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Mayiga hits at govt over ‘trumped up’ treason charges against Opposition MPs, calls for dialogue

Katikkiro of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga [R] stresses a point to President Museveni at a ceremony recently. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – Buganda Kingdom prime minister Charles Peter Mayiga has said the treason charges slapped against Members of Parliament arrested in the Arua Municipality by-election chaos are all part of a wider plot by government to silence its opponents and retain power.

Mr. Mayiga also warned that no matter the level of violence and brutality government metes out against its opponents, this will not stop them from seeking power.

“Obote abrogated the 1967 constitution and abolished kingdoms because of power. Obote stole the 1980 poll for power. President Museveni fought in the bush for power; Amama Mbabazi contested against President Museveni because he wanted power. People in power should know that there is no situation when people will not feel fit for power,” he said while addressing the Lukiiko on Monday.

The Katikkiro’s remarks come after MPs Robert Kyagulanyi, aka, Bobi Wine (Kyadondo East), Francis Zaake (Mityana Municipality), Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality), Paul Mwiru (Jinja East), Kassiano Wadri (Arua Municipality) and about 28 other people were charged with treason in connection with the violence in Arua that led to the stoning of a vehicle in the presidential convoy.

Some of those were tortured during arrest, including Bobi Wine and Zaake. In the aftermath of the brutal arrest of the duo, there were violent protests in Kampala and various parts of the country where people were shot dead and others, including journalists, were beaten up.

And on Monday, Mr. Mayiga called for the prosecution of all those security agencies that brutalized citizens, warning that criminal charges will remain valid even after 100 years.

“Obote was fierce, Amin was brutal, Daniel Arap Moi in Kenya, Salva Kiir in South Sudan is fierce but all that stops no one to pursue power. Violent acts may block that one who wants power today but not forever. President Museveni was in the bush at a time of indiscriminate arrests (Pandagaari) so that people would not join him. But all did not deter fighters,” he said.

He called for restraint, arguing that roundtable talks are the only solution.

“The President should sit and debate the issue of power with those pursuing it. If we don’t sit for negotiations, more blood will be shed,” he said.

Earlier in the meeting, he had asked Buganda Kingdom Council to draw strategies that will enhance agriculture, health, education in the kingdom.

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