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Day of drama as Besigye blocked from flying home

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba


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President Museveni has faced Dr Kizza Besigye in the last three presidential elections and, as he swears-in today for another five –year term of office, fate has thrown the two rivals into the spotlight.After Kenya Airways refused to fly the opposition leader back to the country yesterday under unclear circumstances, Dr Besigye said he would fly back at 9a.m. today, just as the swearing-in ceremony kicks off at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala.If it was a movie script, with a plot featuring an airline, intelligence agents, two governments, a president and a key rival roughed up by state agents and flown abroad for treatment, would have been a thriller – but life can sometimes be stranger than fiction.Dr Besigye said yesterday that Kenya Airways officials told him that government had a hand in stopping him from returning aboard the airline’s 9a.m. flight, although Kampala has stoutly denied its reported involvement.Dr Besigye told this newspaper on telephone from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport last evening that he had just been given tickets for today’s morning flight, together with his wife Winnie Byanyima and a nurse.The leader of the opposition FDC party has been undergoing treatment in Nairobi Hospital for injuries suffered when security agents breaking up the walk-to-work protest violently arrested him on April 28, dousing him with liquid teargas and pepper spray and leaving him temporarily blinded.