Police in Mbarara District have fired teargas and live bullets to disperse supporters of former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye.
A scuffle ensued when police blocked the four time presidential contender’s car from passing through Mbarara Town High Street on his way to Kakyeka stadium where Mr Patrick Amuriat Oboi, who is vying for the FDC presidency, was expected to address a campaign rally ahead of the November 21 election.
Dr Besigye, his driver and FDC secretary for mobilization, Ms Ingrid Turinawe were arrested and detained at Mbarara Central Police Station.
Rwizi Region Police Spokesperson Samson Kasasira says the three have been charged with inciting violence.
At about 2pm, Dr Besigye in company of Ms Turinawe left Grand Holiday Hotel to Kakyeka stadium to canvass for votes for Mr Amuriat before being intercepted at Ahamahembe Gente where they were arrested.
Supporters started pelting stones at the police officers who fired live bullets, tear gas and sprayed water into shops where suspected protestors were hiding.
Some traders were seen closing their businesses as police and Besigye supporters continued to exchange stones and bullets.
According to his handlers, Besigye was first detained at Mbarara Central Police Station.
Police and elements of the military deployed heavily in and around Kakyeeka stadium in Mbarara town ahead of a “Togikwatako” rally by the two politicians.
There are unverified reports of a police teargas truck crashing a boda boda that was parked besides the road leading to Kakyeeka stadium.
Police fired teargas and live bullets in the town when Besigye attempted to access Booma grounds instead of Kakyeeka that police was directing him to.
FDC mobilisation secretary, Ingrid Turinawe, said they paid and booked Booma grounds at Shs2.5m for the rally.
“At the very last hour, police has chased our people from Booma grounds, forced them to take the rally to Kakyeeka, a venue that is not of our choice and very far from town,” Ingrid said.
Police surrounded Booma grounds and cut off all access and arrested opposition supporters who tried to walk in.
According to witnesses, the whole of Mbarara town is on tenterhooks.
His handlers says Besigye is currently being driven to Ntungamo police station where he was be detained.