Friday, 10 July 2015

Uganda detain two presidential hopefuls

Ugandan police have detained two presidential hopefuls for several hours, according to police and aides of the politicians. Former prime minister Amama Mbabazi, who wants to challenge President Yoweri Museveni for the ruling party's candidacy ahead of 2016 elections, was detained while he was on his way to meet supporters at a town near Kenya's border. He was freed late in the evening, an aide said.

Andrew Felix Kawesi, Uganda Police operations commander, was shown on local television station NSB confirming the arrest to journalists in Njeru, 75km outside the capital Kampala.

"I am telling you ... I am the police and I have arrested him. He has to stick to what the law requires ... there's no going to Mbale. He's now under incarceration," Kawesi said.

Mbabazi was travelling to Mbale, a town near Uganda's border with Kenya, to do a consultative meeting with his supporters and promote his candidature.

In June police had banned Mbabazi from holding meetings to promote his challenge against Museveni, saying their party had not yet nominated a candidate. Mbabazi had enjoyed a close relationship with Museveni, who has been Uganda's leader since 1986, but ties between the two became strained in the recent years, with Museveni accusing Mbabazi of taking decisions in the ruling party without consulting him. Mbabazi was sacked by Museveni in 2014.

Museveni has been endorsed by the ruling National Resistance Movement to represent it in next year's election.