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Amuriat changes venue for manifesto launch as Police seal off Soroti sports grounds

The launch of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party manifesto has been postponed to November 26th.

Amuriat was set to launch the party manifesto today, but the programme has since changed.

While addressing journalists at his residence in Najjeera, a Kampala city suburb, on Sunday, Amuriat revealed that the manifesto programme had been postponed in order to give Bunyoro region a chance to host the event.

This comes after Police in Soroti sealed off the sports ground, designated by the electoral commission for the FDC manifesto launch.

“The long list of our promises (Manifesto) to Ugandans will be launched officially in the Oil city of Hoima, on November 26,” he said.

In Soroti city, at around 4pm, short prayers devoted to Amuriat’s candidature for the presidency will be held and thereafter, other leaders from the same area will address the supporters to mark the launch of Amuriat’s presidential bid.

Soroti is where Amuriat started his national political journey when he contested to go to the Constituency Assembly without success.

Amuriat said: “I am going to my ancestors to get blessings from them and will be going back to my church which is now a Cathedral (St. Immaculate Cathedral) where I was baptized,” Amuriat said as he set off from Kampala to Soroti where he is expected to be ‘cleansed’ before launching his campaign.

Led by the Soroti district police commander (DPC) Simon Tsiamusangira, police blocked the FDC presidential campaign committee led by Soroti city interim mayor Paul Omer from erecting tents in preparation for the Monday event.

DPC Tsiamusangira ordered the FDC team not to erect any tents on the sports ground citing security reasons. Tsiamusangira said police have received alerts that some FDC members want to disorganize the peace of the people and that the ground is near the Soroti Regional Referral hospital which might disrupt the patients’ peace because of the likely noise that might emanate from the event.

This led to a bitter exchange of words between police and the FDC committee.

”I have told you the place is not suitable…As security, we receive intelligence reports,” said Tsiamusangira.

Omer claims that they have been allowed by the Electoral Commission to use the sports ground after writing to police headquarters, but now are surprised that the police have blocked them from using the venue.

Tisamusangira explained that as security, they are not allowing FDC to use the sports ground and advised them to find an alternative place if they want Amuriat to even be allowed to come to Soroti.

“For now the stability of this place my brothers is not okay. It is close to the hospital then also other people might come and disturb you…there are very many other venues,” Tsiamusangira added.

This is in contradiction with the early communication by Soroti police spokesperson David Ongom Mudong who said police had already okayed the launch and that police was ready to provide security as long as the organisers and attendees observe the coronavirus standard operation procedures (SOPs).

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