in the city to make sure that what happened yesterday doesn’t come up again.
“Also to give assurance to Ugandans that the situation is under control such that they can come back to work.’’
On Thursday, a top Ugandan government official called for calm.
Judith Nabakooba, minister of ICT and national guidance, in a statement urged the public, especially the youth, to stay away from any form of rioting.
“Starting fire in the middle of the road, looting, attacking others because of their political ideology is wrong and should be condemned by everyone.
“I call upon the public to cooperate with the police in identifying the suspects behind this unfortunate incidence.’’
Uganda’s Electoral Commission earlier cleared 11 presidential candidates, including incumbent President Yoweri Museveni to run in the 2021 general elections.
The electoral body urged candidates to follow the strict guidelines in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.