Breaking

Security Blocks US Ambassador from Visiting Kyagulanyi

Top story
“The United States regularly meets with actors across Uganda’s political spectrum as part of its diplomatic engagement. The purpose of Ambassador Brown’s visit was to check on Mr. Kyagulanyi’s health and safety, given that he’s effectively been unable to leave his home, with security forces surrounding his residence,” reads a statement from the US embassy.
Ambassador Natalie E Brown meets President Museveni
Security has blocked the US Ambassador to Uganda; Natalie E. Brown from accessing the residence of the National Unity platform-NUP president, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu. Brown tried to access Kyagulanyi’s home in Magere in Wakiso district on Monday evening but was turned away by security.

“The United States regularly meets with actors across Uganda’s political spectrum as part of its diplomatic engagement.  The purpose of Ambassador Brown’s visit was to check on Mr. Kyagulanyi’s health and safety, given that he’s effectively been unable to leave his home, with security forces surrounding his residence,” reads a statement from the US embassy.

The former presidential candidate is currently confined at his residency by security to allegedly stop him from mobilising his supporters to protest the outcomes of last week’s presidential elections. According to the embassy, the campaigns leading to the presidential elections were marred by harassment of opposition candidates, campaign staff and supporters, suppression of the media and civil society organization activities and a nationwide internet shutdown before, during, and after voting day. 

“These unlawful actions and the effective house arrest of a presidential candidate continue a worrying trend on the course of Uganda’s democracy.” The embassy called on the Government to respect the rights of Ugandans, adding no one should be denied means to communicate and the freedom to leave their home.

“We call on the Ugandan government to respect their citizens’ human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press as provided for in Uganda’s own constitution and according to commitments Uganda has made to uphold international human rights standards," the embassy statement reads.

Ofwono Opondo, the Executive Director of the Media Center and government spokesperson said that Ambassador Natalie’s intended visit broke protocol guidelines.

  “Ambassador Natalie has defined diplomatic protocol and norms to follow, namely to write to Ministry of Foreign affairs about her concerns or intended visit and those concerns would be clarified or addressed,” Opondo said.

  Opondo also said that Kyagulanyi is being protected for his own good and safety and we can’t tell what the Ambassador's intentions were.

  “We would like to advice and people in her category to always use the appropriate official or diplomatic channels available to them. We don't want any possible embarrassment by law enforcement personnel on the ground. Clearly she's meddling in Uganda's international politics to discredit our elections and we shall not give her a free pass”, he added.

President Museveni was declared the winner of the Thursday elections after garnering 58% of the total votes cast while Kyagulanyi came second with 34%. Kyagulanyi has since protested the poll results citing vote-rigging and widespread intimidation and oppression of the opposition.

Images 1

Keywords