Rights body calls for Besigye-govt talks
Posted Friday, March 11 2016 at 02:00
The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has said it would engage both the government and FDC presidential candidate Kizza Besigye to chart a way out of the current “stalemate” following last month’s disputed elections.
While paying a courtesy visit to Dr Besigye at his home in Kasangati yesterday, the UHRC officials also indicated that another team from the commission would be dispatched today [Friday] to “officially record” a complaint of his tribulations.
Dr Besigye’s complaint will be captured as part of the wider report.
“In the interim, what we can get involved in is to start discussions with [government] to have the stalemate resolved,” said the commission’s director Complaints, Investigations and Legal Services, Ms Ruth Ssekindi.
During the visit, UHRC officials wondered whether the four-time presidential aspirant was able to establish the cause of his arrests and house arrest, and whether any form of dialogue with government had happened. The officials also asked him about his recent remarks that he planned to establish a separate government.
President Museveni was declared winner of the February 18 polls with a 60.7 per cent of valid votes cast.
Dr Besigye, the main challenger, was said to have scored 35 per cent. But FDC, the largest opposition party, insists their candidate won and slammed the election as fraudulent.
Former prime minister Amama Mbabazi who stood as a Go Forward candidate, is challenging the election in the Supreme Court, citing non-compliance with the law and several malpractices which affected the outcome.
In response to UHRC queries, Dr Besigye described his house arrest as “illegal” saying: “For me, the most disturbing and outrageous thing is to turn my home into a prison. I don’t mind if they arrest me for no reason but they should detain me in a recognised place of detention; a place recognised under the law.”
Dr Besigye also said he was not aware of any dialogue between the NRM regime and his FDC party.
“And frankly, I don’t know what kind of dialogue there could be. To have a dialogue whether we could have back our freedom, enjoy rights in our own country?” he asked.
“The question is, what kind of dialogue can be established with citizens whose rights you usurped? The source of rights in this country is guns and that is the contradiction.”