The home of the Ugandan opposition strongman, Dr. Kizza Besigye, has been under siege since Thursday morning when police tried to thwart his attempt to stage a protest over the rising cost of living and an alleged political succession plan.
Last week, four-time presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni declared that he has been in power since 1986 that he will take to the streets to protest the government’s inaction on high commodity prices.
Dr. Besigye said his new initiative aims to wake up Ugandans. Carrying placards reading “We can’t breathe, lower the cost of living” and “Transition now, not succession,” the veteran opposition leader set off for Kampala from his home in Kasangati, Wakiso district, on Thursday morning.
< p>However, he was intercepted by riot police just moments after speaking to journalists about his new campaign, which he described as a wake-up call for all citizens to take back their land.
He also wanted a demonstration against Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s much-hyped succession plan – it has long been rumored that the First Son was poised to succeed his father, President Museveni. Kainerugaba appeared to confirm the suspicions last month after hinting that he had a political plan that he would release “soon”.
By the time of printing, the home of Dr. Besigye is still surrounded by police.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Luke Owoyesigire told The EastAfrican that police were informed late that night that Dr. Besigye was planning a demonstration in Kampala because of rising commodity prices and they had to intervene.
“What we know about many of his demonstrations and his defiance, he didn’t go through the normal procedures of the Public Order Management Act so we had to prevent him from entering the city center with anyone else who was with him and he was returned to his home,” he said Notify police and ask permission before carrying out any form of demonstration. However, most of these requests are rejected, which subsequently leads to fighting between protesters and police.
Read:The death toll in clashes in Uganda rises to 29
The police spokesman added that security forces would remain on site until they felt Dr. Besigye is no longer a threat.
Mr Owoyesigire said police have arrested a person accused of hitting a nearby squad car and he would be charged with reckless driving.Dr. Besigye was prevented from walking from his home in the town of Kasangati, some 12 km from Kampala, in a recreation of his famous 2011 protests on foot came to work against the backdrop of the federal election. The 2011 protests against the harsh economic situation caused by wild election spending, despite being brutally repressed by both the military and police, spread across many parts of the country, leaving five dead, scores injured and hundreds in prisons.
Dr. Besigye was nearly blinded with wasp spray and routinely beaten by police.
Read (from the archives):Can’t walk, drive or fly ? So why is the star of Besigye rising?