UGANDA: DICTATOR MUSEVENI PANICS OVER LIFE PRESIDENCY, SLUMPS ‘TREASON’ CHARGES ON OPOSITION MPS

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MPs heading for remand to Gulu Central Prison inside a prison lorry

“We call for the unconditional release of our colleagues arrested in Arua. We also urge religious leaders, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the International Community to join us in the struggle of ending the violations of human rights”

“As a country, we have to put our foot down and say enough is enough. An attack on one of us is attack on all of us. Uganda belongs to all of us. It is not somebody’s property”

GULU-UGANDA: The new Leader of Opposition (LOP) in Uganda, Ms. Betty Aol- Ocan, has called on General Museveni to ‘unconditionally release all the Members of Parliament and thirty others’ arrested by the Special Force Command (SFC) on Monday, August 13, 2018, and slumped with treason charges after the last campaigns in the by-election of Arua Municipality, northwest.

“We call for the unconditional release of our colleagues arrested in Arua. We also urge religious leaders, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the International Community to join us in the struggle of ending the violations of human rights”, State owned New Vision daily of Thursday, August 16, 2018 quotes Ms. Aol Ocan.

The seat fell vacant after its Member of Parliament (MP), Major Ibrahim Abiriga and his escort/brother were gunned down by unknown assassins on motorbikes on June 8, 2018 as they were going back home on the suburb of Kampala in the evening.

The MPs are Mr. Zaake Francis of Mityana Municipality, Mr. Mwiru Paul of Jinja Municipality, Mr. Karuhanga Gerald of Ntungamo Municipality and Mr. Ezati Wadri Kassiano, the MP elect of Arua Municipality.

The legislators had accompanied one of the most popular legislators at the moment, Mr. Sentamu Kyagulanyi Robert, also known by his musical stage name as Bobi Wine, to campaign in the by-election for the Independent candidate-Mr. Wadri.

Reports from Arua say Bobi Wine pulled more crowds on the last day of campaigns on Monday August 13, 2018, than the crowds of General Museveni and that of Dr. Kiiza Besigye combined. The three heavy weights were in Arua to campaign for the candidates of their parties respectively.

The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party fielded Ms. Tiperu Nusura while opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) fielded Mr. Musema Bruce.

Utterly humiliated by what was unfolding in Arua, and the growing popularity of Bobi Wine, the shameless dictator decided to drive his motorcade through the crowd of Bobi Wine, who were reported to be marching on in a procession through the town at the close of campaigns.

That is when someone in the crowd of Bobi Wine purportedly hit the rare screen of one of the cars of the president.

Commentators in Arua say his advisors failed to advise him on which route to follow in Arua in order to avoid such scenario.  The driver of Bobi wine, Mr. Yasin Kavuma was killed in his seat by SFC soldiers who were looking for the legislator to arrest him.

The by-election result which was released early Thursday indicates that the Independent candidate (Mr. Wadri), whom Bobbi Wine campaigned for, won the by-election with 8421 votes against dictator Museveni’s choice that came distant second with 4798 votes. FDC’s Mr. Musema was fourth with a paltry 1369 votes out of twelve candidates.

These MPs, except Mr. Zaake, appeared before Chief Magistrate of Gulu, Mr. Katenga Dawa Francis, together with thirty others, on Thursday, August 16, 2018 and charged with ‘treason and malicious damage’ of one of the cars in the motorcade of Dictator Museveni. 

They were advised not to enter any plea since their case needs to be tried by the High Court, not Chief Magistrates’ court; but remanded them in Gulu Central Prison until Thursday, August 30, 2018.

The Chief Magistrate directed further, that the legislators be allowed to go and receive medical checkup and medication from any hospital of their choice. This directive came after the lead counsel representing the suspects, Mr. Sseggona Medard, reported that his clients were so badly beaten that they need urgent medical check-up from a private health facility since they all expressed ‘lack of trust’ in government hospitals.

Two of the suspects, a woman and a man were so badly beaten that they were carried into the dock and transported in as special prison car because they could neither walk nor climb the lorry. The woman was reported to bleeding from her private part.

The whereabouts or conditions of Hon. Zaake is not known as he was reported to have been so badly beaten by the SFC soldiers while in the process of looking for Bobi Wine from the hotel rooms where they had lodged that the soldiers feared to arraign him in court with the other colleagues on Thursday.

He was not also arraigned before the General Court Martial together with Bobi Wine, whose charges were amended from treason to ‘being in possession of firearms and ammunitions’. SFC alleges that two sub-machine guns with some rounds of ammunitions were recovered from the hotel room where both Bobi Wine and Zaake had booked in Arua.

Unconfirmed social media report feared he could have succumbed to beatings by the SFC soldiers from Gulu Forth Division Military Hospital.

“As a country, we have to put our foot down and say enough is enough. An attack on one of us is attack on all of us. Uganda belongs to all of us. It is not somebody’s property”, says shadow minister for foreign affairs and Bukonjo county MP, Mr. Katusabe Godfrey Atkins.

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