Uganda: Opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye’s return shakens national security

Nangayi Guyson In Kampala Uganda – NAIROBI– Uganda main opposition Dr Kizza Besigye’s return from Kenya shakes national security as his return is blocked.

Dr Kizza Besigye

Dr Kizza Besigye

Dr Kizza Besigye, is stuck at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Kenya after he was stopped from boarding a Kenya Airways flight to Uganda Wednesday morning.

The Kenya airline’s officials told Dr Besigye that they were informed by Ugandan authorities that if he was on board the morning flight the aircraft would not be allowed to land at Entebbe International Airport, 40 km outside Kampala but the Ugandan government has denied that they had no authority on Kenya Airways flights.

However, Internal Affairs Minister Kirunda Kivejinja said ,“If we managed to allow him to leave, how can we stop him from coming back? We had all the powers to stop him from going there after all.”

Dr Besigye was expected to arrive at 9am today from Kenya where he had gone for treatment after his brutal arrest a fortnight ago and then attend today’s planned thanksgiving prayers at Nakivubo Stadium which police denied.

According to Police, only 10 people were allowed to receive Dr Besigye at Entebbe Airport and a three-car convoy to escort him out of the airport but finally he was denied return.

Police’s struggle to retain Constitution Square

Apart from Besigye return, yesterday police struggled with other opposition  leaders and their supporters  who were trying to take over Uganda’s Constitution Square in Kampala to conduct a rally just like it has been in other countries have similar uprisings.

Police used pink water cannons to dissuade crowds, DP President Norbert Mao and Muhammed Kibirige were arrested.

Other opposition figures Olara Otunnu (UPC), Salaam Musumba (FDC) and former independent presidential candidate Walter Lubega evaded arrest, they did not escape a flood of police water spray that left them dyed pink,they  escaped arrest and relocated to UPC party headquarters at Uganda House, where they addressed the media and condemned the police action.

The Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura, later told journalists at Kampala Central Police Station from where he oversaw the operation that he was happy his men had not used teargas.

He added that the same approach will be used to dissuade crowds from jamming Entebbe Road today when FDC president KizzaBesigye returns from seeking specialised medical treatment in Nairobi, saying his entourage “will be treated like a VIP convoy”.

Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said the decision to use water cannons over tear gas was a “tactical” one. It is the first time the measure has been used by security to disperse walk-to-work protestors since demonstrations began just over one month ago.

“The colour is basically to identify people who are part of the riots,” she said. “Normally when we use tear gas we find everybody complaining ‘I wasn’t party’ – but this water targets the people who are part of the gathering, and you find that when you want to follow them up it is very easy for identification.”

Museveni’s swearing in.

President Museveni’s swearing in is tomorrow 12th May where at least seven heads of state and government have confirmed attendance of his swearing-in ceremony.

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) President, Retired Col. Dr. Kiiza Besigye is among other political opposition leaders invited by government to attend his political rival’s swearing-in ceremony.

President Yoweri Museveni has ruled out a power sharing deal with Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) President, Kizza Besigye.