KAMPALA, Uganda — A Ugandan archbishop has warned authorities against harassing or torturing members of the opposition.
Mistreatment of opponents by President Yoweri Museveni and his government is unfair, Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga of Kampala said in his homily at a Jan. 26 Mass in St. Pius Church in Masajja, on the outskirts of the capital.
Ugandan police arrested pop-star-turned-opposition-leader Bobi Wine early in January after firing tear gas to stop him from holding a meeting with his supporters.
Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, and two other opposition members of parliament were held by police after attempting to hold a public meeting in Lira, Uganda. The 37-year-old lawmaker intends to run against long-serving Museveni in the 2021 elections.
Police also fired tear gas to disperse a Jan. 20 march led by another opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, in the southeastern town of Jinja.
“Such acts must stop,” Lwanga said. “It is unfair for the government to mistreat members of the opposition,” he said, noting that “they have a right to meet.”
Noting that Besigye was Museveni’s personal doctor in the 1980s, the archbishop said, “Can you imagine, he was Museveni’s doctor but now he is being beaten and harassed by police.”
Lwanga urged the government to let its opponents move freely around the country.
“It is the government that has made Bobi Wine and Dr. Kizza Besigye popular. Whenever they are tortured, people like them more,” he said.
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