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Uganda's opposition leader arrested after swearing himself to office


Ugandan police have arrested opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, after he swore himself to office before party officials ahead of incumbent Yoweri Museveni’s swearing-in ceremony on Thursday.

“I, Kizza Besigye Kifefe, swear in the name of the almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Uganda and that I shall preserve, protect and defend the constitution. So help me God,” he took an oath holding a bible.

“I shall preserve, protect and defend the constitution of Uganda, so help me God,” Besigye swore before party officials and supporters.

After the event, Besigye drove around Kampala waving at supporters before he was arrested by police for “addressing an illegal assembly, and towed his car away with him inside it,” Reuters reports.

Besigye, who is the leader of the Forum for Democratic Change, was arrested several times after the country’s disputed February 18 general election.

Besigye has insisted he won the election with 52 per cent votes, despite the official announcement that declared Museveni winner with 61 per cent votes. He got 35 per cent and declared the polls were rigged and will not approve Museveni’s presidency.

“Mr. Museveni who intends to cling onto what Mr. Kiggundu announced, that is unattainable from the available evidence. Therefore, any swearing-in by Mr. Museveni is not a swearing by the constitution of the Republic of Uganda because he has not won an election,” Besigye said.

Security has been tightened in the Ugandan capital ahead of Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony for President Yoweri Museveni who will extend his mandate as the country’s leader for another five-year term

On Tuesday, there were several foot and vehicle security patrols by the military and police on the streets of Kampala.

Fourteen Heads of State are expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony scheduled to take place at the Kololo ceremonial ground in Kampala.

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