Government has justified the use of excessive force in the arrest of FDC President Dr. Kiiza Besigye by security officials on Thursday.
The Third Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Internal Affairs, Kirunda Kivejinja, says Dr. Besigye was defiant and refused to obey lawful orders by the Kampala Regional Police Commander Grace Turyagumanawe.
Kivejinja cites a case in Wandegeya, where the crowd allegedly pelted stones at police, hitting one police man in the right eye. He alleges that the crowd also surged and wanted to grab the policeman’s gun that was then saved by other officers.
The Minister insists that it was clear that Dr. Besigye throughout his journey from Sseninde road, Kasangati to Wandegeya was intentionally disrupting traffic and he defied police advice fo call off his protests.
Dr. Besigye was apparently advised by three police officers to follow the court directive by the Nabweru Magistrate Justine Atukwasa to avoid unlawful assembly and processions for seven months. But he responded by challenging the police to buy him fuel for his car.
He adds that Dr. Besigye and his group in the car had clear intentions to harm the police. This was evident by the equipment of the pepper spray used by one of his aides to spray the eyes of the police officer. Dr. Besigye was also handling a hammer threatening police with words,” I will hammer you…”
The Minister argues that the crowd following Besigye became militant and violent to other road users throwing stones and that he was blatantly disobeying one of the conditions given to him while being granted bail at Nakasongola court.
Minister Kivejinja says basing on the circumstances at the time, it became irreversibly justified to use appropriate force and pepper spray to arrest the defiant Dr. Besigye.
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However, witnesses at the scene say the hammer found in Dr. Kiiza Besigye’s car had fallen inside as a police officer used it to hit his car at the time.
When asked if the internal affairs minister was proud of how the police have handled the riots, a visibly irritated Kivejinja said the police have the right to shoot to kill and whosoever is defiant should dare them.
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Besigye’s driver and aides including Fred Kato, Kavuma Robert, Mugumya Sam, Kalanzi Geofrey, Mwijukye Francis and Byomuhangi Martin were charged with taking part in an unlawful assembly and remanded to Luzira prison.
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third deputy prime minister
dr. kirunda kivejinja
dr. kiiza besigye