News / Africa

Uganda Opposition Leaders to Be Charged with Inciting Violence

FILE - Ugandan policemen arrest opposition leader Kizza Besigye (front L) ahead of a rally to demonstrate against corruption and economic hardships in Uganda's capital Kampala, Jan. 19, 2012.
FILE - Ugandan policemen arrest opposition leader Kizza Besigye (front L) ahead of a rally to demonstrate against corruption and economic hardships in Uganda's capital Kampala, Jan. 19, 2012.
Peter Clottey
Uganda opposition leaders will be charged Friday after they were arrested for unlawful assembly and inciting violence in the capital, Kampala, according to Ibin Ssenkunbi, Kampala police spokesman.

Police arrested former presidential candidate for the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Kizza Besigye, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, parliamentarian Moses Kasibante and other opposition leaders for inciting violence aimed to create chaos in the city.

Ssenkunbi told VOA the leaders were arrested as part of a measure to prevent tension and chaos in the city.

“Depending on the investigations the arrested [leaders] are likely to be taken to court on Friday and those who would not be liable for charges would be released,” said Ssenkunbi.

“They had organized a rally, but behind it was continuous commotion, which had been organized and we had information to that effect because they had gone to the city,” said Ssenkunbi. “[They planned] inciting violence in different corners of the city to try and engage police on different fronts. But we intercepted that information and we were on high alert. So, when they started, most of the areas was covered [by police].”

Opposition parties have condemned the arrests and accuse the government of contravening the constitution by using state institutions to trample on the civil liberties of citizens. They are demanding the immediate release of their arrested colleagues.

Kampala Lord Mayor Lukwago invited the opposition leaders for a scheduled meeting to discuss strategies to help resolve the impasse with the government-supported council executives of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).

The KCCA executives impeached Lukwago after a tribunal report accused him of incompetence and abuse of office, among other charges. The impeachment was later thrown out by a court.

Ssenkunbi says the police arrested the opposition leaders to protect the rights of the majority from being disturbed.

“We are defending the rights of the majority because you can’t say Dr. Besigye is enjoying his rights to the detriment to the hundreds of thousands of people who actually use Kampala roads and have businesses in Kampala,” said Ssenkunbi. “Inciting violence is illegal in Uganda and equally participating in unlawful assembly, which actually they did,” he said.

The police have often accused opposition and civil society groups of embarking on protests without a permit, which they said disrupts business activities and brings traffic to a halt. But in an interview with VOA Lukwago disagrees with the police accusations.

“That is a frivolous accusation always leveled against us by the police to curtail our rights [and] our civil liberties,” said Lukwago. “I want to assure you and the international community [that] if the police come in with the intention of giving us protection, and to ensure that the procession [is] peaceful, there [will be] no such incident like the disruption of business whatsoever.” 
  
Clottey interview with Ibin Ssenkunbi, Kampala Police spokesman
Clottey interview with Ibin Ssenkunbi, Kampala Police spokesmani
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mayanja lawrence from: Uganda
January 10, 2014 3:10 PM
It is the police and the govt that brings caos to the nation they use tax payers money to kick the mayor out of the city office they have been arrests at his home and police custody many time


by: vandi from: nigeria
January 10, 2014 8:00 AM
lawful protest is now unlawful because of the type of administration runned by african corrupt leaders.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid