Police in Kampala have foiled a spirited protest by opposition strongman Dr Kizza Besigye over increasing prices of essential commodities.
The People’s Front for Transition leader and Forum for Democratic Change member was arrested and bundled onto a police pick van on Monday morning after he staged a demonstration dubbed “Muzuukuke” meaning “Wake Up”.
Besigye first held a media briefing from his residence in Kasangati , Wakiso district where he accused the government of doing nothing while the majority of Ugandans languished in poverty.
He pinned President Yoweri Museveni for giving a blank speech instead of offering concrete solutions in these hard economic situations.
“We are on our own and therefore, we must find our own solutions to the crisis we face, Ugandans should wake up,” Besigye said.
He then proceeded to move outside, where he was greeted by an army of security officers who blocked him from moving beyond his gate.
Clad in his hooded checked shirt, Besigye , in the company of a few colleagues, marched past the gate but was soon halted by the security officers. He tried to resist and move past the armed officers in vain,
After moments of putting up a fight, Besigye was lifted by over five police officers onto a police van and locked up.
In response to his arrest, Kampala Metropolitan deputy police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire says Besigye is not under arrest but restrained after scuffle with police officers.
” We had to block him and in the process of blocking him there was a physical altercation with our officers leading to his restraint. He is not under arrest but we are monitoring his movements.” he says
However, the People’s Front for Transition, posted a tweet saying police are acting like criminals in arresting Besigye.
“Holding him at home will not solve the economic crisis we face, a crisis started by Mr. Museveni regime. No turning back. Muzuukuke campaign continues,” the Front said in a tweet.
The President while addressing the nation on Sunday May 22, made it clear that the government will not in any way interfere with market forces in the face of escalating commodity prices, as this will be suicidal for the economy.
The President emphasized that subsidies and tax waivers on both imports and locally manufactured goods will not be enforced because it would lead the country into heavy tax loss.
“The tax loss would cripple our budget and the planned developments. Moreover, the removal of taxes on some of the commodities, would mean tax loss to Government of: Ugx. 1.53 trillion for petroleum, Ugx. 1.15 trillion for diesel, Ugx. 520 billion for wheat. How, then, do we fund our budget for – roads, electricity, schools, medicine, security, etc.? There are items we do not tax – eg. Medicine, raw materials, etc. It is, therefore, not true that we tax everything.” He said on Sunday
Last week the People’s Front for Transition leader who had been under house arrest for six days was arrested again after he decided to hit the streets of Kampala on Thursday morning in protest of high commodity prices.
Besigye, embarked on a rather dramatic journey in the same fenced car from Kasangati to Kampala- Gayaza road where he has been stopped by security forces and arrested for another eight hours.