Uganda: MPs Beat Police Siege, March to Parliament

27 September 2017

Before MPs met yesterday in what turned out to be the most rowdy and loudest sitting yet of the 10th Parliament, police tried to prevent some opposition lawmakers from getting to the House.

In Parliament, Igara West MP, Raphael Magyezi, was expected to seek permission to table his private member's bill, which seeks to remove presidential age limits.

Writing on his Facebook timeline, musician-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Kyadondo East) aka Bobi Wine said he never slept at home on Monday night anticipating a police siege.

"The police surrounded my home in order to prevent me from going to parliament today [Tuesday]. I was too smart for them, I instead spent the night somewhere in the ghetto," Kyagulanyi wrote.

He said when police finally cornered him in Kamwokya, they tried to arrest him. "I instead jumped onto a boda boda; they tried to grab me off the boda but the riders fought them off. Then police officers jumped onto the boda boda to chase me but the boda guys refused to carry the police officers," Kyagulanyi added.

Lubaga North MP Moses Kasibante reported that he was advised to stop sleeping at his home, which police cordons off every time there is contentious political activity in the city.

Aruu South MP Odonga Otto left nothing to chance. He arrived at parliament with his trousers tucked in his socks, with a red band around his head and one wrapped around each arm.

"Anite alimba ffe maggye," [Anite is a liar, it's us who are the army], read one Facebook caption on Otto's picture.

Francis Zaake Butebi (Mityana) appealed to Ugandans: "It's Red Tuesday... put on your red too," Zaake wrote on his timeline.

Police also arrested the former FDC presidential candidate Col Kizza Besigye at Mini Price where he had mobilised hundreds of youths to storm parliament.

Additional reporting by VICTORIA NYAPENDI & ANGELLA NAMBALIRWA

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