The leader of the People Power political movement, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has condemned the brutal arrest of Dr Kizza Besigye, the former president of Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) by police on Monday.
Dr Besigye, a four-time presidential candidate and other Opposition leaders of FDC, had been scheduled to hold a conference at Mandela National Stadium Namboole on Monday.
“I condemn in the strongest terms, this savage, cruel and brutal treatment of Dr. @kizzabesigye1
by the Uganda Police. It is totally unacceptable for political leaders to continue being treated in this manner by the Museveni regime. This impunity has to end. Totally unacceptable,” Bobi Wine, the Kyaddondo East member of Parliament said in a Tuesday tweet.
The party had organised a two-day leadership party seminar to discuss the strategy for the 2021 General Election.
“We had organised Kampala Metropolitan conference of FDC leaders. We cleared everything and we paid to use the outside parking area of the stadium. That was where we were going to erect our tents,” Ms Ingrid Turinawe, the FDC secretary for mobilisation, said.
Ms Turinawe said FDC was scheduled to hold the conference at Namboole parking area near stadium main.
But by sunrise, police had sealed off all access points to the stadium, barring anyone near the precincts of the stadium.
This later prompted Dr Besigye and other FDC officials, who included party president Patrick Amuriat, spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda and Ms Turinawe to abandon Namboole and head to the FDC headquarters in Najjanankumbi on Entebbe Road.
Dr Besigye and party officials started the journey to Najjanankumbi in a procession but at Banda market on Jinja Road, police intercepted them. Police fired multiple rounds of teargas canisters to disperse the crowds.
Police ordered Dr Besigye to get out of his car. He declined and locked himself inside. Police brought a truck to tow his car away but the chain failed and snapped twice.
Dr Besigye’s driver acted fast and manoeuvered around the towing truck and drove away.
Police followed him in hot pursuit and caught up with him as he ran into heavy traffic jam at Nakawa-Spear Motors junction.
Police smashed his car’s windscreen, lobbed teargas into his car and fired water cannons at him subduing him with the powerful volleys of water explosions.
He endured for a moment but finally succumbed to the impact of water cannons and tear gas explosions before being forced out of his Toyota Land Cruiser and arrested.
He was briefly detained at Naggalama Police Station but released at about 10pm last night after being charged with inciting violence and unlawful assembly.