Uganda’s security agencies were kept busy on Monday as they deployed at the country’s leading university, clashed with journalists and arrested veteran opposition leader, Kizza Besigye.
Kizza Besigye’s brutal arrest
Pictures and videos of former presidential candidate Besigye being thrust from his car by water canons evoked harsh reactions from Ugandans, who condemned the use of violence by the country’s police.
We had a conference scheduled to take place at Namboole Stadium Parking earlier, the rogue @PoliceUg blocked off all entry and exit points of the said venue.
— FDC (@FDCOfficial1) November 4, 2019
Local journalists say Besigye was on his way to the national stadium to address a gathering of supporters from the biggest opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).
A video clip from Record TV showing the moment @kizzabesigye1 was thrust from his car.
Police broke car windows and arrested him thereafter.
Besigye was going to address FDC supporters at an organized assembly of the party in Namboole. pic.twitter.com/Rh2P9BdhFo
— Mujuni Raymond (@qataharraymond) November 4, 2019
Police later issued statement confirming Besigye’s arrest, saying he had defied orders to change the venue of the party meeting and also inconvenienced road users when he parked his car in the middle of the road.
At the moment no charges have been preferred against him but investigators are still gathering evidence,” Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Mr Patrick Onyango said.
Clashes with journalists
Police also arrested a number of journalists, who on Monday organised a march protesting unfair treatment of members of the press by the country’s security agencies.
The members of Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) were intercepted on their way to the police headquarters where they intended to deliver a petition asking the police leadership to stop brutalising journalists deployed to cover riots and demonstrations.
Flavia Diana Nandudu, a programs officer at Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-U), told Reuters eight journalists were arrested but were released several hours later.
“We wanted to demand from police leadership that they parade and prosecute police officers who are involved in assaulting journalists,” Nandudu said.