Besigye Arrested as Henry Ford Mirima Hails Journalists

Besigye at the police station this morning-John Nsubuga

Dear Ugandan Pressmen,

The press in Uganda must be congratulated for their showing of maturity, and extraordinary courage, in instantly covering of the, WALK TO WORK, programme which began early this morning.

The whole world watched as events took place instantly in remote corners of Uganda showing how Gen. Kale Kayihura’s Police dealt with the demonstrators.

But, pity to Gen.Kale Kaihura for obeying orders whose objectives he does not believe in. But, duty is duty. However, he stands to be questioned in future.

FDC spokesman Wafula Oguttu was arrested Monday for attempting to lead a walk to work protest. Photo by Joseph Kiggunddu from Daily Monitor

Former Ugandan Presidential Candidate Dr. Kiiza Besigye being lifted to a Police Double Cabin Pick up after being arrested by Police while walking from his home at Kasangati to Kampala (about 15Kms) on Monday.

The electronic journalists must be given extra praise for not fearing to risk their lives, doing exactly what professional journalists should be. You are doing what I began twenty years ago for which I, Henry Ford Miirima, was voted by the Journalists Association, THE MOST COURAGEOUS JOURNALIST IN UGANDA

Now, Ugandans have joined the international community in instantly watching world events from their bedrooms on all news channels.

Hail Ugandan Journalists,

Henry Ford Miirima
Veteran Journalist


7 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Gh Kkolokolo,

    News is spreading like fire all over the world informing of the very
    unfair arrest and detention of notable opposition leaders including
    DP’s Hon Mr Norbert Mao and FDC’s Col Dr Kizza Besigye, etc..
    I personally first got the information from a caller in Kampala then a few
    minutes later I saw it rolling on Reuter and AFP newsreels, and slightly later on I was to read more of its details on our accurate and fearless UAH postings!
    Shallow excuses are as usuall given! That the arrested politicians were planning to topple a duly elected government (which came in with close to 70% of the vote and has the entire security organs behind it!) and that in addition there were terrorists among the demonstrators! ( and, funny enough, only civilian politicians have been arrested and no terrorist has been caught!) This immediately thrusts us to that plan of using state security organs to politically terrorize Uganda’s very much popular opposition which unlike the moribond and senile NRM commands a lot of respect all over the world! And nobody will be surprised to read charges similarly in line with those unjustly concocted against DP firebrand politician Annet Nnamwanga, still rotting in Luzira Upper Prison in spite of all kind of international intervention to plead for her innocence!!!
    This regime, pegged on cowardice and political emotion, has nowhere to go! They already fear the unpopular turn-up for their 30bn/= ceremony at Kololo ! They are panicking! Opposition message on corruption, irrelevant expenditure at the expense of the immense suffering of hunger-stricken masses who can’t afford the astronomical prices of even the most ordinary household items, would have carried the day with the support of those very much celebrated opposition figures including Mao, a visionary rated number one in the region for his political care mission of the local masses!
    But NRM and all those very cheap blind actors should know that Uganda has now got a new set of political luminaries whoa are going to walk the masses to every success! And freedomof expression will never die in Uganda! Guns, dungeons and the sword will never succeed at all and in any circumstance whatsoever to silence revolutionary minded democratic Ugandans! Whoever cherishes such an infantile dream had better go to bed and sleep until midnight’s midday! Uganda will never be cowered under any fear even if the cowardly political potentates raised the gun!
    The gun is nothing where there is resolution!!!
    I appeal to all Ugandans to remain firm and solidly behind our opposition leaders who know what they are doing! I appeal to my DP to stand solid on its feet and grace unbending solidarity towards Norbert Mao and group!
    I appeal to the entire diaspora to act as one and to spread the news to all relevant actors on Uganda! At the same time don’t fail to relate this news to Annet Nnamwanga’s continued torture and persecution in Luzira! And I personally call upon Ugandans at home to feed us with any bit of information on this affair. Don’t hesitate! This concerns your own self individually or collectively!
    And don’t give up on anything ! The battle has got to be won! DP has always been the winner and that’s why it’s feared! Uganda will never be defeated in anything, that’s why it’s brutally mishandled. but all this will one day and soon have a final full stop to end the dictation!

    Dr G.H. Kkolokolo (Paris / France).

  2. Gad Bihabwa,

    There are many Ugandans in Kampala who always walk to work and back home because they cannot afford Taxi fares. If you doubt, go to Bombo road at about 7:00pm. People walk from Downtown Kampala up to Kawempe and beyond. How is Mr. Kaihura going to differentiate between these geuine walkers and the demonstrators? Possibly he should consider issueing walking permits to the genuine walkers. Bussiness men would be happy to tender in their applications for Printing and isssuing the permits. I hope the permits won’t be more expensive than the Taxi fares.

  3. james,

    I am at a loss of words. Its despicable to imagine that Ugandans don’t have even the slightest of civil liberties. How does marching as a demonstration of the escalating prices pose a security threat? This sure a government that is paranoid and seems not to be sure of its mandate. What the government should have done is to come out and assure the nation that it will look into what is behind the problem, and not seek to suppress the masses that wish to express their dissatisfaction. Its a shame really!

  4. sam sami,

    Rise and fall is something worth remembering every moment of life. Those in power should forget they are there forever. In leadership, the end means change and when change is coming, it is unstoppable.
    It is a good practice to handle our responsibilities with respect and avoid causing injustice to others. Saddam Husein was a very powerful leader, doing whatever he wants against his own people but at the end, he was picked from some hole and later hanged. This can happen to anybody who abuses his responsibility !!!



    This circus reminds of me a troubled time we had at Mwiri in the 70s. We lost confidence in the school administration, and decided to stage a “spark”, as we used to refer to our spontaneous, peaceful demonstrations. In the instant case, we simply refused to go to the dining hall for lunch. The whole school as one moved from the classes to just above the dining, and no farther. The prefects dutifully went in, the teachers on dining hall duty joined them, as did the student teachers from MUK and Kyambogo who used to partake of our meals from the high table. The bell was rung for a third time, and we didn’t go in.

    The headmaster was alerted, and he sped to the dining hall area in his Ford Cortina, literally raising a lot of dust. He jumped out in the mistaken impression that his arrival would threaten us into entering the dining hall. He picked on a soft target, by coincidence an S1 student, thus : “You chap, get into the dining hall right now or you will suffer the consequencesssss….” [Those of you familiar with that HM will remember that his “ssss” then ended] “But sir, I am not hungry,” was the little boy’s response. And everyone the HM turned to gave the same answer, and to the last boy, all of us remained standing.

    To cut a long story short, within hours the Chairman of the Board of Governors (the eloquent Bishop Bamwoze) was involved; he came and met the prefects together with some opinion leaders mainly from S5 and S6. It was during this crisis that Crispus Charles Ayena (MP-elect) won the hearts of the Mwiri boys and staff, culminating into his election and appointment as Head Prefect – but that’s another story.

    The trip along memory lane is informed by what followed. Like a good soccer player, the HM made a dummy move which fooled us into thinking we had won, for our grievances had been presented to the highest level, and we knew the HM would not survive. He played along until the crisis was over, then he ambushed us with an emergency school assembly at the end of which we were all directed to go to our respective classes to be briefed by our form masters. We realised we were supposed to sign an undertaking which among others had statements such as “I will be a student and nothing more”, “I shall henceforth do only those things that show respect to the school authorities”, “I know that all meals are compulsory..” But the most hilarious one was a rule to the effect that all students were supposed to eat ALL school meals, and “MUST enjoy them”! Those of you who went to school during the economic war will know how difficult it was to guarantee enjoyment of meals at all times.

    Most of us laughed at the document as not being worth the duplicating paper it was on, but signed it anyway, if only to protect the class teachers who had to take back the completed forms to the HM. But the S6A class refused to sign. In one of the most dramatic moments, (the late) Wairugala led his class to the HM’s office for clarification on only one issue: “Are you trying to imply that we have previously been students and cooks as well?” In the pecking order of humanity in Mwiri at the time, to be a cook was to be the lowest of the low; even the cooks would only refer to each as “cook” by way of insult. Needless to say, there was no satisfactory answer, and the class refused to sign. For that effrontery, the whole class of S6A (1975, by the way) was dismissed with about three weeks of the second term remaining, and were only allowed back to sit their final exams at the end of October. [As an aside, had we been aware of their intention to object to the letter, we all would have refused to sign, and then no one would have been dismissed; but the divide and rule tactic of each class by itself at the same time worked in the dictators favour…. The happy ending to this part of the story is that of the 27 people in that class, 26 joined MUK and the only one who didn’t had two good principles which enabled him to get a scholarship.]

    I sense the same hand/mind at play in this walk-to-work saga. Someone, somewhere, is saying no one should walk to work! The headmaster is not happy with the temerity of the students to opt to walk; even if each of them may say, “But sir, I don’t have taxi fare.” Someone must have told Kayihura to amend the rulebook to cover the enforced vehicular transport or else face jail/court! Surely there is some truth to the French saying which we have bastardised as “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

    Best regards,


  6. Eric Kashambuzi,

    On hearing reports that Uganda opposition leaders including Besigye,
    Mao, Sabiiti, Ogutu, Lukyamuzi, Katinti, Mafabi, Kasibante and Mugisha
    had been arrested for walking to work peacefully, I contacted
    officials in the Human Rights Watch Office in New York City and was
    given audience to explain what had happened. I met with Mr. Daniel
    Bekele, Executive Director, Africa Branch.

    I reported that the opposition has rejected the February 18, 2011
    presidential election results principally because Museveni was re-
    elected overwhelmingly by foreign voters who had been bused in from
    Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania as well as refugees and migrants residing
    in Uganda while Ugandan voters were overwhelmingly disenfranchised.
    Museveni had also used public funds putting too much money into
    circulation that the supply has exceeded goods and services causing
    prices to rise rapidly and making it impossible for ordinary consumers
    to meet their basic needs. The Commonwealth and European observer
    teams had reported that the electoral process from start to finish
    lacked a level playing field, implying that it was not free and fair,
    and public funds had been used for campaigning. Furthermore, military
    intimidation had been excessive.

    I also met with officials of the United Nations Security Council and
    reported to them what had happened to opposition leaders as Ugandans
    walked to work in a peaceful protest against rising prices and sham
    elections dominated by foreign voters who are not allowed to vote in

    Peaceful demonstrations have already taken place at home and abroad.
    The walk to work is part of that process. In Uganda demonstrators
    have been subjected to harassment and arrest. Tear gas and live
    ammunition have been used to disperse demonstrators, causing injuries
    and worse.

    The Human Rights Watch has been publishing reports on abuses including
    torture in Uganda. In its annual reports published in 2010 and 2011,
    there’s ample evidence of human right violations including by Joint
    Anti Terrorism Force (JATT). Regarding freedom of assembly and
    expression the Watch reports of demonstrators being arrested and
    charged with illegal assembly. Government’s clamp down on freedom of
    expression has also been recorded. Other organizations including
    United States Department of State and Amnesty International have
    similarly reported violations of human rights including torture.

    These reports and recommendations therein need to be followed up by
    actual warning to Museveni and his security forces and spelling out
    the outcomes should violations continue. Furthermore, complaints in
    private by the donor community about violations and corruption appear
    to have made not impact. The donor community therefore needs to come
    out and warn Museveni publicly.

    I indicated in the conversations referred to above that Ugandans will
    continue to demonstrate inside and outside Uganda. Accordingly,
    Ugandans are urged not to surrender their right of assembly, freedom
    of expression and peaceful demonstrations. And peaceful they must
    remain so that Museveni does not have an excuse to clamp down on
    demonstrations. One thing is clear so far: Museveni has refrained
    from using force to kill demonstrators because he knows what will
    happen. Therefore gather courage, go out and demonstrate. None will
    save Uganda but us. Others will of course extend a helping hand once
    they are satisfied that we are serious.

    Besigye, Mao, Lubega, Otunu and all in the opposition and disgruntled
    NRM supporters please continue to demonstrate including the peaceful
    walk you have just begun. Come together and act as one to maximize
    impact and use the same core message to avoid confusing the audience.
    The international community is with you in principle and those of us
    in the diaspora shall continue to work hard to make it easier for you
    at home. The wind is blowing in opposition’s favor.

    For information, Human Rights Watch has offices in New York City,
    Washington DC, London, Paris, Brussels, Geneva, Berlin, South Africa,
    Japan, and Lebanon. The Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting
    human right of people around the world. Do not hesitate to contact
    them, as I did today, should the need arise. We shall not rest until
    our goal is achieved

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