25 April 2011

Uganda: Otunnu And FDC Officials Blocked From Visiting Besigye And Mao

Opposition leaders have been blocked from visiting detained FDC leader Dr. Kizza Besigye and DP President Norbert Mao this morning. The opposition leaders from the UPC and FDC camps are currently engaged in a stand off with Nakasongola Civil prisons officials that has been going on for the last two hours, according to our reporter John Njoroge. UPC head Olara Otunnu and FDC official Anne Mugisha had tried this Monday morning to visit Dr. Besigye and Mr. Mao who are detained in the prison. The two leaders landed in prison after repeatedly leading the twice weekly walk to work demonstrations.

The Nakasongola prisons officials have reportedly denied the UPC and FDC delegations access to the imprisoned leaders because prisoners are not allowed visitors over weekends and public holidays. This morning morning is a public holiday to mark the end of the Christian Easter celebrations. However, FDC official Anne Mugisha disputes this. She claims that IPC Chairperson Ken Lukyamuzi was granted access to Dr. Besigye on Saturday last week, which was also a public holiday.

This is the third time that the UPC Party President has been blocked from accessing the prison to visit his fellow opposition presidents. Speaking to the Secretary General of UPC John Odit, he said that a party delegation headed by Mr Otunnu tried to access the prison on Tuesday and Friday but they were stopped. "We are told the prison officials have even hidden their name tags so they cannot be identified," Mr Odit said. Attempts to reach Mr Otunnu have so far been futile.

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