Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Dr Stella Nyanzi and four others have been arrested for protesting against what they described as a slow distribution of food and human rights abuses.
Others arrested include events Promoter Andrew Mukasa alias Bajjo, Shallon Kemigisha, Badru Kasule and John Bosco Serunkuma. They were arrested on Monday near Buganda Road Court.
The protestors held placards reading, “Children are hungry”, “Stop the lock-down oba tuffa tuffe, We want food.
The Deputy police spokesperson for Kampala Metropolitan area Luke Owoyesigyire says that the group is currently detained at Central police station on charges of inciting violence.
Nyanzi was carrying a petition to the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda protesting against the continued human rights abuses by security agencies enforcing the Presidential COVID-19 directives and failure by the government to distribute food to several vulnerable people.
“Hunger and anger have spiked countrywide causing frightening levels of domestic violence and suicide whereby women are the major victims. As women, we demand to return to work”, reads the petition in part.
The police and Local Defence Unit-LDU personnel have come under criticism for brutality especially while enforcing the curfew in different parts of the country.
They demanded that the government distribute relief food to all Ugandans, lift the lockdown and adjust curfew time to 9 pm, repatriate Ugandans stuck abroad and release suspects arrested for violating the COVID-19 directives.
Last week, Bajjo petitioned the High Court Civil Division seeking an order compelling government to distribute food to all citizens in the country.
Nyanzi’s lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde says that there’s no legitimate basis for the arrest of the protestors. He says that government should respect the right to protest during a pandemic.