5 March 2016

Uganda: Besigye's Chief Campaigner in Rukungiri Arrested

The chief campaigner for FDC presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye in Rukungiri District Mr Darius Tweyambe has been arrested in Rukungiri town for unknown reasons and transferred for detention in the neighbouring Ntungamo District.

Both Mr Tweyambe and police in Ntungamo say they do not know the charges against him. Police say Mr Tweyambe was only put in custody awaiting further instructions "from above" to be transferred to Kampala.

He was picked from his shop on Republic Road in Rukungiri town and thrown into a waiting police patrol truck belonging to Rukungiri Police Station. He was driven away to Ntungamo Police Station.

"There is no information about him here, they have requested us to put him in custody here and he will be transported to Kampala soon. We do not know when and who will pick him from here, we are waiting," Mr Bosco Gume, the police head of criminal investigations in Ntungamo District said.

Mr Tweyambe said the arrest was only connected to the campaigns and the win Dr. Besigye had in Rukungiri district.

"President Museveni feels humiliated by the kind of win we got in Rukungiri District and that I was the chief campaigner of Dr Besigye. I think this is why I have been arrested. They have nothing they can charge me with but to try and threaten me as has been the case," Mr Tweyambe told Daily Monitor at Ntungamo Police Station.

For the first time since 2001, Dr Besigye defeated President Museveni in his home district getting 56% of the total vote cast.

Mr. Tweyambe was among the 22 people charged with treason alongside Dr Besigye in 2005. He was later released after their trial in the military court was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court.

Mr Tweyambe said he would not yield to state intimidation and was firm enough to cope with any eventuality.

A security source in Rukungiri who preferred anonymity told Daily Monitor that Mr Tweyambe is accused of sending inciting messages via social media and is destined for Special Crime Investigations Unit Kireka, near Kampala.

The source said Mr Tweyambe's detention in Ntungamo was meant to avoid possible violent scenes in Rukungiri town because people could attack police to demand his release.

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