26 January 2013

Uganda: Besigye, Lukwago Arrested

THE Police this morning arrested former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president Dr. Kiiza Besigye and Kampala City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, barring them from taking part in a planned clean-the-city exercise.

By press time, the Police was also looking for members of For God and My Country (4GC), a pressure group recently declared illegal by the Government.

The group snubbed Police summons to appear before the Special Investigations Unit in Kireka on Friday.

These included Asuman Basalirwa, Mathias Mpuuga, Muwanga Kivumbi and Ingrid Turinawe. Besigye was scheduled to appear today. Addressing a hurriedly convened press conference at Uganda Media Centre, Police deputy spokesperson Vincent Ssekate, said they had arrested the opposition leaders for disobeying lawful Police orders.

Ssekate said the Lord Mayor had written to the Police, informing them about the planned city clean-up, but the Police had outlawed it, following reports that opposition opportunists were planning to use it to advance other causes.

Besigye was arrested along Nangabo road a few kilometres from his Kasangati based home, in Wakiso district and whisked away to Kiira road Police station,where he was detained on preventive arrest charges.

Besigye who was accompanied by his driver, only identified as Kato, walked from his residence after foiling a blockade amid heavy Police deployment, while Lukwago was picked from his home in Mengo, where Police had deployed as early as 6:00am.

The Kasangati Divisional Police Commander, Seiko Chemonges, said Besigye was arrested at about 9:30am after failure to adhere to the Police instructions.

"His walking to work distorts business and slows down on traffic because he moves attracting crowds to join, that later turn violent," Chemonges said.

Early this week, Lukwago announced a clean-up exercise in the city centre, which was to start on Saturday and sent an invitation to opposition leaders to attend.

However, the regional Police commander Kampala Extra, Felix Kaweesi, outlawed the exercise, maintaining that the Police would not allow the exercise since it had been hijacked by the opposition.

On Wednesday, 4GC addressed a press conference at their Katonga road offices and announced they would engage in a series of activities to popularise their walk to work campaigns.

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