The Orange Democratic Movement party (ODM) has joined calls to hold the Ugandan government accountable for the inhumane treatment of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi and other leaders.
In a press statement Friday, the Raila Odinga-led party slammed the blocking of Mr Kyagulanyi (alias Bobi Wine) and Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake from leaving the country to seek medical treatment abroad.
“We are saddened by the fact that even after leaving custody with injuries that needed treatment abroad, Hon Kyagulanyi was stopped from leaving Uganda, and in the most callous and inhumane manner.
“We urge all parties in Uganda to urgently embrace the values of democracy and justice, for ultimately, dictatorship in the modern world remains unsustainable. We demand that the rights, dignity and freedom of Hon Kyagulanyi be respected by the regime….there are no two ways about this,” the statement says.
The two politicians were stopped by security forces at Entebbe Airport on Thursday night and taken to Kiruddu General Hospital.
Mr Kyagulanyi, a musician, intended to travel out of the country to seek specialised treatment for injuries suffered in the hands of security forces.
They are accused of instigating chaos during by-election campaigns in Arua Municipality early this month.
President Yoweri Museveni’s lead car was vandalised and Mr Kyagulanyi’s driver was shot dead.
Thereafter, Mr Kyagulanyi, Arua Municipality MP Kassiano Wadri, Jinja East MP Paul Mwiru, Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga and a host of other political activists were arrested and later granted bail on August 27. They are facing treason charges.
The ODM party argued that Kenya’s progress is dependent on the stability of the East African region, which Uganda is a part of.
Hence, they asked President Museveni to promote peace and freedom of the citizens, starting by allowing Mr Kyagulanyi to receive proper medical attention.
“Besides, the barely concealed tendency of its President, Yoweri Museveni, to assert political influence on its neighbours, including Kenya, makes it a country of great interest to us as a party.
“We will keep an eye on these unfolding events, as we encourage the forces of democracy and peaceful revolution to remain unwavering and firm in their resolve to make our countries more responsive to the needs of their people.”
Human rights activists in Kenya held peaceful demonstrations in solidarity with the MP and his colleagues.
Law Society of Kenya, Amnesty International, Ugandans living in Kenya and student leaders gathered at the Freedom Corner in Nairobi and marched to the Ugandan embassy on Riverside Drive.
They chastised Mr Museveni for poor leadership and promoting rights violations.
One of the protesters, Mr Boniface Mwangi, said: “President Museveni’s time is up. He is the last of Africa’s dictators and he must go. Bobi Wine is innocent; they are using him as a scapegoat. He is not just a person but an idea.”
Mr Kyagulanyi was freed by the General Court Martial, which also dropped the possession of illegal firearms and ammunition charges against him.