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Release all Arua suspects unconditionally - Besigye

The former president of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Dr Kizza Besigye has called for the unconditional release of all politicians and civilians arrested in Arua this week. 

Among those arrested are Arua municipality MP elect Kassiano Wadri, MPs; Robert Kyagulanyi (Kyadondo East), Francis Zaake (Mityana), Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo), Paul Mwiru (Jinja East) and former Makindye East MP Mike Mabikke. 

The politicians were arrested alongside 30 others on Monday and Tuesday for allegedly obstructing the president's motorcade and pelting it with stones. Except for Kyagulanyi, the other suspects were arraigned before Gulu Magistrate's court and charged with treason and remanded to prison until August 30 when their case will come up for mention. 

The presiding magistrate didn't allow the suspects to enter plea, saying the court lacks jurisdiction on the charges brought against them. Relatedly, Kyagulanyi was later arraigned before an Army court in Gulu and charged with three counts of illegal possession of firearms. He was remanded to Makindye military barracks until August 23.

Some of the suspects

Now, Besigye has the demanded for the unconditional release of the suspects. Besigye told reporters during a press briefing at his Katonga office that the violence in Arua was state inspired and as a result many leaders were arrested and tortured, which he says must be condemned by all Ugandans.

"The people who are in detention have been detained against a background of state inspired violence. The whole idea that we now see being again choreographed in the media that people had guns should be dismissed with contempt at this stage because if there was a situation that these people were having guns, really there should have been a more transparent way. Accordingly, we demand that all those persons being detained be freed unconditionally and immediately." said Besigye. 

Besigye also dismissed the decision by the state to arraign Bobi Wine in a military court for alleged illegal gun possession, saying even if the charges were true; the case can still be tried in a civilian court.

"No civilian person should be charged and attempted to be charged in military courts. Military courts are courts of service discipline of servicemen. They are part and parcel of the hierarchy of the military service. These courts are not only formed by Mr Museveni like the civilian courts of course but these ones are subordinates to the commander-in-chief. They take orders, they have no protection of independence…even if the charges were that they had guns illegally those cases are triable also in the civil courts and there is absolutely no reason whatsoever why somebody should be arraigned in a military court." he added. 

Besigye observed that he and his wife, Winnie Byanyima have also been victims of the trumped-up charges and asked the jailed MPs to stand firm. 

"I have been charged with treason twice. I have been charged with rape, terrorism, illegal possession of guns, my wife was charged with having a pistol at home in our home in Luzira where we used to live...These trumped up charges are the rule in as far as how NRM addresses opponents and in their attempt to criminalise them." he said.

Besigye further disclosed that they have set up a team of lawyers to help secure the freedom of all those under detention and attend to their health as well to be coordinated by Kampala City Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago.

He also said that Mubarak Munyagwa, the Kawempe South MP and three other FDC officials including Mahmood Mutazindwa, Hajji Sowedi Wanyama, Musa Lukwago and others were arrested and tortured in Arua while monitoring the polls. He also said several other injured by the president's security are suffering in silence. Besigye said there are so many casualties that have not been reported.  

At least one person Yasin Kawuma, the driver of Bobi Wine was shot dead on Monday and six others are nursing bullet wounds following a confrontation between presidential guards and opposition supporters on Monday. 

Kawuma was laid to rest on Wednesday and Besigye commiserated with the families of the people in detention.

"We extend our sympathies, condolences to the family of Yasin who lost his life and certainly to the families of those who are in detention to encourage them to remain strong because that is what freeing this country entails. They need to remain strong and supportive of those who are in detention." said Besigye. 


-1 #11 Wooden K. 2018-08-18 12:21
Mwanainchi , your twin is already here spreading love.

I agree with you . If all comments were as fine-tuned as yours , Obsever would get a Nobel prize.

We have hooligans here you see . They abuse and use uncouth language.

You and Mama Mia should start a church and save OBSERVER .
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+1 #12 Wanaichi 2018-08-19 01:49
@ Wooden K.Akot.Lakwrna and other pigs who moan and groan from day My question,six million dollars worth.Ready?

How come from day to day from year to year you write such bullshit and nonsense and spread lies and hate about Uganda? You are offering Nobel price to Observer,?

You are lucky not to be in Egypt or Turkey. Long time you would be caught if you are there. If you are not, and I guess you are,you cannot be apprehended by Uganda Government for spreading hate and malicious propaganda

Now that there are some Mama Mia,Wainanchi and other people who disagree with you are annoyed and Mick us up.

Hoe about millions of Ugandans who live their lives happy and free and who do not have computers like you?

Who is chopping heads of innocent civilians ? is it Museveni and his Army or you thugs who support terorrosts and infiltrated ISIS murderers who are brought into Ugandanda by your concerned friends.
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+1 #13 Wanaichi 2018-08-19 01:55
Who killed our devoted and good cadre Abiriga? Where are your comments about that and were you happy that the innocent and good politician ,patriot was killed?

Now.Aim of your " concerned friends" from Norway embassy and others is to support terrorism and killers.

They will not succeeded. Wr shall fight you thugs and pigs on the beaches in the streets cities ...famous Sir Winston Churchill slogans.

Do come and face Uganda and gallant Uganda Army ,Police and Wainanchi of whom I am one ready and waiting.Do try my Uganda tea and hospitality.

Rotten in hell pigs and killers.Neers neera Your Excellence Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.Wr are waiting for your divisions to defeat all those pigs and killers.
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0 #14 Wooden K. 2018-08-19 12:01
Good afternoon Wanainchi ( Mwanaichi )

Calm down ! There is no need to get worked up here. You want to fight and kill pigs , this is not the right place to do it. Go to Lubaga and switch off Zaake`s life machine.

Should you chose to stay here , get used to some of us.

Me , I come with my own class and refuse to role in mud. I do not spread hatred ; I only comment when real haters pretend to be healers , when the "brave" act like cowards; when arsonists pose as fire-fighters.
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0 #15 Wooden K. 2018-08-19 12:07
Comrade Mwainchi , I have been here for a while you see.
So I know that the people who hated Life President Idd Amin and Nyamurunga Obote were not actually "pigs".

I know that those who went to Luweero to fight Obote did not do it just because they were "thugs".

I also know that Amin and Obote chopped off heads like they do it in your Egypt. Makindye has always been there to cleanse Uganda of "rotten pigs".

If to believe you , the job is not yet to be completed.
You seem pumped up for more slaughter .

Guess what , among the men who Amin and Obote called "terrorists" was the man you now call Your Excellence Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

Think !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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