Uganda protests could bring regime change
By Hassan Isilow
KAMPALA- Violent protests have spread throughout major towns in Uganda; as protesters demand to know why the police brutally arrested Dr. Kizza Besigye the country’s main opposition leader.
On Thursday security operatives shattered the window screen of Dr. Besigye’s car, and used pepper spray on him, before beating him thoroughly.
Latest’s reports indicate that the pepper spray used on the politician has made him temporarily blind, which has annoyed many Ugandans.
On Friday morning violent protests were reported throughout major Towns in Uganda.
“Today’s protests are similar to those that we saw in Egypt and Tunisia’’ Ibrahim Mahad, a student at Makerere University in Kampala, told Africa witness in a telephone interview
He said the growing unrest was sparked off by high commodity prices, but got worse when security personnel arrested the country’s main opposition leader Dr. Besigye in a cruel manner.
Another source in Mbale Town, about 300 Kilometres east of the Capital Kampala, told Africa witness that nearly 100,000 soldiers’ had been deployed on the streets to calm down protesters.
According to the source, police are reported to have used live ammunition, water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters, who stood their ground and fought back the police using stones.
“Several residents have run to the neighbouring Islamic University in Uganda-main campus to seek safety, because the military is not allowed to enter the university compound’’ a source related to Africa witness in an interview
A press release issued by the Ugandan government, on Friday afternoon, confirmed that two people had been killed in Friday’s protests; while over 80 others were seriously injured.
‘‘We want President Yoweri Museveni to resign, because one man cannot rule us for over 25 years. Museveni has turned Uganda into his own family business, we shall not allow that to continue’’ A source who preferred to remain anonymous told Africa witness in an interview on Friday.
President Museveni has been Uganda’s president since 1986. He ascended to power after waging a guerrilla war that dislodged the 1985 military government of General Tito Okello.
Uganda has had a terrible history of tyrannical rulers; most notably among them was the Late Idi Amin Dada, who expelled thousands of Asians from Uganda and confiscated their property.
However, when president Museveni came to power, he welcomed back all the deposed Asians and tried to stabilize the country’s economy, but his overstay in power has infuriated many Ugandans.