KAMPALA- President Museveni has promised to deal with Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, and opposition leaders whom he blames for orchestrating chaos that preceded the Arua Municipality by-election on August 13.
A day after releasing a statement denying that Bobi Wine had been tortured and justifying the army intervention in the Arua chaos that left one person dead and saw several MPs arrested, the President on Monday evening released another missive, insisting that his government will not tolerate “these chronically indisciplined people attacking women and children, destroying people’s property etc” .
“Who is Bobi Wine or anybody to beat our people and for what? Watch the videos of Jinja and Bugiri, which are attached to this post. Should that happen in Uganda and why?” Mr Museveni said.
“Why is it that we have never heard of any incident where the NRM supporters have ever attacked the Opposition supporters? Do you remember how the Bobi Wines were attacking the other MPs in Parliament? Are we to allow them to attack the Wanainchi in similar ways?” he added.
The President also insisted that Mityana Municipality MP Franics Zaake, who was last Friday dumped at Lubaga Hospital with gunshot wounds, escaped from custody.
“Hon. Zake’s story is that he colluded with nurses to escape from the hospital in Arua where he had been taken after his violent confrontation with the security forces.
The Police has not moved to re-arrest him because he resurfaced in a hospital in Kampala. Let him recover, the charges still await him. Resisting arrest is disobeying a lawful order. It is punishable by a sentence of imprisonment for two years,” he said.
See full statement below
Fellow Ugandans, thank you for your responses following my most recent post on events that followed the by-election in Arua Municipality.
The problem in Arua was caused by Bobi Wine’s group together with Kassiano Wadri, who attacked me, a useless action because I am protected and I can defend myself.
The more serious issue is these chronically indisciplined people attacking women and children, destroying people’s property etc.
Who is Bobi Wine or anybody to beat our people and for what? Watch the videos of Jinja and Bugiri, which are attached to this post. Should that happen in Uganda and why?
If the Army had not intervened in Arua, a lot of people would have been killed by this Bobi Wine group. They had gathered stones, knives and there were reports of even guns.
Why is it that we have never heard of any incident where the NRM supporters have ever attacked the Opposition supporters? Do you remember how the Bobi Wines were attacking the other MPs in Parliament? Are we to allow them to attack the Wanainchi in similar ways?
How about assaulting soldiers or policemen? Do you remember the policeman, Ariong, who died from a stone throw? The security forces should be commended for saving mass deaths in spite of the fact that many of them were not equipped for anti-riot.
Nevertheless, they managed to subdue, without shooting these violent characters who were trying to attack them as you saw their conduct in Parliament. I will study more about the issue of the driver who died.
Hon. Zake’s story is that he colluded with nurses to escape from the hospital in Arua where he had been taken after his violent confrontation with the security forces.
The Police has not moved to rearrest him because he resurfaced in a hospital in Kampala. Let him recover, the charges still await him. Resisting arrest is disobeying a lawful order. It is punishable by a sentence of imprisonment for two years.
Those who pretend to support the Opposition are misleading them by failing to advise them to stop intimidating and attacking Ugandans. The Ugandans, led by us, will resist them.
The limited counter-attack in Arua of arresting and putting in lawful custody the perpetrators that are suspected to have attacked people, like it happened in Jinja, Bugiri etc, should send a warning to those who are in the habit of miscalculating.
This group has been putting on red to signify their intention to shed blood, and they have been putting on Army red berets to signify their intention of using military means. We have ignored those threatening signals.
However, to threaten Ugandans by words and to actually attack them by stones, clubs and guns, will not be tolerated. To rape women because they are NRM, or, indeed, raping any woman, qualifies one for a death sentence in the Law Courts of Uganda.
To destroy property by throwing stones is not acceptable. To disenfranchise Ugandans by importing illegal voters from other areas is tantamount to treason because it overthrows the power of the people in the given area to elect their leaders.
If you do not see these as problems, then you are a fascist. The Security forces must be commended because they saved mass deaths by dispersing these misguided people without using rifle fire, considering the fact that many of them were not equipped for anti- riot duties notwithstanding.
The Regional and District Police Commanders, who should have anticipated the actions of these groups, since they had done the same in Jinja East and Bugiri, have been suspended. The DISO has also been removed. To show the bad faith of Bobi Wine and Zaake, they were changing hotels- from Hotel Royale to Pacific Hotel etc. Why were they hiding?
Kassiano Wadri, on the other hand, who should not have been in the company of such violent people, did not change residences and did not engage in hand to hand combat with security forces, from the reports I got.
His mistake may be to organize and participate in such a violent procession and to import illegal voters. The court will decide according to the evidence. Stop supporting impunity, stop supporting election cheating, stop supporting violence whatever side you are on.
As already said above, I am investigating the circumstances of the driver of Bobi Wine who died. Five people were also reported in hospital with gun- wounds. We shall get the circumstances of those cases.
In certain circumstances, the Police can use live bullets if they are not equipped with anti-riot equipment and the rioters are on the verge of killing innocent people. That is also possible.
The question is: “Why do you riot? Why not use legitimate and peaceful ways of expressing your opinion?” When they stoned my car, what was the reason? If they could be so reckless to attack me, how would they spare the poor Wanainchi? Good enough, my protection force did not respond immediately.
They delivered me to the helicopter and went back to rescue the Wanainchi, which they generally did in spite of the circumstances. That is why no local mwanainchi was killed by the hooligans. They did not have enough time to do the damage they intended.
Another unfortunate incident was reported in Mityana where, again, a riotous group connected to the same Zaake and Bobi Wine was threatening the town. The anti-riot police, this time, I am informed, non- lethally dispersed the group.
However, some two Policemen, who were on their own, fired aimlessly and some of the bullets caught innocent travellers that were not even part of the riot, killing one person. This action is condemned by me and the Police leadership. The culprits have been arrested and will be charged, maybe, with criminal negligence or manslaughter.
Nevertheless, the original Kavuyo was caused by the rioters which, then, precipitates other mistakes to happen. I think the last time gunshots were heard in Mityana may be in 1985 when the 5th Battalion under Kashaka, defeated the poor Karimojong youth that had been imported by Lutwa to fight the NRA.
The State House Comptroller will look for the family of the innocent traveller that was killed and assist them.
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni