Uganda’s Museveni continues human rights abuses; but fails to stop return of opposition leader Besigye from medical visit to Kenya
USAfircaonline.com Special report by Chido Nwangwu.
Uganda’s popular and main opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye has, after the disruption of his previously scheduled flight back to his home country of Uganda by the Museveni-led Ugandan government, been allowed to return home from Kenya. Besigye who was brutally beaten by Museveni supporters and police men about 10 days ago (as he has been several times in the past 10 years) during a peaceful demonstration against rising food and fuel prices in Uganda’s capital city of Kampala had traveled to Kenya for medical treatment.
Earlier today Wednesday May 11, 2011 he was removed from from boarding a Kenya Airways flight back to Entebbe. Besigye camped all morning and afternoon at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), to board the 5.50pm flight.
The 50-years old medical doctor made a very strong electoral gains last February 18 when he scored 37% of the votes to challenge the 25-years old increasingly unpopular presidency of Yoweri Museveni (who muscled 58% in a largely rigged election). He also contested against Museveni in 2001 and 2006. Museveni will be sworn in, again, on Thursday May 12, 2011 in Kampala.
USAfricaonline.com notes, significantly, the U.S and Britain looks the other way, and at best make very weak and tepid responses in the face of human rights abuses, corruption, electoral violence and abuses by Museveni.
In the face of today’s international and local outrage over the collusion between Kenya Airways and the Ugandan government to punish Dr. Besigye, the Kenya Airways was compelled to issue a statement “to confirm to its passengers, customers, investors and the public that Ugandan Opposition Leader Dr. Kizza Besigye is now scheduled to depart on KQ414/11th May departing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for Entebbe International Airport at 1750hrs.” KQ Group Managing Director and CEO Titus Naikuni, interestingly, revealed that: “Dr. Besigye was earlier denied boarding on KQ 410/11th May at 0800hrs following information from Kenya Airways internal intelligence sources that the aircraft would not be allowed to land at the Entebbe International Airport if he was on board.
“Dr Besigye thus could not board the aircraft as Kenya Airways had to first ascertain this information without inconveniencing the other passengers destined for Entebbe. The airline has now confirmed and issued Dr Besigye and his wife tickets to depart Nairobi this the evening. The airline takes earliest opportunity to apologise to Dr Besigye for any inconveniences caused.”
The capacity and clout of the opposition against Museveni’s long-running rule have expanded and filings against the validity of his February 2011 votes insist cases of voter intimidation and falsification of results have been made.