Wednesday, October 19 2011
On Tuesday morning the FDC leader's house was surrounded by police officers to ensure that he does not walk to work. Dr. Kizza Besigye opted to using a short cut behind the house but the police was able to catch up with him and a mini scuffled ensued.
Residents had now started pelting the police with stones who in turn retaliated with the now popular 'pink spray'. He was later taken to Kasangati Police station where he was held for a while and later released. This is the second day for A4C but surprisingly the leader and also Masaka MP Mathias Mpuuga was no where to be seen.
Monday, October 17 2011
The President has come out strongly to warn a group calling themselves Activists for Change (A4C) and urged them not to disrupt the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) Exams that are starting today. Last week, Activists for Change (A4C) announced the second phase of the walk to work complaining that the economy is biting, and the reasons for the first phase protests have also not materialized.
Unfortunately, the protests this time will coincide with the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) Exams for both O and A level which start today. This move forced the President to hold a second press conference in just one week.
"I am warning them. They will only disrupt themselves not the exams. We won't tolerate anybody disrupting exams. Nobody should deceive themselves that they will disrupt exams. We won't tolerate it," a visibly charged President said.
Meanwhile, vendors who were evicted off the streets of Kampala announced that they will be joining those walking to work. The police through Mr. Asan Kasingye has however said they will not tolerate any form of violence and have heavily deployed police officers to avert any situation.
Related: Walk To Work
Saturday, May 07 2011
Opposition leader Kizza Besigye has been discharged from the Nairobi Hospital where he has been since his brutal arrest. In his words he said that; "I was looked after very very well by the Nairobi Hospital and I think I have recovered much faster than I expected."
He added that he will be coming home shortly after a few days out of hospital and will be back to Kampala this coming week. "The doctors feel that there are some examinations they are not able to conclusively determine here and they advised that it would be better to use other centres and those arrangements will be made in the near future."
He was addressing Kenyan journalists in the company of his wife Winnie Byanyima. Meanwhile his Opposition counterparts are planning a joint rally at the constitutional square which the police is insisting it will not entertain for the safety of the members of the public.
Friday, April 29 2011
As the rest of the world was glued to the Royal Wedding, In Kampala, it was a day of chaos. Gun shots, tear gas, police and military pick-ups were the order of the day for a greater part of Friday.
Riots started from Kisekka market and later spread to other parts of the city. Demonstrators were pelting the police with stones. Kisekka market was littered with burning tyres.
Police together with the military police took over forcing all the shops to close as many took off for safety. It is likely that these demonstrations were sparked off by the way Dr. Kizza Besigye's car was smashed and later arrested in Wandegeya on Thursday.
Kampala city was on fire plus other places like Kalerwe, Kasubi, Ntinda with all roads blocked and tyres being burnt in all these places. This paralysed transport to and from Kampala city leaving many passengers stranded.
Red Cross ambulance vehicles were plying on most routes in search for the wounded. In Mulago Hospital, It was a bee hive of activity with increasing numbers of those that were either suffocating from the tear gas or injured as a result of the scuffle.
The fracas left two dead and many injured. Several arrests were made in the process.
Meanwhile, the opposition leader's condition has still not improved leading to his being transferred to Nairobi for further medical attention. At the airport, security operatives held him for an hour before he was cleared to go. He was accompanied by his personal doctor. He left aboard KQ 414 to Nairobi hospital. He is still in pain on his right ear and eyes according to his personal doctor.
By 3:00pm Kampala shops were still closed and the city deserted. A number of passengers were seen waiting for commuter taxis that had long stopped operations. The police tried to clear the mess and unblocked the roads as much as possible.
Thursday, April 28 2011
The opposition leader was released on Wednesday after spending a week in Nakasongola prison where DP's Mao is still being held. The FDC leader was being driven in his white Land Cruiser when the police stopped him and other aides. According to Besigye; he was heading to his bank in Wandegeya to withdraw money for his upkeep.
The regional police officer asked him to take to the Kitante route that was less congested and this is where they disagreed. The police smashed the car windows, sprayed liquid tear gas on the occupants of the car, beat up all his aides who were moving with him in the car as they dragged him to a waiting police pick up.
Some of his supporters at the scene started throwing stones at the police which reacted by shooting in the air to disperse the crowd. Many were injured in the process. Meanwhile, he was released yesterday on bail and among others, he was told not to cause any chaos or he pays Shs 50m in fines.
