Uganda’s presidential candidate Kizza Besigye arrested again

Besigye trying to make way to the venue of his rally in Kampala on Monday

Uganda’s Presidential candidate Kizza Besigye was Thursday evening arrested after he reportedly demanded the opening of a house believed to be a centre for rigging the elections.

Reports indicate that Besigye had demanded that the house at Naguru in the outskirts of Uganda’s capital Kampala be opened for inspection claiming it was being used to rig votes.

The police, however, denied the claims saying the opposition leader was not arrested but escorted to his home.

This is the second time that the former Nairobi-based doctor and President Yoweri Museveni’s fiercest rival has been arrested in three days after he was also held on Monday for attempting to access a venue where he was supposed to hold a rally in Kampala.

Prior to the polls, Besigye had urged his supporters to stay vigil and protect their votes from being “stolen”.

He urged his voters to defy the Electoral Commission’s orders prohibiting the carrying of phones to polling stations saying they should take and share photos of any suspicious activities during the elections.

Ugandan authorities on Thursday shut down social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp in what the country’s communication commission said was a plot to prevent sharing of inciting messages.

Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura had on Wednesday alluded to a possibility of shutting down social media saying he fears the influence that it has on political scape.

During the last day of the campaigns on Tuesday, Museveni had warned the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate going ahead with his plans to hold a parallel tallying centre during the February 18th polls.

Addressing National Resistance Movement (NRM) delegates, Museveni said only the Electoral Commission (EC) is mandated to hold tallying centres and announce results adding that any move by opposition candidates in such effect is tantamount to utter defiance of the law and would lead to arrest.

Meanwhile, vote tallying has began in various parts of Uganda though some voters could still be seen in queue as they stay hopeful of casting their votes.


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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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