By Isaac Mufumba
The chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Congress, Mr Eliot L Engel, has castigated President Museveni over the arrest of presidential candidates Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, and Patrick Amuriat Oboi, and condemned government’s handling of the protests that broke out thereafter.
In a statement last Thursday, Mr Eliot said the arrest of the two followed a pattern that Mr Museveni has been following for the last 20 years.
“For almost two decades, President Museveni has shown he is incapable of conducting an election without jailing his opponents and brutalising Ugandan citizens expressing their desire for a more inclusive democracy. This week, he has continued this trend with the arrest of presidential candidates MP Robert Kyagulanyi and Patrick Amuriat,” the statement reads in part.
Kyagulanyi’s arrest last week was greeted with violent protests in and
outside the capital Kampala that ran into Thursday and parts of Friday.
Security forces responded by firing teargas and live bullets to disperse protesters on the streets. The government spokesperson, Mr Ofwono Opondo, was quoted by sections of the international media as blaming the protestors for not seeking more “peaceful methods” to raise and “resolve” their concerns.
Mr Eliot, however, argues that the response was “exceedingly violent to those protesting their detention”.
“This type of conduct on the part of Mr Museveni and state security forces is completely incompatible with holding free, fair, and credible elections, which are scheduled for January 2021. I condemn these state-sanctioned attacks against the Ugandan people,” Mr Engel wrote.
In 2005, FDC president and presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye was arrested and charged with rape and treason. The High Court later acquitted him for lack of evidence, but after he had spent majority of the campaign period attending trial in court.
In December 2005,
the then Attorney General, Prof Kiddu Makubuya, wrote to the Electoral
Commission, advising it against nominating Dr Besigye for presidency.
Dr Besigye was in prison and Prof Makubuya also insisted that a candidate could not be nominated in absentia. Prof Makubuya’s advice was ignored by the EC which went on to nominate Dr Besigye on December 15.
By Joseph Omollo
Police in Tororo this morning blocked a planned procession by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party electoral commission chairperson, Mr Tanga Odoi in Tororo town.
The Odoi procession was reportedly an attempt to disrupt National Unity Platform (NUP) flagbearer, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi’s political rally that is slated to take place in Tororo town this afternoon.
Leading a group of over 200 boda boda riders carrying President Museveni’s campaign posters, Mr Odoi was blocked by police along Tororo-Nagongera road which is about three kilometers away from town.
Upon being blocked, Mr Odoi claimed that he was not attempting to block Mr Kyagulanyi’s campaign rally but rather trying remind the police to play their cardinal role of enforcing Covid-19 guidelines.
“We are not blocking any one from holding a campaign rally but trying to remind the police to enforce the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) put in place by the Ministry of Health to guard against Coronavirus as our NRM party president has done,” he told this publication.
He said as an enlightened person, he cannot just sit and watch his people being put at the risk contracting the deadly disease. Advertisement
However, Bukedi South regional police commander, Mr Julius Ceasar Tusingwire said that the group was blocked because it was prone to cause confusion, adding that they had neither sought permission as required by the Public Order Management Act.
Culled from Daily Monitor.