News / Africa

    Uganda Police to Prosecute Detained Politicians

    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.
    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
    A police spokesman says Uganda’s administration may file criminal charges Thursday against two prominent opposition politicians accused of inciting violence in the capital, Kampala.

    Deputy Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said the two accused politicians planned to use chaos and instability to bring about regime change in Uganda.

    Dr. Kizza Besigye, former presidential candidate for the main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), and Erias Lukwago, the embattled Lord Mayor of Kampala city, were detained Tuesday night and are in police custody.  They were charged with inciting violence after attempting to address an “illegal rally.” Lukwago faces expulsion from office after a tribunal accused him of incompetence and abuse of office. He denies the accusations as politically motivated by the government. 
                     
    “They incited the public [by telling them] that if we don’t allow them to hold the rally, [they] should go to the street and cause chaos,” said Onyango. “We wouldn’t allow this peace, which people are enjoying, to be disrupted. So we have been carrying out investigations to that effect.”

    He said the politicians failed to acquire the necessary permit for the rally, despite repeated calls for them to postpone the gathering.

    “We advised them that the rally they are intending to hold was falling short of the legal requirement. So, we advised them to put [off] their rally to another date, but he [Lukwago] went ahead to mobilize people [saying] by force or by peace they would have to hold a rally,” said Onyango. “When somebody says either by war or by peace that means they are inciting people.”

    Onyango said Besigye created disturbances, specifically traffic congestion, in downtown Kampala and brought business activities to a halt.

    “He went straight in the middle of the road in the middle of the Kampala city, got out of his vehicle, [and] started calling people to cause chaos. Imagine addressing people in the middle of the road? So we couldn’t allow that,” said Onyango.

    But critics say President Yoweri Museveni’s government is using state institutions like the police and the courts to clamp down on dissent as well as to intimidate and harass opponents. They also accuse the administration of undermining the constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and association. Onyango disagreed that the government is contravening the country’s laws.

    “The constitution also says that people should exercise and enjoy their freedom, others should not infringe on their freedoms,” said Onyango. “So as they were mobilizing people, they are infringing on other people’s rights who are peaceful, who don’t want to engage in their chaos. So we cannot allow that.”

    Onyango said the police are waiting for the advice of the director of public prosecutions in order to begin proceedings against the two politicians.

     “Thursday morning is when we expect the file to come back from the director of public prosecutions, and when the file comes back with the advice to take the two to court, we shall immediately take them to court without hesitation,” continued Onyango, “because we shall not allow criminality to be in rooted in a country where there is law.”

    Onyango also denied there is chaos in the city following the arrest of the two opposition figures.
    Clottey interview with Patrick Onyango, Deputy Police Spokesman
    Clottey interview with Patrick Onyango, Deputy Police Spokesmani
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Outeke Joseph from: Uganda-kumi
    November 24, 2013 5:54 AM
    Sorry 4 us ugandans, its now 2 much the old man is doing all this b'se he's about 2 visit his grave soon

    by: sebyatika sam from: kansanga
    November 21, 2013 5:28 PM
    Ugandan's lets get 2gather n fight 4 freedom we have 2 stop this people who think they own dis country.4God n mi country


    Ugandanz let's get 2gather n fight 4 Wright's which is given 2 us both bi God n by constitution.we have to wake up.4God n mi country.

    by: Richard Walla from: DOUALA CAMEROON
    November 21, 2013 6:18 AM
    Yoweri should stop using state institutions to intimidate opposition leaders in Uganda and rather come to a compromise with them in order to bring everlasting peace in that nation. The constitution permits the citizens to express themselves freely in an organised manner.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora