Kayunga District was yesterday the stage for cat and mouse chase scenes between police and Opposition politicians led by former presidential candidate Kizza Besigye.
The politicians were in the area to hold a rally in support of their anti-land grabbing campaign dubbed “My Land, My Life.”
The district has for years been a hotbed for quarrels between land owners and tenants, occasionally culminating into violence.
Chaos ensued in the afternoon along Ssezibwa bridge when police led by the Savannah Regional police spokesperson, Mr Lameck Kigozi, blocked a convoy enroute to Bbaale Town where the campaign rally had been planned but realised later that Dr Besigye was not at the scene although his car was there.
A war of words ensued between Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Mr Kigozi, who demanded that the former produces a clearance permit from the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, allowing them to hold a rally.
The scuffle lasted for about 30 minutes, and on realising that Dr Besigye had beaten the security ring, police allowed the convoy to proceed to Bbaale amid tight security.
Meanwhile at Bbaale, rally organisers told this newspaper that they had prepared as early as 11am but were dispersed by police officers who removed the tents, disorganising the entire setting.
Police escorted Mayor Lukwago’s convoy up to the venue, where from no-where, Dr Besigye surfaced and after brief moment haggling, was allowed to address the crowd that cheered loudly. Police also learned from here that Dr Besigye had used a different route to the area.
In his address, Dr Besigye said after selling off nearly all State enterprises in the 1990s, the [NRM] government was out of things to take over and now was after people’s land which he urged them to defend.
“The one who stops you from knowing those who steals your land is part of those who steal your land,” he noted, taking a swipe at police, which he accused of always working with influential individuals to evict people from their land.
The rally lasted for about 10 minutes. At around 7pm, police started dispersing the crowds and later escorted Dr Besigye and other politicians out of Kayunga.
The law gives tenants more rights to resist eviction by landlords. According to the law, land lords need a court order to evict tenants and must notify them before selling their land but some of these conditions are never followed and many tenants are being pushed off their land without court orders and due compensation.