The Democratic Alliance(TDA) has condemned the arrest of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential flag bearer Dr.Kiiza Besigye and blocking of a public rally he was to address in Rukungiri district.
Several senior opposition members including MPs were yesterday arrested at Sanga near Mbabrara on their way to Rukungiri, Dr Kiiza Besigye’s home town.
Those arrested included MPs Geoffrey Ekanya (Tororo County), Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (Kyadondo East), Patrick Amuriat (Kumi County) and Paul Mwiru (Jinja Municipality).
The FDC national chairman Mr. Wasswa Birggwa and Deputy Secretary General (In Charge of Administration) Harold Kaija were also arrested.
In a statement issued this afternoon, TDA deputy spokesperson Sheila Kawamala, says there can never be free and fair elections unless agencies of state such as the police and the Electoral Commission conduct their work in a non-partisan manner.
She adds that all political actors must have the freedom to recruit supporters and sell their policies to the public.
She further explains that FDC is a member of TDA in good standing. Dr. Kizza Besigye is a flag bearer of FDC and an eminent person in the Summit who deserves to be respected.
“The humiliation of FDC supporters is a humiliation to all of us. The FDC and other political parties have already demonstrated a track record of holding peaceful public rallies and events. It is only the Uganda
police that continue to import violence into these public gatherings”, the statement reads in part.
However, according to Rwizi Regional Police Commander, Hillary Kulaigye the rally was stopped because it is not yet time for campaigns. According to the Daily Monitor, the Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura also warned on Friday that Dr. Besigye’s programme could not be held as proposed, because communication from the FDC did not amount to notice within the meaning of section 5 of the Public Order Management Act.
Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission too has spoken out in reference to FDC countrywide campaign rallies, saying such activities can only take place after presidential nominations on 3rd & 4th November 2015.
Story By Catherine Ageno