Independent Reporter and AFP
REPORTS JUST IN INDICATE THAT Opposition leader Kizza Besigye has been held by the Uganda Police after he attempted to march into the city from his home in Kasangati, 14km outside Kampala.
Besigye had planned to march with his supporters to the Electoral Commission to get a copy of the declaration of results of the just concluded Presidential elections. The Electoral Commission on Saturday announced that incumbent President Yoweri Museveni won the election by 60%, saying Besigye was second at 35%.
Besigye has called the election a sham, insisting he want to get all evidence from the EC to consider a legal challenge.
Police earlier warned said Besigye would be breaking the law if he and his supporters marched from his home in Kasangati to the city centre today.
In a statement last night, Uganda Police sited the Public Order Management Act 2013, and said failure by Besigye to follow agreed procedure before marches, “will leave the police no option but to use necessary means to maintain law and order in accordance with the Constitution.”
Uganda opposition leader taken into police custody
Kampala, Uganda | AFP | Monday
Uganda’s main opposition leader was taken by police on Monday to a city police station from his home where he has been under house arrest since Friday.
Kizza Besigye has rejected the results of Thursday’s election won by veteran President Yoweri Museveni, and called on his supporters to join a protest march on Monday.
Official results gave Museveni 60 percent of the vote against 35 percent for Besigye, who was arrested three times before, during and after the election.
Police said in a statement that any such march would be illegal, adding that with the start of the new school term Monday it would also “infringe on the collective rights of the parents and their school-going children”.
Besigye was placed under house arrest on Friday after police raided his Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) headquarters accusing party officials of planning to release their own tally of results, contravening electoral law.
Police on Monday took Besigye from his home in Kasangati, north of the capital Kampala, to a police station in nearby Nagalama, according to city police spokesman Patrick Onyango.
Besigye did not speak as he was bundled into a truck with tinted windows and driven away and Onyango gave no explanation for his detention.
Besigye’s wife Winnnie Byanyima, who is also executive director of the charity Oxfam International, tweeted a photograph of riot police outside the family home saying: “It’s like a military barracks. We want peace.”
Besigye has now lost four consecutive presidential elections. Each time he has cried foul and each time street protests against his defeat have been swiftly crushed by security forces.
Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since 1986, hailed his victory, and dismissed Besigye’s complaints and concerns of observer groups who have criticised the election as unfair.
“The opposition are not leaders, they are just demagogues, liars, just talking, talking,” the 71-year old said on Sunday.
“Those Europeans are not serious,” he said in reference to European Union election observers who said Uganda’s Electoral Commission lacked transparency and that police were heavy-handed in their treatment of the opposition.
POLICE PRESS RELEASE 21/02/2016
In reference to media statements by Rtd. Col. Dr. Kiiza Besigye, of plans to hold a procession, tomorrow Monday 22nd Feb 2016 from Kasangati to The Electoral Commission head office to purportedly pick up his copy of the declaration of results form, the police wish to inform the general public that it has not received any formal communication from him of the intended procession as required under Section 5 of the Public Order Management Act 2013.
It is clearly stipulated under Section 4 of the Public Order Management Act that a procession is a public meeting and can only be held in accordance with the said Act. On the 8th of December 2015, the Government and the opposition agreed on a harmonized interpretation of the Public Order Management Act. Both parties agreed, among others that notice of a public meeting is mandatory and that the police retains its mandate under the constitution and other relevant laws to preserve law and order even when implementing the provisions of the Public Order Management Act.
In addition to the above, the planned procession coincides with the opening of the new school term and any procession will infringe on the collective rights of the parents and their school going children.
We therefore urge Dr. Kiiza Besigye to respect the law as well as the rights of the parents, their children and the travelling public.
Failure to comply will leave the police no option but to use necessary means to maintain law and order in accordance with the Constitution.
CP Fred Enanga
Press and Public Relations Officer