Uganda Police have arrested a Member of Parliament over what sources allege was a plot to assassinate President Yoweri Museveni.
Michael Kabaziguruka, an opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) MP representing Nakawa Constituency, Kampala was taken into custody just before the presentation of the budget on Wednesday.
In a brief statement to the media, the police said Mr Kabaziguruka was arrested with another yet to be identified person on “very serious” offences.
“The police have today, Wednesday 8th June 2016, arrested Kabaziguruka Michael Andrew, the Member of Parliament Nakawa Division and another who are under custody at the Special Investigations Division, Kireka,” police spokesman Fred Enanga said.
“The circumstances under which they were arrested are very sensitive, and although we cannot divulge any further details at this stage for fear of jeopardising our investigations, we can only confirm to you that the suspects are helping us with investigations, into some very serious offences that involve other suspects as well,” said Mr Enanga, adding that a statement with more details will be issued “at an appropriate time.”
Mr Kabaziguruka won the Nakawa seat defeating former Attorney-General Mr Fred Ruhindi in the February 18 General Election.
He serves as the deputy chairperson of FDC’s electoral commission.
Mr Kabaziguruka has had several run-ins with the State including being accused of illegal possession of firearms that had the police dig up his parents’ compound on Lake Drive Luzira, where he lived, in search of the alleged weapons. He was detained along with his brother in 2012 but released after four months when the case collapsed for lack of sufficient evidence.
About a month ago, soon after his election as Nakawa MP, Mr Kabaziguruka’s home was raided again and he was detained briefly. He later filed his own complaint saying there was a plot to assassinate him.
Mr Kabaziguruka is likely to face treason charges like the FDC leader and former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye who is currently remanded at Luzira prison. The two are long-time friends with Dr Besigye having rented the house on Lake Drive Luzira from Mr Kabaziguruka’s parents from where he fled into exile in 2001.
Mr Wafula Oguttu, a senior FDC official said the arrest was nothing more than harassment of the opposition.
“It’s simply their continuing persecution and harassment, the NRM (ruling party) has never gotten over their loss of the Nakawa seat so we believe they are just harassing him like they have been doing to Erias Lukwago (Kampala Lord Mayor),” he said. Mr Lukwago is an opposition member.
On Wednesday, barely minutes after President Museveni started reading the budget, some FDC members heckled him while waving placards calling for the release of Dr Besigye.
Mr Museveni, who initially tried to ignore the protestors said he did not have the powers to release the opposition leader noting that that was the job of the courts.