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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Srebrenica Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs