Police in Uganda have since Monday morning been fighting running battles with demonstrators in the capital Kampala after the arrest opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye and Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, an opposition member of parliament as protests against rising fuel and commodity prices enter a third week.
Dr Besigye’s arrest is the third in the past 14 days since the walk-to-work campaign began in Kampala before spreading to other major towns. Besigye was arrested by police as he left his home in Kasangati, a city suburb to walk to work in Najjanankumbi some 20km away. He is reportedly being held at Kasangati police station.
The road entering Kampala from the eastern part of the country was reportedly blocked after angry demonstrators baliccaded the road after the arrest of Nganda as he also attempted to walk to work. The government says the walk-to-work demonstrations are politically motivated and are aimed at overthrowing the government illegally.
But Chris Obore, a Uganda political analyst and commentator says this accusation doesn’t hold any water since the issues at hand are genuine and not political. President Yoweri Museveni was this February overwhelmingly re-elected by 68% for a fourth term in office but people are wondering why the same masses have now turned against him.
Obore says current events are raising many questions about Museveni’s recent election victory. Efforts by Contact FM to speak to the Ugandan government and the opposition were futile.