Ugandan police arrests main opposition leader, foils planned protests: radio
KAMPALA, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) — Ugandan police on Thursday arrested the country’s main opposition leader Kizza Besigye and several other opposition leaders as they planned to launch fresh protests over the rising cost of living in the East African country.
Besigye and his group were arrested in the capital Kampala where they had planned to launch nationwide protests dubbed “Walk to Work Reloaded.”
KFM, a local radio station reported that police first fired teargas before arresting Besigye and several other opposition leaders who were accompanying him.
It said the group which was bundled into a waiting police van was taken to an unknown destination.
Earlier on Thursday, police fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters who were gathering for the launch.
Ibin Ssenkumbi, Kampala Metropolitan deputy police spokesperson told Xinhua by telephone that police used necessary means to disperse hooligans in Katwe, a Kampala suburb where opposition pressure group, Activists for Change (A4C) had planned to launch the “Walk to Work Reloaded.”
“We had to disperse them. They didn’t involve us in planning for their demonstrations,” said Ssenkumbi.
A4C on Monday announced that it will re-launch nationwide protests against rising commodity and fuel prices, high electricity tariffs, high interest rates on loans, public wastage and corruption in government.
Similar protests occurred in the country last year leaving 10 people dead and scores injured as police and rioters engaged in running battles.