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No, Ugandan politician doesn’t hold Guinness World Record for ‘most arrested man in world’

Ugandan politician Kizza Besigye is “the most arrested man in the world”, claims an article shared on Facebook.

“He marked himself in the world book of records on Monday, 20th January 2020, when he was arrested for the 50th time in Uganda,” it says.

The article adds that “30% of his arrests alone came in 2016 when he got arrested more than 15 times during Uganda’s general elections”. 

Is this widely shared story true? We checked.

‘Not recognised for such a title’

Guinness World Records, which used to be called The Guinness Book of Records, is a reference book published every year that lists “record-breaking achievements”. 

Africa Check asked the Guinness World Records press team if Besigye held the record for having been arrested more times than any other man in the world. 

Jessica Spillane said the claim was “not true” and that Guinness World Records “have not recognised him for such a title”. 

“Although we do not encourage people to strive to break the record, the closest category we have for most arrests is Tommy Johns of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, who in 1988 was arrested almost 3,000 times for being drunk and disorderly in a public place,” Spillane said. – Grace Gichuhi


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