Uganda: Opposition Leader Besigye Arrested Again


Uganda’s main opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested on Tuesday, hours after leaving his home.

The former presidential candidate had been under house arrest for more than a month until police withdrew from his residence on Saturday. Police say he has been charged with participating in an unlawful procession, despite being told he was free to leave his home and join meetings at his party headquarters.


Besigye proved right

Besigye told reporters over the weekend he was skeptical about the withdrawal of police officers from his home.

“I don’t believe they have fully released me. In fact, I have been told that some of them are still monitoring me but from a distance,” he said.

The opposition leader was proven right only a few days later when supporters joined his procession on the outskirts of Kampala, prompting his arrest.


Besigye followers frustrated

Besigye supporters are increasingly voicing their frustration over the regular detention of their leader. The popular politician was routinely arrested during election campaigns in the build-up to February’s polls. President Museveni won the election with 60 percent of the votes while Besigye came in second with 35 percent.

The opposition leader claimed there were irregularities in the polling process, but his house arrest prevented him from contesting the result in court before the deadline had passed. Besigye has vowed to carry on fighting the results, but his supporters are growing increasingly frustrated with the country’s political landscape.

“We feel as if we are living in a country which is not ours. We really feel that this country is being owned by one person, and that is President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. We think that this country is for him and his family members,” one supporter is quoted by VOA news.

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.