The Observer (Kampala)

15 January 2013

Uganda: NGO Activists Get Reprieve

Police today extended the bond of seven anti-corruption activists to January 21 and 22, days after they were arrested at the weekend while distributing flyers at three different churches.

Three activists were arrested at Watoto church South (at Kyengera), another three at Lubaga Catholic cathedral and one at Rubaga Miracle Centre on Sunday. The activists were distributing the leaflets as part of their Black Monday campaign; a protest at the government's faltering efforts to fight graft.

Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Ibn Ssenkumbi told The Observer today that the activists were arrested following complaints from the respective churches, where they were distributing their materials.

"For now we are doing a general inquiry and we are still getting statements from the church administrators."

The activists insist that their acts are lawful.

"What we are doing is to support government in its resolve to fight corruption. We aren't saying that government hasn't done anything, we are saying they haven't done enough," said Gladys Nairuba, a Programme Manager with Anti-Corruption Coalition of Uganda, one of the activists arrested on Sunday at Watoto Church.

But Eunice Musiime, the Focal Person for the Black Monday Movement, said police was considering charges of inciting violence and publication of false news against the activists. Despite the arrests, activists distributed newsletters without disruption at All Saints cathedral in Nakasero, St Luke Church of Uganda in Ntinda, St Andrew's Church of Uganda in Bukoto, and Our Lady of Africa Catholic Church in Mbuya.

Their first effort to distribute the leaflets saw two activists arrested and held at Jinja road police station on January 7, 2013.

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