It’s now “ILLEGAL” to WALK-TO-WORK in Uganda

Dr. Kizza Besigye was again humiliated. Picked like a potato bag and thrown into the back of a police pick for the nth time. Reason;  walking to work on foot.

Kizza Besigye is arrested and thrown onto the back of a police pick up, accused of inciting the public by walking to work

Kizza Besigye is arrested and thrown onto the back of a police pick up, accused of inciting the public by walking to work

The former Presidential candidate and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president was intercepted in Kitetika at about 7:40 am as he joined nation in walking to work protesting the rising food and fuel prices.

Opposition leader for Forum for Democratic Change, Kizza Besigye is intercepted at Kitetika on his way to office by Anti-Riot Police, accusing him of “walking to work”

Opposition leader for Forum for Democratic Change, Kizza Besigye is intercepted at Kitetika on his way to office by Anti-Riot Police, accusing him of “walking to work”

Besigye said that he was walking to church for prayers before continuing to his office in Najjanankumbi , a Kampala suburb which hosts FDC’s headquarters.

As he’s normally, Besigye wore a confident and defiant face as he tried to shove himself through a ring of up to 10 Anti-Riot Policemen.

On several occasions, he tried to break the ring lose but failed.  The former presidential candidate then decided to sit on the road. Still the ring didn’t loosen. The police stayed close and mean.

It was extremely hard to get a picture of him seated. But it made good composition for us photographers. Like was always do, we “fought” with the police till some meaningful shots were made.

Opposition leader for Forum for Democratic Change, Kizza Besigye is intercepted at Kitetika on his way to office by Anti-Riot Police, accusing him of “walking to work”

Opposition leader for Forum for Democratic Change, Kizza Besigye is intercepted at Kitetika on his way to office by Anti-Riot Police, accusing him of “walking to work”

A motor cyclist makes a u-turn after find the Kasangati road blocked by protestors

A motor cyclist makes a u-turn after find the Kasangati road blocked by protestors

As the Besigye resistance continued, residents of Kitetika kept playing hide and seek with police as they blocked the roads with huge stones and timber rendering it impassable.

Some of the protestors complain to police of the treatment of Kizza Besigye in Kasangati

Some of the protestors complain to police of the treatment of Kizza Besigye in Kasangati

After about 2 hours of sitting, Dr. Kizza Besigye was forcefully arrested, lifted of the grounded and thrown on to the back of a waiting Ant-Corruption Police Van where he was fiercely driven to Kasangati Police Station.

The station is about a kilometer from his home.

He was held at the police station for about 6 hours and released on non-cash bail of Shs. 10 million before being paraded at the Nangabo Court in Gayaza from where he was charged with inciting violence and failure to comply with lawful orders which he denied.

Opposition leader, Kizza Besigye is arrested and is seen here seated at the back of a police pick up after being arrested for allegedly inciting the public according to police

Opposition leader, Kizza Besigye is arrested and is seen here seated at the back of a police pick up after being arrested for allegedly inciting the public according to police

Besigye then addressed an ecstatic crowd outside the court before walking back home. But Police was not happy with the huge crowd that escorted the Col. And fired several rounds of teargas to disperse the crowd.

Kizza Besigye addresses the crowd outside court after being released on bail

Kizza Besigye addresses the crowd outside court after being released on bail

Michael Kakumirizi, a photojournalist is dressed by a Red Cross doctor after sustaining a cut on his head when police clashed with protestors in Kasangati

Michael Kakumirizi, a photojournalist is dressed by a Red Cross doctor after sustaining a cut on his head when police clashed with protestors in Kasangati

It’s here that I captured an unlikely portrait of Besigye wearing swimming goggles. A good end to a day where he promised to walk again to work tomorrow (Tuesday April 12, 2011)

Free At Last: Kizza Besigye (centre)  is escorted through Kasangati centre to his home after being released on bail

Free At Last: Kizza Besigye (centre) is escorted through Kasangati centre to his home after being released on bail

Kizza Besigye is seen wearing swimming specs as police fired teargas to disperse a crowd that was escorting him to his home

Kizza Besigye is seen wearing swimming goggles as police fired teargas to disperse a crowd that was escorting him to his home

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20 thoughts on “It’s now “ILLEGAL” to WALK-TO-WORK in Uganda

    • HB: I vividly remember Kizza Besigye insistently asking the one plice offer when asked to get on the pick up van: “Are you arresting me? And if you are thinking of doing so, for what reason am i being arrested?”