He was taken to Kasangati Police Station and produced later in court. Beatrice Anywar (Kitgum woman MP) broke down as she was explaining to the house; “This is a black day for me. I could not believe what I saw. It was like a film. It hurts to treat us like that yet we are supposed to meet next week for a dialogue.”
Friday, April 22 2011
The previous night, DP's Mao had been transferred to Nakasongola prison though back at the DP headquarters located on the City House building, a group of young democrats had started walking to Luzira prison to go and check on their leader.
Police did not even allow them to think about it. The moment they started the walk, anti-riot police together with tear gas vehicles dispersed the group with tear gas around the City House building paralysing business in that area.
For several hours,offices, shops and movements around that area were affected. Mineral water bottles and hankies had instantly become a booming business because there was no way the tear gas would not work on you if you passed that area. The tear gas could pierce your eyes as though they have been sprinkled with pepper, but you had to open them to be able to run for safety.
However, you could not afford to walk without covering your nose. Meanwhile, the DP members have warned that that was just the beginning and Tuesday they will start from where they stopped. Good Friday has been generally peaceful.
Thursday, April 21 2011
It was the fourth attempt of the walk-to-work campaign when Dr. Besigye hit the road to his office in Najjanakumbi. This attempt was different because he left his home driving the his landcruiser.
The vehicle ran out of fuel at Kubiiri in Mulago. He opened the door and resorted to walking for the rest of the journey. This is when supporters surrounded him and started walking towards town.
Police swung into action and a mini scuffle ensued as supporters were trying to resist the police from arresting Dr. Kizza Besigye. The police later got hold of him to a police van that took him to Wandegeya police.
He was held briefly a Wandegeya police before heading to Nabweru court that was tightly guarded. He was charged with holding an unlawful assembly. Pleas by his lawyer in demanding for bail did not add up to much as the judge was engaged with other work and therefore not able to review Dr. Besigye's bail application in time.
He was remanded to Nakasongola prison where he will join DP's Norbert Mao who was transferred from Luzira to ensure his safety. Dr. Besigye will return to court on April 27.
Thursday, April 21 2011
Dr. Kizza Besigye has been arrested for the fourth time as he drove to his office. His car was surrounded by his supporters leaving the police with no choice but to have him arrested and use tear gas to disperse the huge crowd.
Most schools are getting their holidays today so some parents requested Dr. Besigye not to walk to work this Thursday for the sake of their children and he obliged by driving, though it is not clear what pace his car was moving at the time of the arrest.
He is being held at Wandegeya police station. Details of the arrest will be availed as and when they are made available.
Meanwhile, the media has been warned over live broadcast of the walk to work demos which are being perceived as being one sided. The assumption is that, they show the police quelling demonstrators but not what causes the police to react.
During Easter, large groups of faithful people walk with the cross to various places but it's not clear if the Easter walk won't be mixed with those walking to protest the high fuel prices.
More Walk to Work Stories
Monday, April 18 2011
A total of 98 people have been arrested in relation to the walk-to-work related chaos as confirmed by the police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba during a press birefing in Kampala on Monday.
Unlike other days, Besigye was this time violent as they bundled him on to the police pick-up. He had not moved a long distance from his home before the police intercepted his walk-to-work protesting the high prices of fuel and other food stuffs.
He was produced in court on Monday afternoon where he was later released on a non cash bail of Shs 10mn. In areas like Bweyogerere, Kireka and Banda, it was a nasty scene as roads were blocked with burning tyres, stone throwing at the police that was retaliating with tear gas carnisters and shooting to disperse crowd that had become rowdy.
Over 90Kms away from Kampala, it was another serious battle as police tried to unblock the road in Bugembe that had been blocked by demonstrators who were joining those protesting the high fuel. They even got the extent of stopping commuter taxis forcing passengers out to join them in the protests.
Norbert Mao(DP) was produced before a KCC Magistrate Court and six others but he rejected bail saying that even the following day, he will be arrested so he was better off staying in prison.
He was sent to Luzira prison where he will spend 2 weeks and return to court on May 2. UPC's Olara Otunnu was equally arrested and produced before a Nakawa court magistrate who released him on a court bond.
