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Uganda: Police to deploy sniffer dogs at Bobi Wine meeting in Lira

Sniffer dogs will provide “guaranteed security” at a consultative meeting organised by Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine in Lira Town on Wednesday, the head of security has said.

Mr Milton Odongo, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview on Tuesday that the security dogs would be used to “sniff whoever does not smell well.”

“So, there will be guaranteed security but we don’t want the coming of Bobi Wine to disrupt other people’s businesses – to disrupt the economy of the town,” he warned.

According to him, security personnel will use the existing laws of the country to execute their mandate when the leader of People Power movement arrives in Lira.

“So, the law is that if he (Bobi Wine) is coming, there is no procession, there should be no political rally,” he explained.

“They should assemble in a hall, no distribution of campaign materials and the meeting is restricted into a hall not in an open place, and we need only 200 people to enter into that hall.”

Asked what would happen if more than 200 people turn up at the event scheduled to take place at Pacific Grand Hotel, the RDC said, “that will be a political rally and we shall not accept”.

He, however, said there was no need for his security team to prepare to receive Bobi Wine in the district.

“Do we really need to be prepared to receive Bobi Wine? He is just an ordinary person! Do I really need to prepare?” he fired back when pressed to comment on why security agencies have heightened deployment ahead of the event.

Mr Odongo added: “There is no need. If he is coming as an ordinary citizen, let him come and then he goes away. I don’t need to prepare to receive Bobi Wine. Preparing for what?”

Lira District police commander, Mr George Obia, declined to comment on the matter.

This comes barely a day after police blocked his first consultation meeting before he was arrested and detained alongside other MPs and members of his People Power Movement.

The musician-turned politician who has become a popular figure among young Ugandans announced last year that he would challenge President Museveni in the 2021 elections.

Bobi Wine was a successful singer in Uganda before he won a Parliamentary seat in 2017. His popularity grew when he opposed efforts to prolong President Museveni’s rule.

On December 3, Bobi Wine sent a letter to the Electoral Commission officially introducing himself and outlining his plans, which he published on social media.

But the first event at a Catholic Church in his constituency in Wakiso District could not proceed as police deployed before dawn to the site, prompting protests by his supporters.

In the past, the police have warned opposition politicians that all events must also comply with the Public Order Management Act 2013.

in previous election rounds, police routinely blocked Dr Kizza Besigye, former leader of opposition Forum for Democratic Change or FDC party, from holding political events.

The authorities have charged both opposition leaders with various criminal offences which are entangled in Uganda’s judicial system.

Police spokesman Fred Enanga told journalists in Kampala on Tuesday that Bobi Wine’s Lira consultation meeting would proceed as earlier planned.

According to Mr Enanga, the MP and other members of his People Power movement will not be allowed to hold their consultative meetings in open places.

By Daily Monitor

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