Uganda:Top Ugandan opposition figure charged with murder after deadly protests

Uganda's main opposition leader, Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party (C), speaks to the media at the high court, in the capital Kampala, where he was charged with treason October 4, 2016. REUTERS/James Akena

KAMPALA (Reuters) – A leading Ugandan opposition figure was arrested and charged with murder, police said on Friday, after a deadly anti-government rally that security personnel broke up with teargas and bullets.

Kizza Besigye, who has contested and lost four presidential elections against long-time leader Yoweri Museveni, was detained on Thursday.

He and two other senior officials of his opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) were held as they travelled to the town of Kabale near the border with Rwanda, police spokesman Denis Namuwoza said.

In Wednesday’s rally, two people died as police fought running battles with government opponents who were assembling to denounce a legislative plan to extend Museveni’s rule.

“Besigye and his colleagues led these youths who stoned police and caused deaths,” Namuwoza told Reuters.

Museveni, 73, is barred by from running again by the constitution which caps the age of a presidential candidate at 75. The next elections are due in 2021.

In power for more than three decades, Museveni is backing proposed legislation to remove that age ceiling.

 

 

 

(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; editing by John Stonestreet)

 

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Mareeg senior news editor since 2001 and he can be reached at news@mareeg.com