Kampala- Deposed Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago yesterday dismissed any possibility of holding talks with President Museveni, saying such reports were an attempt by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) to “defame him”.
Mr Museveni was quoted in the Sunday Vision saying he is ready for talks with opposition politicians to resolve wide-ranging political disputes, the latest being the ongoing impasse over attempts to impeach Mr Lukwago, which has turned violent.
“I am incarcerated and detained. If there is a letter [inviting me], you should have seen it. Surely, if I am confined, how I am I going to go there [for peace talks]? Are they [the government] going to hire a chopper for me to fly there?” Mr Lukwago asked.
Yesterday, the police cordoned off Mr Lukwago’s Wakaliga-based home, with access to visitors restricted while a few that were allowed entrance had to brave tight checks. Police fired teargas and live bullets to diffuse scuffles that ensued after Mr Lukwago attempted to travel to town with MP Medard Segona to finalise a court suit contesting his detention.
He was bundled out of Mr Segona’s vehicle by police personnel and shoved back into his compound.
Former FDC leader Kizza Besigye, a close ally of the Lord Mayor, was also confined to his Kasangati residence in Wakiso District as the police insisted the duo was planning to cause chaos in the city.
Mr Lukwago added: “We are filing to get a court order tomorrow [today] so that these officers are out of my home and I resume normal business at office. The arguments being advanced by the Prime Minister are idle talk.”
Yesterday, Kampala Metropolitan Police commander Andrew Kaweesi vowed that deployment at the duo’s homes will not be relaxed, accusing them of “mobilising people to attack KCCA”.
“We [police] are going to continue staying at these [Besigye and Lukwago’s] homes as long as they continue mobilising people to attack KCCA. There are options, if they want, we can take them to the police station,” Mr Kaweesi told journalists, without adducing evidence to back his claims.
Yesterday, Mr Tamale Mirundi, the President’s spokesperson, could not indicate whether his boss has formally filed an invitation for peace talks with the opposition, saying the NRM is always interested in peace talks.
“If the President could send Rugunda to meet [LRA’s leader] Kony, why not Lukwago? Lukwago’s problem is not between him and Museveni but with the councillors who impeached him,” Mr Mirundi said.
Previous overtures for talks with the opposition have failed to kick-off amid skepticism over whether the NRM has interest and if it would respect its side of the bargain.