News and Views

Police block Besigye from going to Kabale

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For more than two hours Mbarara High Street echoed with crack of gun and tear gas as regular and military police battled hundreds of Forum for Democratic Change supporters who came to rescue Dr Kizza Besigye after he had been besieged by security agencies in an attempt to block him from travelling to Kabale.

Dr Besigye accompanied by FDC Youth leader Mr Francis Mwijukye was travelling to Kabale to attend a service in tribute to Late John William Bagorogoza, his family friend and father- in -law to businessman Mr James Musinguzi Garuga.

At around 10.30 they parked at United Bank of Africa on Mbarara High Street after being trailed by three police pickups with heavily armed policemen.

Immediately people surged to the area chanting “leave doctor alone.” Police then fired tear gas to scare away the increasing number of supporters. But this instead rallied more supporters who mobbed Dr Besigye’s car.

More police was deployed. FDC supporters then reiterated to police which was firing tear gas and bullets by pelting them with stones. Business closed and the whole town centre was engulfed in chaos.

Dr Besigye remained in his car. He decided not proceed saying he was uncertain what lays ahead in his journey. He also questioned police why they had blocked him. After about an hour of cat and mouth spectacle military police was deployed. It ran across the streets beating people and firing bullets. Two Mambas roamed the streets.

In the ensuing drama, un identified man was hit with a stick by a security guard at United Bank of Africa in an attempt to secure the premises.

Several vehicles which had been left parked on the streets were hit by the irate supporters. After the standoff which last for about two and a half hours Dr Besigye accepted to proceed after the Acting Mbarara DPC Mr Denis Anywar promised to escort him on his journey.

He sat together with Dr Besigye and in company of about five police pickups full of policemen they drove through the town towards Kabale direction.

After about 15 kilometers on Mbarara Kabale road Mr Anywar told Dr Besigye he wants to go back and asked the driver to stop such that he disembarks. But Dr Besigye insisted on going with him since he had promised to escort him. But finally the DPC was left to go back. Police stopped following him.

Dr Besigye said he met three police road blocks between Masaka and Mbarara all targeting him. “I begun sensing this at Kinoni, after Masaka, I met a police road block. Policemen told me that they need to search my vehicle, which they did. After Lyantonde there was another road block to search my vehicle, there was another road block at Biharwe,” Dr Besigye told.

He added, “Near Makenke barracks a 99 police vehicle drove past us. Towards Agip Motel they blocked me and a policeman came over and I asked him what they are doing, they then trailed and surrounded me as I entered the High Street.”

Mr Anywar blamed Dr Besigye for the riots. “It is Besiggye who started it by stopping in town,” he said.

But Dr Besigye said, “I did not do it will fully, its police which blocked me.” He added that police instead of doing the work it is mandated to do is serving the ruling NRM.

“People are dying on roads due to accidents, people are dying at the hands of robbers with iron bars but police is not giving attention to that, it is running after Besigye who has never broken any law,” he said.

Dr Besigye added: “I am fed up somebody surly should tell me what rights I have in this country.”

He said Ugandans should liberate themselves from tyranny. “We have a rogue regime which we must liberate ourselves from. This can be done by an empowered population. If they have the will guns will not stop them from liberating the country,” Dr Besigye told journalists.



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