40 arrested as security surround Bobi, Besigye homes

Ahead of President Museveni's forthcoming inauguration, security operatives have voiced concern that dissidents including opposition strongmen Dr Kizza Besigye (left) and Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine- had intent to disrupt proceedings at Mr Museveni’s swearing in ceremony. PHOTO/COMBO/FILE 

What you need to know:

  • Army deputy spokesperson, Col Deo Akiiki told journalists in Kampala that security agencies have continued “to effect several detection, deterrent and preventive security measures to ensure the Wednesday function succeeds”.

At least 41 people who were allegedly planning to disrupt President Museveni’s inauguration ceremony have been arrested, the army has said, as a preventive measure to ensure that the veteran leader swears in for his sixth elective term in office.

National army deputy spokesperson, Col Deo Akiiki told journalists in Kampala that they (security agencies) have continued “to effect several detection, deterrent and preventive security measures to ensure no one hell bent to disrupt the Wednesday function succeeds.”

This- was moments after Uganda’s most notable opposition leaders, Dr Kizza Besigye and Mr Robert Kyagulanyi said their homes had been surrounded security operatives. 

“The military and police have yet again surrounded my residence, as Gen. Museveni prepares to illegally swear himself in this Wednesday! The coward is fully aware that he's illegitimate, and that's why he's very scared of the people. Hang in there comrades. We shall overcome,” Mr Kyagulanyi tweeted on Monday-just after opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party claimed its founding president and four time presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye’s home had equally been surrounded.

“We have been informed that military forces have surrounded Rt. Col. Dr Kizza Besigye’s home this afternoon,” FDC tweeted.

According to Col Akiiki, such measures followed joint intelligence operations by security agencies.

“We have heightened our support to civil authority (police and other civil security agencies) as mandated by the law in  a bid to ensure that the country and the inauguration ceremony of the new president is safe and secure for both Ugandans and our guests from all over the world. For that matter, UPDF has put at disposal all its elements to the Uganda police. This is across all the services, land forces, Special Forces and the Air force,” he said.

According to him, the country will be at peace as Mr Museveni, 76, swears in to extend his rule to the fourth decade.

“With credible evidence from intelligence, we shall not hesitate to arrest more of these schemers as and when we detect. All suspects picked up by other security agencies other than police shall be passed on to police to enable the due process of the law where it requires,” Col Akiiki said.

More than 4, 000 guests, including over 11 heads of state and presidential candidates have been invited for the ceremony.

Opposition National Unity Platform's (NUP) Mr Kyagulanyi in a May 5 interview with Daily Monitor wrote off invitation for the event as sardonic.

‘‘That swearing in is illegal and I don’t take part in irregularities,’’ Bobi said, adding that he was ‘‘the president elect that’s going’’ to take oath.

Mr Museveni’s inauguration after a contested January 14 election has already been characterised by an increasing security presence especially in metro areas. 

Paired military-fighter jets that have dominated the skies in recent days, army officials say are on regular drills.