Archbishop calls for govt to release arrested opposition leader

The Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, has urged the government of President Yoweri Museveni to release opposition leader Kizza Besigye from house arrest. In a homily given at All Saints Cathedral in Kampala on Easter Sunday, Archbishop Ntagali asked for the government to begin talks with the opposition FDC party (Forum for Democratic Change) to ease tensions in the wake of February’s general elections and to release Dr. Besigye, an Anglican, from confinement.  “Let us pray for Dr Besigye who is under house arrest such that he is freed by government,” Archbishop Ntagali said. On 18 Feb 2016 police arrested Dr Besigye and have confined him to his home, charging him with sedition after he claimed the government was manipulating the polls. The official results of the election gave him 34 per cent of the vote to President Museveni’s 62 per cent. In a statement released after the vote, Dr. Besigye urged Ugandans to engage in nonviolent protests against the regime, claiming the election had been rigged “using intimidation of voters, imprisonment of opponents, sabotage of rallies, late delivery of election materials, delayed opening of election centers, vote falsification at undisclosed tally centers, and bribery, among other malpractices.” The Church of Uganda has refrained from endorsing political candidates or parties, and Anglicans can be found across the political spectrum. Dr. Besigye strongly opposed a recent bill strengthening the country’s sodomy laws, which had been introduced in Parliament by another Anglican, MP David Bahati.

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