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

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora