Uganda Diaspora P10 (UG-DP10), a pressure group of Ugandans resident abroad and a major stakeholder in the social, political and economic development of Uganda, has condemned the manhandling of Kizza Besigye by the military.
On the 3rd of October 2016 at exactly 8:15 Dr. Besigye returned home after a month abroad on international duties.
The supporters of Dr. Besigye were in high anticipation, as free citizens, to welcome their hero, a man they continue to view as the legitimately elected President of Uganda.
According to Jackie Oloya, the Chairperson Uganda Diaspora P10, security agencies waylaid the Besigye from the plane, abducted him with excessive force, and drove him at high speed to the old airport, and then to his home so that his supporters do not catch a glimpse of their President.
“This is a demonstrated act of cowardice, and a confirmation that indeed, the coercive arm of this government is the one imposing this regime on the people of Uganda.”
He says Dr. Besigye’s homecoming events stirred panic and disconcert among the security agencies.
“The reaction of the state was typical, a vagrant of violations of the fundamental rights of the people`s president Dr.Kizza Besigye and it must be condemned by Ugandans and members of the international community.”
According to Oloya, Ugandans have the right to organize and to associate.
“Due permission was formally sought for as guided by the draconian Public Management Act and it was duly granted by the police on 27th -09-2016.”
On the eventual day, members of the people’s cabinet including the Lord Mayor of Kampala, Erias Lukwago were humiliated by the airport authorities while they eagerly waited outside the airport to receive the People’s President.
Unknown to them, Dr. Kizza Besigye was already whisked away from the airport ramp and driven off under heavy military convey.
“The police didn’t stop at only violating the rights of the people’s president, this extended to the party headquarters,” Oloya said.
He noted that Police forcefully dispersed a prearranged welcome meeting that was to be addressed by Dr. Besigye.
The police cordoned the premises and kept a police chopper hovering over the premises to intimidate FDC supporters, while the blocked anyone from entering or exiting FDC premises on Entebbe Road.
Along the way, the police arrested over 50 activists for taking part in an activity to welcome Dr. Kizza Besigye.
” This, to us imply that the state has continued to restrict the political space for ordinary Ugandans to exercise their freedom of association, of assembly and even for intellectual development.”
He added: “The state of Uganda must come to term that their attempt to superimpose Museveni in the hearts and minds of Ugandans is an attempt in futility.”
Oloya says in February of 2016, the People`s President, Dr. Besigye won the elections with a landslide and only a military coup stopped him.
He described Dr Besigye as a symbol of a protracted struggle against dictatorship, which Ugandans identify with.
“Therefore, no amount of patronization or use of instruments of oppression and repression of the people, shall derail or deter them from seeking their desire for freedom, equality and democracy.”
He said Uganda Diaspora P10 will continue to lobby and engage with the development partners of the Uganda people to snub the dictatorship in Uganda on the account of its human rights violation.
“Democracy is not all about regular and botched elections. It is about the preceding conditions of freedom, where people are at unfettered liberty to organize, debate, associate, and move freely without any censures and intimidation.”
He said the conduct of the State towards Dr. Besigye is a sign that Uganda lacks a commitment to democracy, protection of human rights and rule of law.
“We appeal to the African Union Commission for Humans and People’s Rights, the Human Global Rights based agencies and the developmental partners to take actions towards restraining this dictatorship from continued violation of people’s rights in Uganda.”