News / Africa

Uganda Opposition Leader's 'Walk-to-Work' Risks Arrest

Uganda opposition leader Kizza Besigye being loaded into a police truck during Monday's arrest
Uganda opposition leader Kizza Besigye being loaded into a police truck during Monday's arrest


  • Internal Affairs Minister Kirunda Kivejinja spoke with Butty

James Butty

In Uganda, the stage was set Thursday for a possible confrontation between police and opposition leader Kizza Besigye and his supporters.

Besigye vowed to stage another "walk-to-work" to highlight what he says is the high cost of transportation in Uganda.

The police say publicizing the desire to walk to work amounts to a procession that will disrupt traffic and business.

Kirunda Kivejinja, Uganda’s Minister for Internal Affairs in charge of police, says there are laws governing processions.

‘Within our own constitution, which guarantees the freedom of everybody, it also says that, in exercising your freedom, make sure that you don’t disturb the freedom of others. Within our own constitution, it is the police that are responsible for keeping law and order. So, what we are saying is, if anybody wants to demonstrate, let him inform the police and be able to tell us who are the people you are going to demonstrate with, what route they want to take, what their destination is so that we can prepare security all along,” he says.

Besigye says he and the other opposition leaders have every right, under Uganda’s constitution, to walk to work without intimidation.

Kivejinja says, while it is true that most people walk in Africa, walking as a form protest is another issue.

“In Africa, the majority of the people are walking. So, walking is not a big issue. They can walk if they want to walk. But, when you walk for a purpose and you have announced that I am going to do this to challenge established order, that’s [a] different matter,” Kivejinja says.

Besigye admits that problems such as the high cost of fuel and food are not unique to Uganda. But, he says the government of President Yoweri Museveni should have put in place contingency plans to deal with these unforeseen crises.

Kivejinja says Besigye has no mandate to claim to be speaking for the people of Uganda because he had the chance during Uganda’s recent election to bring about an alternative government, but failed to win the election.

“He had a chance as an alternative government to put those policies he’s talking about in place, but he prevented himself. Where does he get that mandate? And there are many ways to bring about that change. Will the walking be able to resolve that issue? He has members in parliament. Why do you leave the channels to solve the problem and you go into others which will bring about antagonism?” Kivejinja says.

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs