Monday, June 23, 2014

Piglets probed over Ugandan parliament terror plot

Police in Uganda are testing two piglets for "terrorism related material" after they were smuggled into the country's parliament and turned loose by two anti-corruption protesters. Investigators said they were taking no chances following the demonstration, in which the animals were painted and labelled with slogans accusing MPs of corruption - including the word "MPigs".

Relatives of the two protesters said they have been held in prison awaiting trial on three charges of "criminal trespass, conspiracy to sneak piglets into parliament and interrupting parliament work". Seven police officers who were on duty outside parliament have also been suspended over the security breach, and held on charges of neglect of duty.

Police deputy spokesman Polly Namaye said: "The investigators are to test the animals for terrorism related material. You never know, there could have been another motive other than a protest. This is a standard practice in investigations, leaving out no chances." Uganda, which has troops in Somalia as part of the African Union force fighting al Shabaab insurgents, and is currently on high alert amid fears of attacks by the militants. Ms Namaye added: "In this era, every option must be explored.

"What is seen as a protest can be different, including terrorism, that's why these tests must be done to ensure there is not any other motive by these protesters." The men accused of being behind the demonstration, Robert Mayanja and Norman Tumuhimbise, are members of a protest movement calling themselves the "jobless brotherhood group". The unemployed pair were protesting at what they said was corruption and extravagant spending by MPs. Uganda has been the subject of frequent criticism from foreign donors over allegations of widespread corruption, although protests within the country are rare.

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