Kampala- Dr Kizza Besigye was yesterday unable to enjoy his constitutional right to vote, failing to participate in the local government elections in his native district of Rukungiri because of the police siege at his home in Kasangati near Kampala.
The presidential candidate of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party in the February 18 election has been in and out of police cells at least five times since election day with the police driving him to and from his home.
He is not allowed to go anywhere on his own. “I am not only unable to go to vote,” Dr Besigye told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview yesterday, “I am unable to do anything,” he added.
The four-time presidential candidate and his party have rejected the results of the presidential election as a sham, noting that the process was riddled with pre-ticked ballots and the stuffing of ballot boxes in President Museveni’s favour and that the final results were manipulated to disfavour Dr Besigye.
Dr Besigye referred to the police’s restrictions placed upon him without preferring any charge as “impunity”, saying that his lawyers would challenge it in court.
“To show you the impunity with which this regime acts, there is even a court order against besieging me at home,” Dr Besigye said, referring to an order issued by the Magistrate’s Court in Kasangati during the walk-to-work protests in 2011, barring the police from continuing to hold Dr Besigye under house arrest.
On the night of Tuesday, February 23, Dr Besigye was involved in a stand-off with the police at his home when on delivering him at his gate after 9pm, he entered his car and said he was headed somewhere.
The police blocked his vehicle, throwing metal spikes across the road. He then threatened to walk to his destination. Just after midnight, Dr Besigye, in his words, “decided to call off my effort to go out and came back to sleep”. He was eventually not allowed to drive to Rukungiri to vote.
In his first press conference after the declaration of results, Dr Besigye hinted on the possibility of challenging what was declared by the Electoral Commission as the final results of the election, saying that to do so he will need to gather evidence from different places, including from the Electoral Commission.
He had planned to move to the headquarters of the Electoral Commission on Jinja Road in Kampala on Monday, February 22 for that purpose, but the police arrested him and kept him in the cells until night when they dropped him at his gate.
Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura said Dr Besigye intended to lead a procession to the Electoral Commission in breach of the Public Order Management Act, which he said requires that the police is given three days notice in case one wants to hold a procession.
The police chief also said that Dr Besigye’s procession would coincide with the beginning of the new school term, which would inconvenience parents and students.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga was unavailable to comment yesterday because he did not answer repeated phone calls. His deputy, Ms Polly Namaye, said she could not comment on the issue because she was upcountry, while Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Patrick Onyango said he was preoccupied with local government elections and had not followed the matter.