      The Police guy stood there for some seconds, moved a few metres away to make a call and came back with the same line..”Dr. You are ebing arrested. You will get to know why at the Police”..

      It was a sad scenario. Arresting someone for not just walking to work but for a good cause? Ugandans are really suffering from the rising food and fuel prices..and these police officers should have known better than anyone else..

      They earn very little, yet they averagely take care of huge family members! These constables are being used by the well off “few” which is totally sad.

    • My usual visitor…!! Am telling you, a good pictures goes beyond being good but it should be able to tell a story somewhere.

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  2. A PREGNANT WOMAN JST GOT A MISSCARRIAGE DUE 2 TEARGAS,A 1MONTH OLD BABY SUFFOCATED DUE TO TEAR G! CAN UN DO SME THING ABT IT LYK IN LIBYA?

      • Duncan, in my opinion, with regards to the past one week or so, i think the situation was not handled well especially by the Police. It was a good cause to walk to highlight a problem that has been biting Ugandans both NRM,FDC, DP, JEEMA, independents and the like. I would love to see NRM mps also walking to work to highlight this issue. It would be a good sign to an ordinary Ugandan who craves to live a better life..

  3. Ugandan demonstrators should understand that stoping people from going where they are supposed to go by putting stones on the way to stop cars that all may be involved in walking to work does not neccesitate every one. This is causing caos and disrupting other people who understand and who do not want to missuse their time coz time is money.
    Will u feed their children coz u want to involve them in unlawfull activities?
    will u give them money to buy food coz u want them to walk with u every mon and thurs?
    besigyes children are welloff, not here and will not find any harm like ur children.
    IF U UNDERSTAND WHAT BESIGYE IS TRYING TO DO TO UGANDANS,
    LET THOSE WHO HAVE NO WORK TO DO AND THINK THAT CAUSING CAOS IS MAKING A NAME OR WILL GIVE THEM FREE TRANSPORT AND FREE FOOD GO WITH THEIR FELLOWS IN RIOTING.
    SOLUTIONS THEY WOULD HAVE USED
    1-Let them inform the police in writing and tell where they will pass and where they will stop so as to get them security.
    2-Instead of hiding under food an fuel prices they should use their member of pariaments to say what they want and this will be easy to be solved than involving inocent people to suffer for their hidden ntentions.
    3-

    • Wow..thank you for the elaborate opinion you have given our other readers. I think its a very good point you are sending out there. These politicians are well off already and whether they are using this to enrich their CV’s is one thing, whether its genuine, is another. Its really hard to tell.

      But Duncan, i remember attending one of the attempted walks where he clearly said that, “walking to work is not a must for every Ugandan, For those who share the cause with which am walking should walk to work if they feel like.Those who don’t want, have no business walking. Its really an individuals personal choice”

      Clearly, the guy is not forcing anybody to walk. Its from your point of judgment, whether you wanna walk or not.

  4. walking to work was no bad idea. It will open up the minds of ugandan politicians who were very busy during the recent campaigns coming to the villages to look for votes but can you imagine they are not able even to go on radio and inform ugandans what is happening as regards the hiking of most goods in uganda including food. We are living with hypocrites they tell us they work for us love us etc but cannot even try to explain what is happenning. When besigye uses the road to put sanity in thier minds they arrest him. All the same bravo Dr. the leaders have heard indeed you are the man of the people ( peasants)

    • Ann, thanks for you opinion. I believe many would agree with you that it was a good cause handled terribly by the security especially the Police.

      This is a national cause! I think Besigye should be let to move un interrupted. If he causes chaos on his way, then Police have every right to arrest him, take him to court and the rest will follow…

      Odonga Otto walked to Parliament, not once but twice without causing any chaos. Beatrice Anywar was arrested in Kajjansi walking alone (not even with her aide or anyone following her). So i believe, if handled well, all this would not have happened.

      Olara Otunnu for example desperately tried to get arrested whole year but he was not..And indeed, his value is so low in regards to Ugandan politics today.The same treatment could be accorded to Kizza Besigye and who knows..

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  6. I am not well-read on this issue, so forgive my obvious question. why is walking to work a contentious issue? I would think that walking to work would be supported by political officials in order to decrease dependency on fuel.

    Also, these pictures are amazing; you are doing very important work.

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