The United States has on Tuesday condemned the continuous harassment and mistreatment of oppositions in Uganda.
In a statement released on its website, the US embassy in Kampala urged the government to respect the rule of law and democratic principles by respecting the freedom of speech and assembly as guaranteed in the constitution.
“Today we join the many Ugandans asking why their government has recently blocked musical concerts and radio talk shows, disrupted peaceful demonstrations and rallies, and deployed heavy-handed security forces against peaceful citizens,” the U.S. Mission in Kampala said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Uganda’s constitution guarantees freedom of assembly and expression.”
The statement follows high level of high handedness by security operatives on opposition leaders including Kyadondo East member of parliament Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu also known as Bobi Wine whose Easter Monday concert was blocked by police.
The United States on Tuesday echoed what it described as “the Ugandan people in calling on the government to respect these rights,” adding, “Strong leaders and states do not stifle speech – they allow their citizens to participate fully and without fear in a vibrant multi-party democracy.”
In response, Uganda government through its spokesperson Ofwono Opondo told the US that Uganda government respects rule of law and constitutionalism which guarantees freedom of assembly expression and movement.
He further noted government “expects all leaders to abide by these standards and cooperate with law enforcement officers in the conduct of their activities.”
Opondo argued that save for one artiste, “all artistes in Uganda enjoy freedom of performance and the media platforms are as free. Equally all politicians enjoy free access to these media platforms.”