23 April 2019

Uganda: U.S. Speaks Out On Besigye, Bobi Wine Fate

Photo: allafrica.com
Ugandan politician Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine and Kizza Besigye.

The US has condemned the mistreatment of opposition politicians by the government of Uganda saying it is contrary to the nation's Constitution.

Although the US in a Tuesday statement published on the embassy website didn't specify a particular Opposition leader, they made reference to the recent incidents involving Dr Kizza Besigye, a four time presidential candidate and Kyaddondo East MP, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.

"Today we join the many Ugandans asking why their government has recently blocked musical concerts and radio talk shows, disrupted peaceful demonstrations and rallies, and deployed heavy-handed security forces against peaceful citizens," the statement reads in part.

It adds: "Uganda's Constitution guarantees freedom of assembly and expression. We echo the Ugandan people in calling on the government to respect these rights. Strong leaders and states do not stifle speech - they allow their citizens to participate fully and without fear in a vibrant multi-party democracy."

Police have on several occasions blocked Dr Besigye's radio talk shows and Bobi Wine's music concerts in Kampala and other areas.

Bobi Wine has since been put under house arrest.

Police say they have "orders from above" to detain the MP in his house in Magere, Wakiso District.

Kasangati District Police Commander, Mr Raphael Magyezi said they have "orders from above" to ensure that the politicians does not leave his house.

However, Mr Okello Oryem, the minister in charge of International Cooperation said the US embassy has no mandate to lecture Uganda on human rights.

"Nobody should lecture us [Uganda] about human rights. They [Americans] should look at their own [human rights] record," he said.

Meanwhile in a press conference addressed by leaders of the Democratic Party Bloc in Kampala on Tuesday, DP President Norbert Mao and Dr Abed Bwanika, a former presidential aspirant said that after Supreme Court Verdict on Age Limit Case their next Court of Appeal is the "People Power."

The DP Bloc also condemned the Sunday brutal arrest of Bobi Wine and the ban of his music concerts. Bobi Wine's Easter concerts which had been cleared by police were later blocked for alleged failure by organisers, to fulfil security conditions.

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