Besigye and the Police: From Pepper Spray to Praise, a Curious Evolution

Ugandan Police Shower Besigye with Unprecedented Praise: Is Hell Freezing Over?

Ugandan Police Shower Besigye with Unprecedented Praise: Is Hell Freezing Over?
PHOTO - INFORMER UG - Ugandan Police Shower Besigye with Unprecedented Praise: Is Hell Freezing Over?
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Dr. Kizza Besigye, the perennial thorn in the side of the Ugandan government, is scratching his head in disbelief. Why? Because the same police force that once temporarily blinded him with pepper spray and treated him to an impromptu gunpoint dance party is now singing his praises like he’s their long-lost best friend. One can’t help but wonder if pigs are about to fly.

Now, dear readers, allow me to jog your memory. In the distant past of 2011, Besigye experienced a rather unpleasant encounter with the police. Pepper spray, car seizures, and gunpoint removals from vehicles were all the rage back then. All of this happened while he was leading what must have been the world’s most colorful protest against rising food and fuel prices.

Despite being temporarily blinded and sporting a right hand that could rival a mummy’s, thanks to a rubber bullet mishap from a previous demonstration, Besigye still managed to wave at his adoring fans with his left hand. Now that’s what I call dedication.

Fast forward to 2023, and Kifefe can’t believe his ears. The same police force that once saw him as target practice is now giving him a gold star for being oh-so-disciplined during his country-wide tour. I mean, this guy’s been through more tear gas than your average riot shield!

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Besigye, in his own bewildered words, admitted that it was “surprising” to hear the police commend him for his “discipline” in their recent interactions. He even went on to say that these meetings with leaders were like casual coffee chats, sometimes happening in the cozy setting of someone’s living room. “I always attend these meetings, engage with them, and then move on to other activities,” Besigye explained, as if sipping tea with political rivals was a casual stroll in the park.

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Old Kifefe suspects that there might be some secret agenda behind the police’s newfound affection for him. Maybe, just maybe, they’re sending coded messages to President Museveni. Perhaps they’ve realized that a peaceful coffee klatch is more effective than a pepper spray party. Or maybe, just maybe, they’re trying to win him over with their newfound charm.

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Just last week, the police went so far as to tip their hats to Besigye for organizing peaceful meetings during his tour of Nebbi District. He’s on a mission, you see, to rally the troops and snatch the FDC party leadership away from Nandala Mafabi and Patrick Oboi Amuriat.

The police even had the audacity to emphasize the importance of keeping the peace and protecting businesses during these gatherings. Yet, it’s worth mentioning that just a tad earlier, the police issued a stern decree, essentially telling National Unity Platform president Robert Kyagulanyi, “No more fun for you!”

They accused him of inciting violence, stirring the sectarian pot, making questionable calls for regime change, and saying nasty things about President Museveni and generally being a thorn in the ruling government’s side thus their move to slam the door and ban his mobilization tours.

In response, NUP spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi dismissed these claims as government tactics designed to rain on their parade. Ssenyonyi reassured everyone that while NUP might be yearning for regime change, they plan to stick to the boring, old legal routes.

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Historically, the police and FDC were like oil and water – they just didn’t mix. Besigye and the police had more run-ins than your average soap opera couple. So, the fact that the police are now applauding Besigye’s antics is nothing short of astounding. Who knows, maybe there’s hope for reconciliation between cats and dogs after all? In the world of Ugandan politics, expect the unexpected – or just expect nothing at all!


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