Police vow to arrest demonstrators

Security agents at Dr Kizza Besigye’s home in Kasangati, Wakiso District, on May 16, 2022. PHOTO/ISAAC KASAMANI

What you need to know:

  • This is not the first time the former FDC president is rallying people over inflationary tendencies. 

A team of lawyers yesterday gained access to political activist Col (Rtd) Dr Kizza Besigye and vowed to sue government for damages as police separately warned that they would arrest any demonstrator. 

The lawyers, who included Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, Mr Gawaya Tegule, and Ms Proscovia Kunihira arrived at Dr Besigye’s home in Kasangati at 10:30am but were only allowed to proceed to the house at midday. 

“We have been instructed to sue the government and the attorney general for the damages they have caused to Dr Besigye for this time they have been holding him,” Mr Lukwago said after their meeting with the political pressure group, People’s Front for Transition.  

During their weekly press conference, the police spokesperson, Mr Fred Enanga, said the use of illegal procession is not encouraged, indicating that FDC violated the rights of the community through disruptions in traffic flow, looting of shops, mugging and theft of phones from bystanders, provocative behaviours such as burning tyres and running battles with police.

“We, therefore, call upon Besigye to respect the rule of law and abide by the Public Order Management Act, in which they are supposed to inform police three days prior to their meeting, by indicating the date and time when they are planning to hold their procession, its purpose and other basic information that justifies their procession and assembly,” Mr Enanga said. 

Last Thursday, the police put Dr Besigye under what they described as preventive arrest after his attempt to mobilise Ugandans to rise up against the high cost of living, saying it was affecting vulnerable citizens.
Since June last year, fuel prices kept skyrocketing, which has affected the prices of other commodities. 

On May 1, while addressing senior government officials, security operatives, and workers’ representatives, among other Ugandans who gathered at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds to celebrate Labour Day, President Museveni advised that those who cannot afford bread should eat cassava. 

This dashed the hopes of Ugandans who were counting on government to initiate short-term interventions to cushion them against the skyrocketing prices. 

Solutions

But before his arrest last week, Dr Besigye said government should downsize Parliament, which has more than 500 seats, abolish Resident District Commissioners, and reclaim the money swindled by corrupt officials so that it can be used to enhance the salaries of civil servants and give relief to schools, as a way to arrest the situation.

Yesterday, Mr Gawaya said they would serve the police with the past court orders which prevent any security organs from putting Dr Besigye under house arrest. 

“These officers are feigning ignorance of the court orders made by Kasangati Court and the High Court on this matter and we shall serve them. Dr Besigye is not in bad shape but the freedom for him to fend for his family, supervise his businesses and visit his doctors has been robbed from him. They want him to die,” Mr Gawaya said. 

Background

This is not the first time the former FDC president is rallying people over inflationary tendencies. 

Following the 2011 General Election, which led the country into record inflationary figures, Dr Besigye rallied the public into “walk to work” demonstrations before the police thwarted the activities which had gained momentum in many urban centres. Dr Besigye was violently arrested. 

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.