18 February 2016

Uganda: Besigye in Standoff With Police, Taken to His Kasangati Home

Photo: Michael Kakumirizi/Monitor
Citizens who had turned up at St Peters Nursery and Primary School Kyebando Nsumbi Polling Station throw ballot boxes and other material. The action was apparently sparked by voting being delayed for several hours.

Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye this evening stormed a house in Naguru which he and his party officials say "have reason to believe is used by the Uganda Police and the military for pre-ticking ballots, manipulating election results, and committing many other electoral offences."

The Opposition leader drove straight to the party's Najjanankumbi offices from his country home in Rukungiri where he had voted from, to attend an urgent meeting that resulted in the storming of the facility. At the facility, Dr Besigye knocked on the gate but he was not let in. A number of police officers, many of whom seemed to be of high ranks due to the pips on their collars, could be seen through the opening at the gate, but they all hastily disappeared into the house without making any attempt to inquire about what Dr Besigye wanted to do at the facility.

In a short while Mr Michael Kasigire, the Kira Road Police station commander, arrived at the scene with a pick up full of policemen. Mr Andrew Karamagi, a lawyer and an activist who is sympathetic towards Dr Besigye, told Mr Kasigire that they suspect the house was being used to rig the election and requested him to ask the occupants to open up so that they would "satisfy our curiosity".

Mr Kasigire did not respond to Mr Karamagi's request, but he instead withdrew and made a phone call asking for reinforcements. Two more police patrol pick-ups soon arrived, with one commandeered by Mr Aaron Baguma, the commander of the Kampala Central Police Station.

A standoff then ensued until the police decided to force Dr Besigye into one of their patrol vehicles and drove him to his Kasangati home.

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