What you need to know:
- The law condemns detention at home since it is not gazetted as a prison.
The Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has asked security operatives to respect the court order issued in 2016, restraining them from blockading the home of former Presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye.
The FDC deputy secretary general , Mr Harold Kaija, while addressing journalists yesterday at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, ordered police to withdraw with immediate effect from Dr Besigye’s home in Kasangati, Wakiso District.
“We had a court order about five years back that said it is illegal to keep Dr Besigye in detention at his home. We are asking those in charge to immediately withdraw police from the home of Dr Besigye,’’ Mr Kaija said.
In December 2016, the Magistrate’s Court in Kasangati declared that the continued police siege on Dr Besigye’s residence was illegal and ordered them to leave immediately.
The local Magistrate’s Court also ordered that Dr Besigye be unconditionally freed from unlawful detention disguised as preventive arrest.
Mr Kaija advised that instead of arresting Dr Besigye, they should address the issues he was trying to raise about the escalating commodity prices.
“Wanting to silence the messenger doesn’t take away the message that he is putting out,” Mr Kaija said.
Dr Besigye was last week put under house arrest after he was intercepted by security operatives following his attempt to mobilise Ugandans to rise up against the high cost of living.
Mr Kaija asked the government to borrow a leaf from their Kenya and Tanzanian counterparts who have come up with interventions on the escalating prices.
“On Labour Day, we saw Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta increasing minimum wage by 12 percent and over the weekend we learnt that Tanzanian president increased salaries by 23 percent. All these are interventions made to make sure that somebody has what we call disposable income ,” he said.
The FDC women league in protest against the continued house arrest of their former party president called on their colleagues to join his struggle.
The women carried placards with inscriptions, “Women have failed to take back children to school; Public servants need better pay; copy from Kenya and Tanzania; Government find solution to exorbitant prices of fuel, food, health and transport, among others.
They were led by the Kampala District chairperson, Ms Mariam Kizito.
On Omoro by-election
Commenting on the Omoro by-election, the FDC deputy Secretary General Harold Kaija said the party was able to nominate Mr Justine Odong Obiya as their candidate, after their first flag bearer, Mr Dick Owan, said his academic documents were confiscated by his kidnappers.
There are allegations that Mr Owan was bribed to step out of the race.
In response, Mr Kaija said: “It is common, those guys don’t want to compete with anybody, you contest with them, they buy you off, you refuse, they arrest you. This builds anger among the people,” Mr Kaija said.