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Friday, 24 October 2014

Dictatorship in the USA client State of Uganda: Former Opposition letter Dr Kiiza Besigye barred from attending election reforms meeting

Police lock Besigye out of Masaka meeting

 

Dr Kiiza Besigye
Dr Kiiza Besigye. File Photo 
By Malik Fahad Jjingo, Gertrude Mutyaba & Issa Aliga

Posted  Friday, October 24  2014 at  01:00
In Summary
Dr Besigye, who had not been invited for the meeting said he has a right to attend as a citizen. 

KAMPALA:
Police have blocked former Forum For Democratic Change president, Dr Kiiza Besigye, from attending an electoral reforms meeting organised by NGO Forum in Masaka.
Police officers in uniforms and plain clothes condoned off Hotel Brovad in Masaka Town and ordered Dr Besigye out of the meeting which had convened to collect views of local leaders, politicians, religious leaders and members of the community in Buganda sub-region held on Thursday on electoral reforms.
Organisers said, Dr Besigye had not been officially invited but as a citizen he had a right to attend the meeting and give his input as one of the leaders pushing for the reforms.

 
Ms Evelyn Bukirwa, the chairperson of the organising committee, said the meeting targeted every citizen and could not lock out Dr Besigye although he had not been invited.
“I needed his opinion as a Ugandan on how we can push for reform in the country and all people have a right to have their input in the move to have a free and fair election in Uganda” Ms Bukirwa said.
Masaka NGO Forum coordinator, Mr Mwanje Lubowa, said they had received a directive from security agencies not to invite Dr Besigye.
However, Dr Besigye told journalists he had not been invited for the Buganda sub-region workshop but as a citizen he had a right to participate in the meeting.
Masaka RDC, Mr Linos Ngopek, said he was surprised to get information that Dr Besigye had come for the meeting yet they had agreed with organisers not to invite him.
Masaka deputy regional police commander, Mr Edward Mugweri, defended their action, saying members had told them they were uncomfortable with Dr Besigye’s presence.



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FDC’s Kizza Besigye kicked out of Masaka NGOs workshop




Besigye (R) talking to Masaka Mayor, Kayemba Afaayo after being kicked out
Hotel Brovad in Masaka municipality was the scene of some political drama yesterday, as security blocked an opposition politician from attending a civil society workshop.
 
Former FDC President Kizza Besigye arrived quite early to attend the national NGO forum workshop for South Buganda regional leaders at the hotel.

But he didn’t last 10 minutes. Godfrey Mwanje, the chairperson of Masaka NGO Forum, approached Besigye in the conference room and requested him to leave the venue. He said if Besigye stayed, the workshop would be shut down by security.

A calm Besigye stood up and, in the company of Masaka Mayor Godfrey Kayemba Afaayo, left the conference room and the hotel before the workshop officially started. The workshop was attended by leaders of local council IIIs to Vs from the central districts of Masaka, Rakai, Kalangala, Sembabule, Bukomansimbi, Kalungu and Lwengo.

Also invited were officials from the Electoral Commission in those districts and police. In an interview moments before he left Hotel Brovad, Besigye said since he was one of the organizers of similar workshops at the national level, he did not have to be invited to attend the one in Masaka.

The two-day workshop, which started on Thursday morning, was meant to discuss, among other issues, electoral reforms as the country gears up for the 2016 general elections. According to Besigye, he left without a fight because he did not want the workshop to be stopped.

Mwanje, who invited Besigye to leave, said he met with the Masaka RDCs and the district police commander on Wednesday and discussed who would attend the workshop.
“In that meeting, we agreed that Besigye should not attend the workshop or else it would be blocked totally,” Mwanje said.

He commended Besigye for agreeing to leave. Masaka deputy Regional Police Commander Edward Mugwere said Besigye had not been invited to the workshop.

“Our role as police is to keep law and order. If Besigye was not invited for this workshop, there was no need as to why he would come. We, therefore, had to respond to the organizers’ plea that he leaves forthwith,” Mugwere said.

After Besigye’s exit, the workshop continued without any other hindrance, although a number of members from the opposition remained upset.

“This country is not for President Museveni, Kale Kayihura or the NRM government; and so, they should not drive us the way they need,” said Salongo Senzoga, the secretary for FDC Masaka district.

All the LC-V chairpersons and their councillors in the seven districts were invited regardless of their political affiliations but most of them were represented apart from Emmanuel Musoke the LC-V chairperson for Kalungu district who also quit for other special duties shortly after Besigye had left.