Former presidential candidate Kiiza Besigye has condemned the manner in which he was handled when he landed at Entebbe airport early Monday. Besigye accused security operatives of “kidnapping” him.
Briefing journalists, Besigye said he was whisked away in a police vehicle to his home in Kasangati without his luggage and that his passport is yet to be stamped to confirm that he returned to Uganda.
Besigye who addressed a press conference at his Kasangati home on Monday narrated his arrest saying he was picked by security operatives as he got off the plane in a manner that can scare away investors.
“You cannot invite investors who come and see a senior citizen being manhandled like the pictures they saw today. They would alert all the others that don’t attempt not come to this country,” said Besigye.
Describing his ordeal, he said “the people who captured me from the steps of the plane were wearing Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) uniform. The vehicle they put me into also belonged to CAA vehicle.”
“They picked me up, drove me to the old airport and put me into waiting police vehicles. Six police vehicles with a saloon lead car took me out of the old airport that now acts a military airbase and drove me through sections of the Entebbe-Express Highway, Nakawuka, Nateete,Busega and I was dropped at my home in Kasangati”.
Besigye said many of his supporters were arrested in complete breach of the law demanding that they are released immediately and unconditionally.
He also warned that he would continue with his defiance campaign. “I guarantee you that people will regain their authority in this country, not having leaders who treat citizens with contempt,” he said.
He has been away for a month in the UK and USA.
When contacted, Andrew Felix Kaweesi, spokesperson of the police, explained the politician had been arrested as a preventive measure.
“We picked him as he was exiting the departure lounge shortly after he landed and safely escorted him to his home in Kasangati. The arrest was necessary because we had intelligence that his followers were planning to cause chaos along Entebbe road and as police, we could not allow that,” Kaweesi said.
When asked why police had deployed at Besigye’s home, the spokesman claimed FDC supporters had rallied to cause chaos in Kasangati. Police also blocked supporters and opposition politicians from accessing Besigye’s home.
Speaking during the climax of police week celebrations at Kololo independence grounds that coicinded with Besigye’s return, President Yoweri Museveni commended the police for controlling Besigye’s supporters and maintaining law and order. He said no one should antagonize peace which is prevailing in the country.
“What you saw here was the comprehensive capacity of the police and the state to handle trouble makers non-lethally without anybody dying,” said Museveni.