Uganda: Opposition MPs Walk Out on Museveni
Two opposition MPs stormed out of a conference on Tuesday in the middle of President Yoweri Museveni’s State-of-the-Nation address.
The MPs began waving signs with messages calling for the release of opposition leader Kizza Besigye, as the president started talking about illegal fishing in the country. Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga quickly called for order and asked the MPs to lower their signs. The MPs then proceeded to walk out.
Calls for Besigye’s release
The two MPs in question were Makindye West MP Allan Ssewanyana of the Democratic Party and Kawempe South MP Mubarak Munyagwa of the Forum for Democratic Change.
They walked out after the president declared that all Ugandans are intelligent enough to know the difference between right and wrong. His comments came after raising the topic of illegal fishing in Uganda and a number of new measures to curb the activity.
However, the president was interrupted by the display of placards calling for the release of his biggest opponent. A brief murmur from the audience was quickly silenced by Ms Rebecca Kadaga and the president simply carried on with his address.
Kizza faces next court hearing
Uganda’s main opposition leader Kizza Besigye is currently being tried for treason. He was arrested last month for his alleged involvement in a fake swearing in ceremony declaring him as Uganda’s president – a day before Museveni’s official swearing in.
He was promptly arrested during the event and later charged with two counts of treason. Treason is a capital offence in Uganda but the death penalty hasn’t been carried out in the country for years. This isn’t the first time Besigye has been charged with treason either – the same charges were brought against him in 2005 but were eventually dropped. The opposition leader is due in court for his next hearing today.
By Russell Watkins/Department for International Development, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21292558