Kabuleeta arrested, released in his home city in presidential bid

A huge procession follows presidential hopeful, Mr Joseph Kabuleeta, in Hoima city on Friday. (All photos by Kazi-njema News)

Bunyoro’s first person to boldly display ambitions to contest for presidency in the history of nearly 40 years has been arrested in his home city, Hoima.

Mr Joseph Kabuleeta of the Reclaim Our Country and Kin (ROCK) movement, was this afternoon (Friday) intercepted by heavily armed police officers led by the in charge of Hoima central police station, Mr Thomson Mpabaisi, accusing him of organising an illegal assembly.

The presidential aspirant was interrogated in the District Police Commander’s office for nearly three hours as security remained heavily deployed at all streets in the city near the police station to prevent a possible advance of Mr Kabuleeta’s supporters demanding his release.

Before his arrest at Tropical Clinic on Main Street, Mr Kabuleeta had attracted many people from their business premises along Bujumbura, Wright, Fort Portal, Ngura and Rukurato Roads.

His following swelled when he arrived at Kiryateete at around Mambo-Bado area-a known youth hangout. 

A police officer intercepts Kabuleeta (in open roof vehicle) in Hoima city.

However, Mr Kabuleeta was later released on police bond at around 6pm.

No sooner had Mr Kabuleeta been released than he told journalists that he did not intend to gather people. He claimed that he was moving from his home in Rwenkobe and would have a stop-over at police to rescue his supporters who had been arrested some three hours before in a drive on charges of illegal procession.

Audio: Kabuleeta on his arrest (English)
A supporter dons a T-shirt with Kabuleeta’s inscriptions

It is not clear why then he went to Kiryateete, a Hoima city suburb via Wright Road, turned to Rukurato Road before rotating to the Main Street.

Mr Julius Allan Hakiza, the Albertine Regional Police Spokesperson, says that intelligence had information of prior mobilisation of supporters for an illegal procession which the police could not allow in the interest of public health especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Audio: Hakiza on Kabuleeta arrest (English)

However, Mr Kabuleeta says that he will continue with his support mobilisation campaign in Bunyoro and beyond.

The presidential hopeful, was destined to Masindi for a radio programme and also hold a radio talk show on Spice FM in Hoima before launching his regional campaign office in Hoima City.

Mr Kabuleeta’s presidential bid was received with mixed reactions.

Although some people in Bunyoro feel that Mr Kabuleeta is the type of determined person they have been looking and waiting for to represent their interests in governance, some remain stuck to their old candidates and political parties.

Kabuleeta’s supporter flashes a ROCK movement sign

However, Kazi-njema News reporter observes that Mr Kabuleeta might have a great influence in the presidential elections in Bunyoro Kitara kingdom where NRM party has been deep-rooted, save for the latest Hoima district woman parliamentary seat by-election where it found tough times to defeat Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Party’s Ms Asinansi Nyakato in a tightly contested race with NRM’s Ms Harriet Businge Mugenyi, the incumbent Member of Parliament.

Ms Nyakato was highly supported by the People Power pressure group.

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