It is the top trending topic in Africa today, and it has left many people wondering what democracy some African countries and leaders practice. Early today, two presidential hopefuls in Uganda, former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and leading opposition figure Kizza Besigye were arrested while attempting to launch their campaigns for the 2016 presidential elections. Prior to his arrest, Mr Mbabazi had been warned by police not to hold the meetings. He was arrested and detained by police after travelling outside Kampala, to hold public consultations over is planned presidential bid. Kizza Besigye , on the hand was arrested at his home in Kasangati, central Uganda. Mr Besigye was planning to attend a rally to confirm his candidacy to run for the presidency under the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party. According to Uganda’s news site News Vision, shortly after arresting him, the police drove Besigye towards Naggalama where he was later taken in. So what message is President Museveni trying to send out? Besigye for example has gone through so much torture under president Museveni whenever he opposes him. It is not the first time the opposition leader has been arrested and taken in. President Museveni has been in power since 1986 and is expected to seek a fourth term in next year's poll; doesn’t he think it now time he allowed other people to seek the position? Being an African leader, with a typical African leader mentality the guess is so obvious. Museveni has turned out to be a dictator and unfortunately, the Ugandans are entertaining this. What he needs to know is that the era of dictatorial governing like that of Adolf Hitler and Idi Amin are long gone. Critics and opposition is here to stay and the Ugandan president should learn to live with that. One wonders if in Uganda, it is a crime to aspire to be a president when President Kaguta Museveni is still alive. When we as Kenyan and other East Africans see what is happening in Uganda, it breaks our hearts Just as one George Ayittey said, ‘’Getting rid of the dictator is only a first step in establishing a free society. The dictatorship must also be disassembled.’’ It is time for leaders like Museveni to know that times have change and for this change to take effect, the people of Uganda must stand out to fight for their rights.
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KanaliSpeaks is a blog that focuses on current issues and all things governance.