Light a Candle Campaign In Masaka Blocked

2270 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Security operatives in Masaka have surrounded the family of Abigail Julian Nalwanga, the two-year-old girl who was shot and killed during the walk to work protests in April this year.

Security operatives in Masaka have surrounded the family of Abigail Julian Nalwanga, the two-year-old girl who was shot and killed during the walk to work protests in April this year.
This comes as Action for Change, a pressure group that initially started the walk to work campaigns, prepare to launch the Candle Light Campaign in Masaka on Friday.
Nalwanga was on April 21st 2011 killed as police fired at protestors in Nyendo, a Masaka suburb.
Activists for Change last week announced that they would launch the candle light campaign to remember those who were shot and killed during the walk to work riots. The April walk to work protests were meant to pressurize government to intervene in the rising commodity prices.

According to Mathias Mpuuga, the campaign coordinator, the Light a Candle Campaign launch in Nyendo is meant to mourn baby Abigail Julian Nalwanga.

Mpuuga, who is also the Masaka Municipality Member of Parliament, says they plan to hold an open air mass in Nyendo to pray for Nalwanga before they conduct several other Light a Candle campaigns throughout the country.

However, security operatives have surrounded the home of Aloysius Walusimbi, the late Nalwanga’s father in Kitaka Zone in Nyendo, Masaka town a day after Bamusedde Bwambale, the Masaka RDC ordered the family not to participate in the campaign.

Though the Light a candle campaign is strictly expected to be sorrowful, Bwambale says Mpuuga and his group cannot be allowed to conduct their campaigns in Masaka because their motives are suspicious.

The RDC claims the security committee found out that Mpuuga’s campaign is only meant to encourage civil disobedience.

// Cue in: “Mpuuga is encouraging…..”
Cue out: “…..civil disobedience.”//

Walusimbi says both uniformed and plain-clothed security officers have surrounded their home causing panic.

Walusimbi says he is not sure what they are doing at his home since they have not explained to him why they are there. He says his family is living in extreme fear due to the deployment yet the organizers of the Light a Candle campaign have never informed him about their prayers. He claims that he just hears about the special prayers for his deceased daughter on radios but no single letter has ever been sent to him informing him officially about the prayers.

Noah Sserunjogi, the Southern Region Police Spokesperson says the deployment is normal. Sserunjogi also says a team of senior police officers from Kampala is expected to hold a meeting with the bereaved family later today. He refused to disclose why such a meeting is expected to take place at this time when opposition politicians are slated to hold special prayers at the same home.


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.