Ugandan politician Kiiza Besigye under house arrest, lauds Raila, Karua
Uganda’s opposition politician Kizza Besigye has been placed under house arrest by uniformed authorities for the past week, a move that has attracted criticism from authorities.
He has however taken time to congratulate his Kenyan counterpart Raila Odinga for picking Martha Karua as his running mate.
Congratulations @RailaOdinga and @MarthaKarua on forming a historic team for a historic moment in Kenya and our region!
Truly an “Azimio La Umoja” moment. pic.twitter.com/Z9Ouf71E3P
— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) May 16, 2022
Besigye was nabbed while walking alongside other people in protest over the high cost of living near his home in Kampala on May, 12, 2022.
He was returned home and Police have since camped at all entry and exit points while at times even barring visitors into the compound.
Heightened impunity at Dr.@kizzabesigye1 home with a full fledged police station now established at the entrance, with a visitor's book and other rigours procedures. pic.twitter.com/jBM0BC6xRA
— Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago (@EriasLukwago_) May 16, 2022
Among those who’ve critiqued the move is Speaker of Parliament Ms Anita Among.
She’s also tasked the Attorney General (AG) Kiryowa Kiwanuka to compel government, especially security operatives to revise their approach and manner in which they handle political and human rights activist Col (Rtd) Dr Kizza Besigye and other unarmed citizens.
In her message to security organs deployed at Dr Besigye’s home Ms Among demanded that security organs tone-down their excessive force used on the four time presidential contender.
“I don’t think that was correct. Attorney General, I want you to talk to our people (security operatives,) especially if you are handling someone who isn’t armed. [Their use of excessive force] is what makes us have issues of human rights. Advise them on how they should handle everybody,” Ms Among said, as quoted by Daily Monitor.
She added: “So, I want you to follow up this issue with security forces and advise them on how they should handle everybody; even those in Opposition. I mean we are the same [people] because today they are handling Besigye like that, tomorrow it might be you. Let us be fair to everybody.”
This came after Bukonzo West MP, Mr Atkins Katusabe, asked Parliament to reign in on Besigye’s “humiliating arrest” last Thursday and subsequent preventive detention at his home for now five days.
“Besigye is a national leader. He is a parent and brother to somebody. I don’t think anybody enjoys these ugly scenes that have gone to taint this country,” Mr Katushabe said.
He added: “I demand that if it pleases you, Parliament calls to order, specifically the commanders that roughed up and degraded Besigye. They should be identified and investigation carried out through a due process.”
The National Unity Platform (NUP) principal and former presidential candidate, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine has also condemned Dr Besigye’s detention which he described as a punishment he’s being subjected to for daring to protest against the skyrocketing cost of living.
Standing in solidarity with you Dr. @kizzabesigye1 as you approach your 5th day under house arrest; a punishment you're being subjected to for daring to protest against the skyrocketing cost of living! pic.twitter.com/gPak1XfIE1
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) May 16, 2022
Bobi Wine was also detained at his house for more than a week in the wake of the general elections in 2021 in which he came second to President Yoweri Museveni. He needed a court order to access freedom.
Besigye’s arrest comes months after Museveni’s son Muhoozi Kainerugaba recently announced he is seeking to succeed his father.