Apart from the yellow prisons uniform, incarcerated opposition leader Kizza Besigye is being treated as a Very Important Person [VIP] at Luzira maximum prison.
Besigye will stay in prison until June 1 having been remanded by Nakawa Chief Magistrates Court on treason charges.
He is accused of trying to sabotage President Yoweri Museveni’s swearing in ceremony and declaring as well as swearing himself in as the people’s president.
While his crime could attract a death sentence on conviction, Besigye is being treated very well at Luzira for the time being.
On Thursday, his wife Winnie Byanyima visited him and reported that his health was just fine.
Winnie also said Besigye prepares and eats his own special meals at Luzira prison.
“He is in the cell with two others. They cook their own food and eat together. He wears a yellow prisoner uniform but strong physically and in will,” she said after the visit.
Besigye was granted permission to cook his own food while in Luzira prison, according to Uganda Prison Service Spokesperson Frank Baine, after raising fears that he could be poisoned.
Byanyima will be delivering raw food to him to enable him prepare his own meals.
Baine says Besigye will also have access to a television set and a radio within his prison cell.
Baine says since the prison department is equally constrained to provide special meals under the circumstances, they agreed to an arrangement warranting preferential treatment to Dr Besigye and a few other inmates who reported health complications.
At the start of the weekend, FDC president Mugisha Muntu also visited Besigye after other leaders like Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and FDC spokesperson Semujju Nganda had paid him a visit.
Images from Muntu’s visit show that Besigye was accorded his own special parlour with comfortable sofa seats to entertain his guests.
He is also allowed special time to talk to his wife Winnie on phone anytime by the Prison Commissioner.
Winnie says hundreds of Ugandans are trekking to Luzira daily to see Besigye which has strengthened opposition solidarity.
Meeting party leaders who visited him this week, Besigye said opposition will continue with the fight for rights and freedoms of the oppressed.
“Go and continue our struggle to free these Ugandans,” Besigye told the party leaders.
Talking to press after, Nganda warned government that jailing Besigye will frustrate him.
“This is a man who spent four years in the bush during the war (1981 to 1986). So he is used to harsh and actual conditions,” Nganda said.