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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid