The police and army have used tear gas and bullets to disperse hundreds of demonstrators that descended on the capital, Kampala protesting the continued detention of Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi.

The demonstrators, most of them youths, began walking from Kisekka Market and Kampala road heading to Constitutional Square from where they would move to Makindye Military Barracks.  The protests have since spread to Kampala Road, Nasser Road, Ndeeba, Nateete and Old Kampala.

But the demonstrators were intercepted by Anti-Riot police personnel who used tear gas and bullets to disperse the crowds. The police officers were shortly backed up by military police personnel.

The heavy sound of bullets and tear gas forced traders to close their shops. Susan Akite, one of the shop attendants at Mabiriizi Complex, says that she was told by her boss the moment the live bullets and tear gas were fired.

Police have increased its deployment in the areas around the city centre with trucks seen ferrying Field Force Police Personnel (FFP). More than 30 protestors were also arrested and are currently detained at Central Police Station.

By press time, bullets and tear gas were being used to disperse newly formed crowds on Nasser Road.

Kyagulanyi was charged by the army court martial with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. He was remanded to Makindye Military Barracks until August 23. Other jailed MPs include Paul Mwiru, Gerald Karuhanga and MP-Elect Kassiano Wadri, former MP Micheal Mabikke and 30 others.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Akena a photojournalist with Reuters has reportedly been arrested and beaten up while covering the protest in Kisekka Market.  Military personnel descended upon Akena when he was taking photographs of them firing bullets and arresting demonstrators.

He was bundled up on a Police patrol vehicle and taken to CPS Kampala for detention. According to a source at CPS Kampala, Akena handed over his laptop and phone together with wallet and belt but his ring could not be removed because his hand was bleeding profusely. His camera is reported to be shattered.

Akena has since been taken to the police sickbay to try and stop the bleeding.


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