Mugumya Arrest: Opposition Blocked from Accessing DR Congo Embassy

Police has blocked leaders of the outlawed Activists for Change (A4C) group led by Rt Col. Kizza Besigye from presenting their petition to the Ambassador of Democratic Republic of Congo to Uganda Jean – Charles Okoth Lalakombe.

A police officer speaks to A4C leaders (Chimpreports Photo)
A police officer speaks to A4C leaders (Chimpreports Photo)

The six leaders who also included:  Mathius Mpuuga, Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, Asuman Basalirwa, Ingrid Turinawe had last week written to the Ambassador informing him that they will be presenting a petition and seeking visas to Congo today.

The petition which was signed by 60 people sought to request the government of DR Congo through its embassy to avail information on the circumstances under which Sam Mugumya was arrested, where he is being held and on which specific charges as well as request for visas.

The group which includes professional lawyers was scheduled to travel to DR Congo on Thursday to help find Mugumya.

Kampala Metropolitan East Regional Police Commander Siraj Bakaleke, told the group that they could not be allowed access to the Embassy as they had not sought permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

However, Dr Besigye says, the denial by police for the leaders to access the embassy is a sign of a hidden agenda by government on the arrest of Sam Mugumya.

Asuman Basalirwa, a lawyer with the opposition argues that access to Embassy’s does not need permission despite their restrictive nature.

Police had as early as 9am deployed on Philip Road Kololo, with patrol cars parked 100 meters from the embassy gate on both access points of the road.

Mugumya is said to have last been seen on 28th October 2014,  in Rukungiri a few days before the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) spokesperson announced that he had been arrested by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC).

On Thursday last week, after a joint meeting between the DR Congo Army and UPDF, a press statement was released indicating that the Commander of  FARDC North Kivu Region, Brig Gen Muhindo Akili Mundos had confirmed the arrest of Mugumya on 21st October 2014.

FARDC says Mugumya was arrested alongside two other Ugandans and two Congolese after they entered the country through an illegal entry point near Ishasha boarder.

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