Uganda opposition leader Besigye arrested for defying orders - Police

Monday November 04 2019

Ugandan Police use a water cannon to force former FDC president Dr Kizza Besigye out of his vehicle in Kiraka, Kampala on November 4, 2019. COURTESY PHOTO | DAILY MONITOR

By Daily Monitor

An unspecified number of Uganda opposition supporters are in police custody following a scuffle with police in the capital Kampala on Monday morning.

Trouble started after security personnel blocked a planned assembly of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) at Mandela National Stadium in Namboole.

Heavily armed police and military officers cordoned off the stadium prompting angered the FDC party members to march to their party headquarters down the busy Kampala-Jinja highway.

To break up the crowds, police used tear gas, water cannon and live bullets resulting to running battles.

The melee saw Kira Municipality legislator Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda arrested but he vanished.

Dr Kizza Besigye, the former FDC party president, continued waving to the crowd atop his sunroof before police blocked his car and later towed it to Naggalama Police Station.


However, some of the chains used to tow Besigye’s car broke as the crowd cheered the four-time presidential candidate.

The police then used a water cannon to force Besigye out of his car and bundled him into a police van, which sped off to Naggalama.

In a statement, police said on Monday afternoon that FDC informed them about the intended assembly and advised venue change but they ignored the directive.

“FDC informed us about the intended celebration and were wrote back to them advising that they should shift the venue but they ignored our directive. Besigye defied police orders and parked his vehicle in the middle of the road, blocking and inconveniencing other road users. The car was towed away and he was taken to Naggalama Police Station. At the moment no charges have been preferred against him but investigators are still gathering evidence,” Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Mr Patrick Onyango said.

He also refuted reports a woman was shot dead by police during the chaos.

"There's a photograph circulating on social media purporting that a woman was shot and killed today in Kireka Trading centre. This is not true. No death has been registered in this operation," Mr Onyango added.

As the 2021 electoral year nears, opposition political parties and pressure groups are struggling to lay strategies to confront Museveni.

However, police have repeatedly broken their meetings citing failure to comply with the Public Order Management Act.

Recently, Besigye and a number of his supporters launched a civil disobedience campaign dubbed ‘Tubalemese’, saying it will help the opposition to achieve their goals.