Meanwhile, opposition activists have stood their ground and promised to continue with the walk-to-work protests which will be held every Monday and Thursday.
Sunday, April 17 2011
The opposition leader Col. Kizza Besigye walked safely from his Kasangati home to Gayaza church without being intercepted on Palm Sunday. He was joined by his supporters who kept on increasing in number.
This was the first successful walk after the Monday and Thursday walk to work protests turned bloody. In the Monday walk, he sat by the roadside for two hours and in the Thursday walk, he went to a road trench to avoid being arrested though as the Military Police came in to back up the police force, he sustained an injury on one of his fingers.
The police was on standby though they did not do anything to Dr.Kizza Besigye who kept on waiving a bible that he was holding to some of his supporters. In the church, they prayed for him to heal fast from his hand injuries.
At the end of the church service, he went ahead and briefed a gathering outside the church and promised to walk again on Monday morning taking the same route like he has been doing in the last failed two attempts.
The President was addressing some journalists in Rwakitura and was very clear walking to work in Kampala was not going to take place and here is the opposition leader who already has one of his arms bandaged insisting that the walking is on.
This simply means, the running battles will still be on and probably worse than what has already been experienced because the President broke the silence and came out clear on the demonstrations which he clearly said were just not acceptable.
Saturday, April 16 2011
He gave an example of the press briefing he was conducting and asked the journalists if any of them were hurt or being tear gassed as a result of his briefing, he argued the opposition to carry out similar ways to echo their message as opposed to disrupting people going about their chores.
On Friday, police was once again involved in running battles in two separate places. Makerere students were on strike over allegations of a hike in tuition fees forcing the police to seal off areas around the university.
Off Entebbe road in Nyanama, workers protesting poor pay took advantage of the situation to protest poor pay given the inflation being faced in the country at the moment. Police swung into action and asked them to refer the matter to their company leaders as opposed to running to the streets.
With the riots that have been witnessed in Kampala, Masaka and Gulu more so over fuel prices which appear to be a global issue, for a country that has just had elections not in any way comparable to Ivory Coast, Uganda at large is safe.
The President assured the general public that there will be no problem on Monday because there will be no riots as they have devised means to go about it.
"This nonsense of Besigye demonstrating will not happen. How will it bring the prices of commodities down. On the contrary it increases the prices because some people who would like to transport the food will not fearing their cars will be burnt...."
So protesters should stand warned before getting to the streets on Monday. Meanwhile, the president was responding to a question from one journalist who was inquiring about when he will retire; he simply referred him to search on Shimon Peres but also added that if the February elections were free and fair, why should he retire.
The better question should have been why should he retire as opposed to when he should retire.
Thursday, April 14 2011
The Action for Change (A4C) announced Thursday as the second day for the walk-to-work campaign protesting the high prices of fuel and other food stuffs. The opposition leader Kizza Besigye set of off with his journey at 6:15AM but like it was the case on Monday, he was again intercepted.
He did not sit by the road side this time but instead went to a trench besides the road where he spent two hours among others communicating on his cell phone surrounded by his supporters to stop the police from arresting him.
The police later managed to force it's way to the trench getting Kizza Besigye(KB) out of the trench as stones and tear gas were the order of the moment. Burning of tyres followed in areas around the scuffle.
Besigye later over powered the police and continued with the walk to town but it was not necessarily over powering. Police was instead calling for back up and within minutes of walking, Military police was deployed to help the police contain the situation.
Areas around Kalerwe were a scene of anti-riot police trying to clear roads that had been blocked by protesters and arresting all those who were suspected to be behind the stone throwing and tyre burning. Mothers and young kids were seen crying for help from the effects of tear gas as other kids were being rushed to waiting Red Cross Ambulances.
It later turned out that Besigye's right hand had been hurt with what he(Besigye) termed as a rubber bullet but the police through it's spokesperson was not quick to admit that it was a rubber bullet and preferred to wait for the doctor's report on what the cause of the injury could have been. He was rushed to Kampala hospital to nurse the hand injury.
In Jinja, a tear gas truck was deflated after rioters put nails in it's way forcing the police to resort to a fire brigade to quell the situation.
Several Arrests Made
Odonga Otto survived being arrested for the second time and yet this time he was even donning a t-shirt with words "Freedom-Walk to Work". On being interviewed at Parliament, he wondered why other opposition activists were being arrested.
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