Crime & Investigation

Kayihura Warns FDC: Prayers Not an Absolute Right

The Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura has warned the media and public to avoid being drawn into Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) activities which were banned by court, malady adding that the weekly prayers at the party headquarters are a form of demonstration.

Addressing journalists at the police headquarters on Tuesday morning, the police boss said they received intelligence that the main opposition party has organised demonstrations in form of prayers yet these activities were banned by the Constitutional Court last week.

“The right to worship is not entrenched in the constitution as being absolute. It is like any other form of right. The FDC weekly prayers are a way of mobilising people to demonstrate and these were last week banned by court, ” said Gen Kayihura.

“We warn the media and public against these Tuesday and Thursday FDC prayers. Whoever goes against the order will be in contempt of court and will be criminally liable for their actions.”

The police boss warned that the order issued on Friday by the Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma was in consideration of the FDC party, agents, supporters and anyone working under their authority from engaging in the activities.

He said whoever is aggrieved by the order should go to court and challenge it other than demonstrating on the streets.

Threats by FDC to hold countrywide protests have not only caused unease but scared off tourists from visiting Uganda.

FDC maintain that praying is their right they will not allow anyone to violate.

The party president Maj Gen (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu today said prayers will continue irrespective of threats from security forces and a court injunction.

The police boss said they had received a letter from the FDC party about their planned demonstration in the city centre.

Kayihura, who wrote back, seeking more clarifications, said he never obtained a response.

He quoted intelligence showing FDC intended to hide behind the cover of praying to block Entebbe road “which we can’t accept because it is an international highway.”

He added: “Who is Dr Besigye to destabilize the peace of the city and country at large? We can’t allow such a thing to happen because the peace and stability of the country is for us all,” he warned.

By 10:00am, police had sealed off FDC headquarters at Najjanankumbi before dispersing crowds.

Gen Kayihura further revealed that police have resumed their close surveillance on Dr Besigye whom he accused of planning to destabilise the city.


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