Dr Besigye vows more protests

May 7, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 7 – Ugandan opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye on Saturday vowed to continue with the "walk to work" protest marches once he returns to Uganda later next week.

Speaking exclusively to Capital News a day after he was discharged from Nairobi Hospital, Dr Besigye said that police brutality unleashed on him and which made him seek specialised treatment in Kenya will not deter him from engaging in the protests.

"These are protests that are driven by ordinary people who are dissatisfied with what is going on in Uganda and we will continue participating in them as actively as possible whatever form they take until the desired goals are achieved," he emphasised.

He said that Ugandans deserve better governance and that the protests herald the beginning of \’major things.\’

"I consider the protests as only the beginning," he emphasised.

Dr Besigye has also advised Ugandan security forces to desist from being used to fight political battles.

Ugandan police were captured live on camera smashing the windows of Dr Besigye\’s car using pistols and hammers before assaulting him and its occupants with pepper spray.

He said: "If one breaks the law obviously the role of the police is to arraign you before the court and prove their case in court, it is not to brutalize citizens, pour chemicals on them and crash cars when they are simply asserting their rights."

Dr Besigye, who was accompanied by his wife Winnie Byanyima also said that he will soon take legal action on those who assaulted him during the protests.

He said: "Legal action will be taken at some stage but the primary challenge we have now is the whole struggle of seeing the way government relates with citizens change."

The opposition chief was admitted to the Nairobi Hospital on April 29, ironically at the same period when his political rival was in the country to address an open forum.

Responding to questions from the participants at the Mindspeak forum, Mr Museveni defended police action against Dr Besigye, saying it was the opposition leader who provoked the police by first attacking them.

He claimed that Dr Besigye was first to attack the police with pepper spray before the police grabbed the can from him and used it to subdue him.

Ugandan police were captured live on camera smashing the windows of Dr Besigye\’s car using pistols and hammers before assaulting him and its occupants with pepper spray.

"I think the lenses of CNN don\’t see very well because they did not capture this opposition leader attacking the policemen. I\’m told that women use pepper spray to defend themselves against rapists but I had never heard of it before," he said.

"But it was that leader who started the attack," insisted the Ugandan president.

The police were captured beating up the occupants of Dr Besigye\’s car after attacking them using the pepper spray before bundling them onto a waiting police truck.

The attack on the opposition leader led to a public outcry from various civil societies and diplomatic missions in Uganda.

The country also witnessed violence in some sections of Kampala city with rioters demonstrating against Dr Besigye\’s attack.

The Ugandan President also accused the opposition leader of flouting the law with his protests, claiming that he did not have the permit to carry them out.

Mr Museveni said: "Dr Besigye should have informed the police about his activities before embarking on them."

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