Uganda: FDC Vows Action Against Besigye Tormentors

12 November 2019

The Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party have said they have identified police officers who brutally arrested the party's founding president and former presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye, last week as he tried to address the party supporters and officials at Namboole stadium.

On November 4, police smashed the windscreen of Dr Besigye's car, sprayed chemicals inside before pulling him out. Trouble started after security personnel blocked an FDC party conference that had been scheduled at Namboole.

The FDC members decided to march in a procession from the stadium to their party headquarters in Najjanankumbi but were intercepted by police who fired teargas and water cannons to disperse the procession on Kampala-Jinja highway. Dr Besigye was roughed up, plucked out of his vehicle and detained at Nagalama Police Station until late in the night.

Addressing journalists at the party offices in Najjanankumbi yesterday, the FDC spokesperson, Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, said Dr Besigye was sprayed with dangerous chemicals and the party would not sit back.

"Police targeted and nearly killed our founding president Besigye while illegally and violently dispersing an FDC lawful and peaceful seminar. We had complied with all the legal requirements to host our seminar but in vain. This is not fair," Mr Ssemujju said.

He said many of their female leaders from the party's Women League were also assaulted with different chemicals before they were brutally arrested.

"All the police officers involved in this violence have been properly identified, including those who sprayed FDC Women League leaders with poisonous chemicals on November 6. This party will decide what to do with them during our meeting on Friday," he said.

"But even as we wait to take a decision against these individuals and their commanders, we strongly condemn the brutality and terror that police and military have unleashed onto Makerere University students, journalists and other citizens in the last couple of weeks," Mr Ssemujju added.

He promised to mention the names or actual number of the officers during their NEC meeting on Friday.

Background

On November 6, a police commander identified as Rashid Agero was captured on video smashing the windscreen of Dr Besigye's car and signalling his juniors to pull the cracked glass down. In a statement issued last week, police said FDC was blocked from holding their seminar at Namboole because the party and Dr Besigye defied the Force's directives.

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