Buganda Kingdom has urged government to respect human rights in their efforts to contain the protests which have rocked major towns in the country since Wednesday.
In a press conference held at Bulange, Mengo, Buganda premier, Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga urged government and security forces to stop acts that may lead the country into anarchy, even as they try to keep law and order.
“The government says that they are trying stop acts that may lead to COVID-19, which is okay because COVID-19 is real and it kills, but it doesn’t mean that whoever doesn’t follow the guidelines should be treated in a way that violates their rights,” Katikkiro Mayiga said.
Katikkiro Mayiga added that if indeed, the security forces who are arresting the people are trying to stop the spread of COVID-19, handling suspects in a way they have might spread the virus even further.
The Katikkiro also noted that arresting presidential candidates, during campaign periods is a threat to the country’s democracy and casts doubt on the future of this country.
“It’s hard to believe that the price of avoiding COVID-19 is to kill and arrest people. Security forces have a right to keep law and order but it doesn’t mean that they should kill Ugandans,” Katikkiro Mayiga said.
For two days, police and the army have been running battles with protesters who continue to demand for the release of National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine.
Tension and unrest spread to areas of Kampala, Wakiso, Masaka and other urban towns as police and the army fired teargas and bullets to control the situation.
Several political analysts, human rights activists, politicians and Ugandans have since criticized the way security forces handled the situation.