Come home and I will accept you, Museveni tells Besigye
Posted Tuesday, October 8 2013 at 01:00
KAMPALA- President Museveni yesterday said arch-opponent, Kizza Besigye and Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago should apologise, stop fighting losing battles, repent, and be re-admitted into the ruling party.
The remarks drew a quick-fire rejoinder from Dr Besigye, a former comrade and personal doctor, who has now run in three bitterly-contested elections against him.
“Apologise for what? Well, he makes himself a judge and that is what we are fighting,” Dr Besigye told the Daily Monitor on phone. “I am not surprised because Museveni is out of reality. He is not aware that he has completely destroyed the country.”
The President, speaking at the opening of multi-billion market in Wandegeya, repeated his accusation that the two politicians oppose development and lie to the common man.
The two have since the disputed 2011 elections drawn crowds in the city during protests against misrule and corruption in government, attracting brutal clamp-downs by State security forces.
“Just like [former city mayor Nasser] Ssebagala, Lukwago and Besigye should apologise and we shall gladly accept them back home,” Mr Museveni said in vernacular.
He said the market is an example of the many good things for Kampala were it not for “narcissistic” politicians like Lukwago, Besigye, Kawempe mayor Mubarak Munyagwa; previous city mayors like Ssebaana Kizito, and Ssebagala “politicking instead”.
“Kampala’s problems are too many. In fact, starting with the decision by you people to vote self-centred politicians,” he said. “My votes in the same area have all along been stolen in favour of the opposition; who don’t do anything for you, but I cannot abandon you because you are my people.”
The President, again, said city executive director Jennifer Musisi was appointed to develop Kampala.
“Lukwago has been around for some time but what has he done for you? He is always opposing developments like these instead, but my daughter Musisi is at least doing things you can appreciate. Mayors shall remain but always work within a limit.”
His government will resist opponents of development, he said. “That is why NRM will ensure that the likes of [MPs] Niwagaba, Ssekikuubo, Tinkasimire, and Nsereko are completely flashed out.”
The ruling party consistently loses elections in Kampala.
Col (rtd) Dr Besigye fell out with NRM in 1999 after writing a highly critical paper accusing the NRM government of becoming undemocratic, intolerant and derailing from the objectives for which Mr Museveni led a guerilla war between 1981 – ‘86.
Yesterday, he said: “That market is part of the $7 million which Ugandans are going to pay. Museveni should not merit any response and soon will realise who should apologise. If he is right in what he is saying, he should not have lost elections in Kampala since elections started. He is trying to take Kampala by force. Why can’t he go to the people?”
The new market features a children’s day care centre and storage freezer rooms.
Construction began in 2011 with grants from the Africa Development Bank and Arab Bank for Economic Development. It will accommodate 1,200 traders.
Ms Musisi said “traders who operated in the market initially and signed agreements with KCCA shall be given first priority.”