Dr Besigye arrested again, FDC offices besieged

Police officers at the FDC offices. Photo by Dominic Bukenya


Police have besieged Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party offices in Najjanakumbi arresting eight people in the process. According to the party president Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, no one is allowed to access the office from outside or leave the premises ( for those already inside).

Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential flag bearer, Dr Kizza Besigye has been arrested by police as he attempted to leave his home to go to the Electoral Commission (EC) head office to ask for the official declaration forms that were used to announce the presidential election results in which President Yoweri Museveni won.
Dr Besigye was then bundled on a police truck and taken to Nagalama police station in Mukono district where he’s currently being held.

Besigye had apparently been placed under house arrest since Friday to prevent him from announcing his vote tally in the elections which saw President Musevei declared winner by the EC Chairman Badru Kiggundu on Saturday. Mr Museveni who has been in power for 30 years won the polls with 60.75 percent of the vote while Besigye, his closest challenger, received 35.37 per cent.
Dr Besigye’s home in Kasangati, Wakiso district is still sealed off by security personnel.
Addressing journalists in Kampala on Monday, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Gen Kale Kayihura said no one is above the law and therefore they cannot allow Besigye to defy it (the law).

“This nonsense of saying he will defy the law as if there’s no constitution in this country cannot be accepted. If Besigye wanted to go to EC as he said, he should first have notified the police so that we give him a clear route to use or he should have sent a representative to Namboole to pick results on Saturday when the results were declared,” he said.
His arrest comes just a day after the US government asked the Ugandan government to free Dr Besigye, a four time challenger of Mr Museveni in presidential elections.
The US Embassy spokesperson Christopher J. Brown said on Sunday that his government is concerned by Besigye’s continued house arrest and the clampdown on social media.

“We are concerned by the continued house arrest of opposition presidential candidate Kizza Besigye. We call for his immediate release and the restoration of access to all social media sites,” Mr Brown said in a statement.
According to Mr Brown, while the vote occurred without major unrest, “we must acknowledge numerous reports of irregularities and official conduct that are deeply inconsistent with international standards and expectations for any democratic process.”

“Delays in the delivery of voting materials, reports of pre-checked ballots and vote buying, ongoing blockage of social media sites, and excessive use of force by the police, collectively undermine the integrity of the electoral process. The Ugandan people deserved better,” he added.
He urged those who wish to contest the election results to do so peacefully and in accordance with Uganda’s laws and judicial process, called upon government to respect the rights and freedoms of its people and refrain from interference in those processes.

Meanwhile, police have deployed on all major junctions in Kampala. At Kisubi police station, a group of people with NRM t-shirts were gathered there in the morning with no clear motive.