Uganda’s main opposition leader Dr Kizz Besigye loses his sight

By Nangayi Guyson – Kampala-Uganda’s main opposition leader Dr Kizz  Besigye who have been  so far arrested four times over fuel and  food high prices, has lost his sight, his sister, Dr Olive Kobusinye, said.

Dr Kizza Besigye

Dr Kizza Besigye

His sister, Dr Olive Kobusinye, said the extent of damage to Dr Besigye’s sight could only be ascertained by an eye specialist. “As of now he cannot see. He has difficulty in breathing and his skin is burning due to the pepper he was sprayed with,” she said.

Opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye was violently again arrested and detained on Thursday in relation to the walk-to-work campaign against high fuel prices but later released on bond  of Shs5 million not cash until May 2 when he will appear in court to take his plea.


The release comes after Besigye’s lawyer, Mr David Mpanga, told court that his client was “unwell and cannot take plea today” after a very violent arrest “characterised by spraying him with tear gas and other obnoxious spray”.

Mr Mpanga argued the court under Nabweru Chief Magistrate Justine Atukwasa, who last week refused to entertain Dr Besigye’s bail application saying she was busy, and who had released him on stiff bail terms at Nakasongola Court 24 hours earlier and  was again in charge that, “It is our submission your worship that A1 (Besigye) cannot see, cannot talk … so he has not given me any instructions and our prayer is that because of his health condition, this court exercises its discretion under section 65 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act and release him on court bond without sureties to ensure his attendance.”


Besigye’s four time brutal  arrest.


Opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye was violently arrested again by Soldiers, police and military intelligence personnel who  used sledge hammers, batons, gun butts and all sorts of implements to vandalise the opposition leader’s car. He was dragged out of his badly damaged vehicle at approximately 10.46 a.m. and slammed into a waiting police transport which sped off to an unknown destination. It is not clear why Dr Besigye who was not walking was accosted by the armed men. Security personnel fought  running battles with civilians in the Mulago-Wandegeya area. Scores were injured.

Dr Besigye appears to have sustained injuries in the melee which also left one of his aides bleeding profusely from a head wound. International media and observers from foreign missions on the scene were seen capturing the events as they unfolded

Further proof of the retired colonel’s poor health was his failure to address the gathered press as he usually does. He hobbled to a waiting black Mercedes Benz and was driven off.

How it all came about?

A full statement from the department of public relations, corporate communications and media says that,

On April 27, 2011 after Dr. Kizza Besigye was given bail, he tried to drive to Kampala but he was stopped by the Police at Kawempe, Kuttano and diverted to use an alternative route up to his residence.

He then proceeded to his home with a crowd from where he addressed journalists, saying come rain or shine he will walk today (Thursday).

On Thursday morning, he got out of his gate to walk with a crowd but was stopped.
He decided to use his vehicle with a seven-car convoy behind him.

When he arrived at Kalerwe, he came out of his roof top and waved the FDC sign. He attracted some people with whom he proceeded to Kubbiri round -about but was blocked. When the crowd were asked to disperse, they complied.

Besigye then wanted to go to Bombo Road but when the Police guided him to use Yusuf Lule Road, he refused. The Police was patient for one-and-a -half hours as they tried to negotiate with him to restrain his supporters as they were trying to get him to use an alternative route.

He went to Mulago round-about but by this time, he had attracted a crowd and started throwing stones at the Police. The situation got out of hand as he locked himself inside his car. The Police arrested him from his car and took him to Kasangati Court.

He was arrested together with Fred Kato, Robert Kavuma, Sam Mugumya, Geofrey Kalanzi, Francis Mwijukye and Martin Byomuhangi forunlawful assembly and assault of Police officers.  He is expected to appear in court on May 2 with other oppositions detained.