Presidential aspirant John Patrick Amama Mbabazi has castigated the arrest of his supporters and said that his political outfit will vouch for their release.
Mr Mbabazi’s remarks come in the wake of the violent clashes that pitted his supporters against those of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) in Ntungamo last week.
Following the clashes, President Museveni weighed in on the matter, saying government would arrest Mr Mbabazi’s supporters, the alleged masterminds of the chaos.
“Thugs attacked NRM supporters. They are being rounded up because they attacked Ugandans and they will pay very dearly. I am a free person and you come and attack me like that idiot whom I saw [on TV] beating people with clubs. He will regret. We shall smash all that little nonsense which some people who don’t see far thought would help them,”Mr Museveni said at a press conference in Mbale yesterday.
This prompted Mr Mbabazi to say the Go Forward team would follow the law to have those arrested, released.
‘We will follow the law as always (to get out people out). We will apply for Habeas Corpus,’ he said.
Taking a swipe at President Museveni over the arrests he added: “It’s only the court’s of law that can declare anyone criminal. No one else. Who are you to declare anyone criminal?”
On the arrests, Mr Mbabazi said that police chief Gen Kale Kayihura was acting on orders of his boss, Mr Museveni.
“Those who are blaming Kayihura don’t know how things work. Kayihura wouldn’t do anything unless ordered by M7,” he wrote before castigating the use of force.
‘Using force has never worked anywhere in the history of mankind. It doesn’t last,” he was quoted as saying.
He also accused the police of selectively applying the law.
“Have you heard any of those who wanted to burn my car or who threw stones at my car being arrested”? Mr Mbabazi asked.
Efforts to contact police spokesman Fred Enanga over Mr Mbabazi’s remarks were futile by press time.
Meanwhile, Mr Mbabazi said he has ‘gone back to the drawing board to see how to manage a campaign full of violence and abuse of state authority’ and also urged the Electoral Commission to guide the electoral process.
‘The EC ought to assert itself to manage this election otherwise we will take them as having failed’ he said, adding: “I don’t think the Electoral Commission has done enough,” he said.