Besigye, Lukwago’s homes surrounded by police

Tuesday May 19 2015

Police stand guard at former FDC leader Kizza

Police stand guard at former FDC leader Kizza Besigye’s home premises on Tuesday to block him from going to parliament where he and a group of other activists were expected to present their views on electoral reforms. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa 

By Stephen Kafeero

Former FDC leader Dr Kizza Besigye and embattled Kampala lord mayor Erias Lukwago’s homes have been surrounded by police in an attempt to block them from going to parliament.
The two were expected to join members of the civil society and activists from different organisations to Parliament on Tuesday where they were expected to present their views about electoral reforms.
Mr Besigye said he had been invited to accompany the civil society members to parliament to present their views on electoral reforms ahead of the 2016 general elections.

“I am surprised that police is blocking me from going about business yet it is my right as a citizen to move freely,” Mr Besigye.
“Police is not making it clear why they have decided to block me. The mood here as you can see is tense. Even my neighbours are scared because of the police’s presence. My personal aide was also arrested on Thursday last week and jailed over nothing,” Mr Lukwago said.
This comes just days after the two (Mr Lukwago and Besigye) were arrested and briefly detained by police over an ‘illegal’ meeting over electoral reforms.

On May 14, police led by Kampala South Region RPC Sirajje Bakaleke arrested Mr Besigye and Mr Lukwago in Nsambya after they turned up for a meeting on electoral reforms. The meeting was supposed to be held in Nsambya Sharing Hall
According to Mr Bakaleke, the meeting was illegal because the conveners had not sought permission from police.

Subsequently, at least 10 opposition supporters who were arrested for accompanying Mr Besigye and Mr Lukwago to the meeting were charged in court and remanded to Luzira prison.
The supporters, who appeared before the City Hall Magistrate’s Court, were charged with being a public nuisance.
They denied the charges and were sent to Luzira prison until May 19 when they will reappear in court for bail application.

The charges
The state prosecutor, Ms Jacky Kyatusiimire, stated that the suspects and others still at large, on May 14, while at Nsambya Sharing Hall in Makindye, a city suburb, without authorisation, staged a rally with intent to disrupt public peace.
The May 14 botched meeting in Nsambya and the one at parliament today are part of the nationwide campaign to compel government to incorporate the electoral reforms contained in the Citizens’ Compact in the Constitutional Amendment Bill of 2015, which is before Parliament.
The campaigns for electoral reforms were launched on April 30 by a cross- section of Opposition political leaders that were dubbed ‘Citizen Reforms Now’ (CIREN), which called upon the government to disband the current Electoral Commission and put in place one that would be picked by the Judicial Service Commission.

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