Thousands of Ugandans demonstrated in Kampala today to protest the ouster of provisional President Yusufu Lule and troops fired machine guns into the air to disperse the mob marching on a downtown hotel where many government ministers are residing.
Three persons were killed and at least 50 others were injured after day-long demonstrations.
Godfrey Binaisa, who was appointed president by Uganda's Consultative Council Wednesday, sought to start a new administration despite Lule's claims that he was still the country's leader.
The demonstrators were mostly members of the Baganda tribe, who demanded Lule's return and charged that Binaisa was a front man for exiled former president Milton Obote.
Both Lule and Binaisa are members of the Baganda tribe, but Binaisa once served under Obote as attorney general. Most Bagandans are traditional adversaries of the northern Acholi and Langi tribes that backed Obote.
In Dar es Salaam, the Tanzanian capital, senior government officials said Tanzania supports Binaisa since he was duly appointed by the Consultative Council. Tanzania has about 50,000 troops in Uganda, and its position is crucial in determining the outcome of the current crisis.
Obote, who lives in Dar es Salaam, denied rumors that his return to Uganda was imminent.
"I'm still very much here and I have no plans to go anywhere," he said.
The Uganda crisis come two months after Tanzanian forces and Uganda exiles ousted former president Idi Amin.
Lule today issued a statement from State House at Entebbe saying that he has not resigned. But the information Ministry, acting on the orders of Binaisa, refuted his statement in the afternoon and said that Lule had been voted out of office by the Consultative Council, which met throughout Tuesday night.
But Lule's supporters were not accepting defeat. Robert Serumaga, minister of commerce in Lule's government, said in an interview here where he was on government business that Binaisa and National Consultative Council chairman Edward Rugumayo had merely "attempted a coup which was bound to be short-lived."
Pointing to the demonstrations in favor of Lule, Serumaga said his administration would happily submit to a referendum as there could be no doubt that the people would back Lule.
But Lule has no forces to impose his government and its referendum on the people. The Ugandan police is demoralized, the small Ugandan national liberation army under Col Tito Okello has not declared for either side but must operate in concert with the Tanzanian army in Uganda.
Both presidents have claimed that constitutional right is on their side. The confusion arises from the hasty nature of a meeting in March that set up the Uganda National Liberation Front when the Tanzanian army was only 20 miles from Kampala and the overthrow of Amin.
Part of the impetus behind that meeting was the Tanzanian government's determination not to be the force imposing one faction of Uganda's notoriously divided politicians. CAPTION: Picture, Godfrey Binaisa is sworn in as president of Uganda, replacing Yusufu Lule. UPI