MPs criticise Museveni over Besigye prosecution

Friday March 8 2013

By Yasiin Mugerwa

Opposition MPs yesterday accused President Museveni of misusing the police, which they said is terrorising their leaders and sympathisers.

Speaking at a press briefing, the MPs also condemned what they said is the “continued persecution” of Dr Kizza Besigye, former leader of the Forum for Democratic Change and three-time presidential candidate.

“Dr Besigye is a Ugandan and does not need a passport to use a taxi. This is total violation of his human rights and we are protesting his arrest and mistreatment by police authorities in the strongest terms possible,” Mr Nandala Mafabi, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, said.

Mr Mafabi appealed to Ugandans and the international community to join in condemning the police actions.

Dr Besigye and Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago have been violently arrested this week and prevented from leaving home. The former FDC leader was detained on two occasions without charge at Kira Town Council Police Station under preventive arrest.

The retired colonel, who was also President Museveni’s physician during the Bush War, was first taken on Tuesday after being dragged out of a taxi and bundled into a police car having walked from his home in Kasangati.

Two days earlier, the Police had looked on as a gang carried out what came off as an orchestrated attack against him and colleagues moments before a rally in Kawempe, a suburb north of the city.

On Wednesday, he was again arrested outside his home and taken to Kira police where he was again held for hours.

Kitgum Woman MP Beatrice Anywar said: “They want to kill Besigye.” Ms Anywar asked the President to tell the opposition if Dr Besigye owes him anything so that they can pay back.

“Enough is enough; we should not be [pushed] against the wall, for if they continue doing so, we might be forced to grab the tentacles of this government, how and when to do this, God knows,” Agago Woman MP, Ms Judith Franca Akello, said.

Ms Akello asked the government to say what Dr Besigye can and cannot do.
Mr Bernard Atiku (Ayivu) rejected suggestions that they could resort to other means to guarantee their freedoms “The bush belongs to primitive animals; we shall mount pressure on government using civil ways like mass action. We cannot pick up arms, we can only call for a travel ban on the people who are abusing human rights and petition the ICC.”