Wednesday, June 26, 2024
26 C
Brunei Town

Uganda detains opposition figure urging protests over prices

KAMPALA, UGANDA (AP) – A Ugandan opposition figure who is calling for street protests against rising commodity prices is being detained inside his home by police.

Four-time presidential candidate Kizza Besigye has been unable to leave his home outside the capital, Kampala, since May 12, with police pitching camp nearby to enforce his apparent house arrest.

Ugandan police routinely detain opposition figures inside their homes, insisting they can impose preventive arrest to maintain order.

Besigye’s detention followed his call for Ugandans to “wake up” and protest against rising commodity prices that the government blames mostly on the war in Ukraine, a major supplier of grain and edible oils.

Besigye is a serial campaigner against the government of longtime President Yoweri Museveni.

His “Walk to Work” protest movement following the 2011 presidential election – also sparked by inflationary commodity prices – was violently stopped in months.

Besigye’s current home confinement has drawn anger from his followers, and there are growing calls by activists and others for the government to intervene.

But authorities are ruling this out and urging the people to tighten their belts.

Museveni, an authoritarian who has been in power since 1986, told Ugandans in a recent speech to substitute cassava for bread, saying the widely cultivated root tuber is a healthy alternative that drew scorn from many.