President Museveni has once again engaged Ugandans most especially the youth via social media about a number of issues that have been happening in the country most especially the riots against the arrest of MP Robert Kyagulanyi.
The president also once again condemned the beating of journalists by elements of the Security forces.
“It is true that the journalists working for foreign interests or for our own local parasites to tell lies, they do not do balanced reporting. On account of that you can block them because sometimes they interfere with the scene of crime.”
He advised security forces that “If they refuse, you arrest them and charge them with disobeying lawful command”.
He added that it is wrong to beat them saying that the security forces do not have that power adding that people should not be beaten or even as a punishment.
“They can be imprisoned, fined, hanged, etc according to the law and logic but they cannot, be beaten (flogged) except if the Police is dispersing a menacing mob threatening to kill people or damage property. In some countries, they use batons”.
On the issue of police engaging rioters, the president added that anti-riot SOPs (Standard Operational Procedures) give the whole spectrum of options.
He said they include warning rioters using loud- speakers, using shields and batons, using tear gas, using rubber bullets, using water – cannons, using rifles but firing in the air and, finally, shooting directly at the rioter in self- defense( for the Security personnel), to stop him harming a mwanainchi or damaging property if they do not pay heed”.
The commander in chief warned that “Therefore, Bazukulu, do not be misled by those who are misusing you that the Security cannot use deadly force. It all depends on the circumstances”.
On the issue of releasing Bobi Wine and the others, he explained that the President of Uganda does not have such powers.
“Once somebody is arrested, charged and remanded, it is only two authorities who can release such people in any way: the Courts or the DPP withdrawing charges if the evidence is not enough. Let us therefore, wait for the Courts and see what they decide” He explained.
Museveni also while responding to one Richard Tuwangye whether confronting the rioters can’t affect Tourism and give bad image to Uganda, he said in the short-run, it may.
He however noted that, in the long- run it will pay because opportunists will stop playing around with the stability of the country.
“Tuwangye skepticism about importing voters by the opposition will be reversed once he sees the evidence in courts” He added.