a late evening story from parliament which i put up to be used in the morning
Opposition Members of Parliament have directed government to immediately arrest and prosecutes Gilbert Bwana Arinaitwe, the notorious security operative, who was shown on video footages, manhandling and tear gassing FDC leader Kiiza Besigye, during his violent arrest last week.
The demand came during a heated debate that went on till late into the evening, with more of it being postponed till today.
Heckling, name-calling and tension characterized Wednesday's parliamentary debate over the manner in which FDC leader Dr. Kiiza Besigye, was violently arrested by police and other security operatives during a Walk-to-Work demonstration.
Janet Museveni, the president’s wife and MP for Ruhama county in Ntungamo, was on the receiving end of the opposition MPs’ anger, with MPs Odonga Otto, Elijah Okupah and Nandala Mafabi questioning her salvation.
The three legisaltors faulted Janet for criticizing only Besigye’s action of walking as the cause of the riots and choosing not to blame police for their violent handling of the protests.
The violent manner with which the opposition leader was tear gassed, arrested and forcefully bundled under a pick-up seat left Besigye nursing serious bodily injuries and almost blinded eyes. He is still admitted to a Nairobi hospital, undergoing treatment.
Before the debate began, security was tense inside and outside of the parliamentary building, with visibly more VIP police protection unit, being deployed.
Water jars and glasses in the parliamentary chambers were all removed for fear they could be turned into ammunition incase of an acrimonious debate between the opposition and NRM MPs.
Opposition MPs, led by Kassiano Wadri, gave four conditions to be fulfilled by government. They include proper repairs of Besigye’s damaged luxury car, resignation of police boss Kale Kayihura, resignation of the minister of Internal Affairs minister, Kirunda Kivejinja and prosecution of all those caught by the cameras manhandling Besigye and other civilians.
They also demanded that government apologizes for the mistreatment of their leader.
Janet had earlier accused Besigye of lacking in leadership qualities because he lacks the capacity to do so. She said that as a leader, Besigye should have followed police directives when they asked him not to drive through Wandegeya on the fateful day.
Janet also said that Besigye, through the demonstrations, had caused so much interruption to normal life and business, leading to people’s suffering.
Internal Affairs state minister, Mathias Kasaijja, defended the harsh police action during the arrests, arguing that it was appropriate to the provocation and defiance of Besigye. He confirmed that Arinaitwe is a police officer and was on the day under the command of Turyagumanawe, the commander of the Kampala Metropolitan police.
Kasaija said Besigye was the first to attack security with a hammer, prompting protests from the opposition who said the hammer was grabbed by Besigye from a hooded security man who was hammering the window glass before losing grip and letting it fall inside Besigye’s car.
Alice Alaso, the FDC Secretary General, accused government of trying to assassinate Besigye through the actions of Arinaitwe. She continuously referred to him as an assassin.
The debate with continue this afternoon with an expected resolution of parliament on how to resolve the causes of the Walk-to-Work as well as recommending investigations of police brutality during the arrests.
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