News / Africa

Ugandan Official Calls Post-Election Protesters ‘Hooligans’

Forum for Democratic Change opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye displays pre-marked ballot papers, during a news conference at party headquarters in Kampala Uganda (file photo)
Forum for Democratic Change opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye displays pre-marked ballot papers, during a news conference at party headquarters in Kampala Uganda (file photo)

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Kabakumba Labwoni Masiko, Uganda government spokesperson

Peter Clottey

The spokesperson for Uganda’s government describes anti-government protesters demonstrating against alleged rigging by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) in last month’s presidential and parliamentary elections as hooligans and property destroyers.

Kabakumba Labwoni Masiko says the protesters defied the country’s law by refusing to inform the police about the demonstration. Police fired tear gas Wednesday to disperse the protesters after accusing them of attacking people in Kampala's Kisekka market and made eight arrests.

“There are mechanisms to resolve [disputes] for those who are not happy about the [election] in courts of law. And, of course, our constitution allows peaceful demonstration, but the way they organized the [protest], they did not follow the laid down regulations and laws,” said Masiko.

“For somebody to have a demonstration, they must inform police, for the police to provide security for them, to know how many they will be and to check out the route so they don’t disturb the business people or bother people who are going about their own work, which they did not do,” she added.

Masiko also denies the police fired live ammunition to disperse the protesters.

“That is not true. I know they confronted them with teargas, one or two, because they were becoming rioters. But, that was about it,” she said.

Witnesses say the protest broke up shortly after security forces stepped in.  The demonstrators challenged the legitimacy of President Yoweri Museveni's re-election last month. Opposition leaders say the presidential poll was rigged, a charge Museveni has denied.

Masiko says the arrested protesters will be prosecuted for violating Uganda’s laws. She denies accusations that the ruling NRM party used more than $60 million (600 billion shillings) for its campaign during the elections.

“What is their source of those figures? I don’t know how much they know the money our party put in. But, for the sources, one, there were sources that the president used were from the party, then for the security detail, whatever was attached to him, he is allowed by law to use those privileges during the campaign,” said Masiko

Uganda's longtime leader won the presidential poll with 68 percent of the vote. Rival Kizza Besigye came in second place with 26 percent. Uganda's police chief has accused the opposition of trying to incite violence and destabilize the country after a peaceful vote.

Besigye and his four-party coalition have said any government formed by Museveni is illegitimate. With the win, Museveni earned a fourth term in office. He has ruled Uganda since seizing power in 1986.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs