M7: I Must End Besigye Riots
A furious President Yoweri Museveni has said the ruling NRM party is taking drastic steps to end political violence perpetrated by opposition leader Col. Kizza Besigye and his supporters.
“Weak laws that allow criminals like demonstrators and rioters to go scot free and make Ugandan image abroad questionable will soon be amended,” Museveni told NRM National Executive Committee (NEC) at State House, Entebbe on Tuesday.
“We need to amend the constitution to ensure that continued rioters don’t get bail, pay for the damage caused, and are held criminally liable for the murders that happen during riots,” he said.
“Since the rioters of Betty Anwyar, those of Kayunga, and now these recent ones of Besigye have left scores dead, we shall not accept,” the President threatened.
The development comes at a time when NRM is pushing for the Public Order Management Bill which mainly seeks tough penalties for rioters and perpetrators of political violence.
Police officer John Bosco Ariong was last month killed during a political rally in Kampala organized by Besigye and City Mayor Erias Lukwago.
Scores were killed during the bloody 2009 Buganda riots sparked by a government decision barring Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi from travelling to Kayunga district.
Police say Besigye’s walk-to-work protests are aimed at causing political instability and eventual overthrow of government.
However, opposition leaders say political rallies are aimed at sensitizing Ugandans on the corruption in government, suppression of civil liberties by security forces and the need to change the status quo.
“I don’t think the youths who are paid to get into these riots are doing it for political reasons. I’m told many are paid Shs200-500 a day to engage in that. It is the duty of these leaders to encourage these youths to engage in small businesses,” said Museveni.
“As part of our employment efforts, we are buying land for these youths to be used for craftsmanship. KCCA is also mobilizing money to create similar opportunities,” he further stated.
“We need to strengthen laws that govern law and order, especially targeting those who organize riots, thereby giving a bad image to our country and scaring away investments as well as tourists,” warned Museveni.
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Updated on 2013-05-09 09:25
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