Hoima- The FDC presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye, has promised to give affirmative action to Bunyoro sub-region if he is elected president.
Dr Besigye while campaigning in Hoima District on Friday, said Bunyoro and Busoga sub-regions that have for long been strongholds of the NRM government have been neglected and instead government has paid attention to Opposition regions.
“We shall have special programmes to transform this region to address your concerns that have for long been neglected,” Dr Besigye said. He added that poverty, collapsing infrastructure and general marginalisation are evident in the oil-rich Bunyoro subregion.
Dr Besigye addressed rallies in Bugambe, Buseruka, Kabwooya and Kigorobya sub-counties before ending with a major rally at Hoima Booma grounds.
He warned people in Bunyoro sub-region against blind loyalty to the NRM. “You need to be assertive in demanding your rights. You have been too silent about your issues. You need to speak up and task government to address your issues,” he cautioned.
He asked voters to vote him and his party the Forum for Democratic Change into power in order for them to experience tangible change in their lives.
Dr Besigye promised to give the sub-region shares on revenues accruing from oil proceeds and other natural resources. “There should be a clear share for the landlords, the region and the rest of the country from proceeds accruing from minerals and other natural resources,” Dr Besigye said.
He said the oil agreements that remain a secret will be made public if he assumes office.
“We shall manage oil transparently in a manner that gives you benefits and all people know what is being done in the oil industry,” he told cheering crowds.
The Albertine region in Bunyoro has vast quantities of oil estimated at over 6.5 billion barrels of crude oil which have so far been discovered. Efforts are underway to extract the oil reserves by 2018.
The FDC party president retired Maj Gen (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu who also addressed the rallies with Dr Besigye said Uganda has a lot of wealth but it is being mismanaged by NRM.
“There is no justification for us to be poor when God blessed us with vast wealth. Even the taxes you pay are far more than the revenue expected from oil. But this tax is also misused,” said the former army commander.
Dr Besigye, who arrived in Hoima town at about 5.30pm, moved in a procession through the streets of Hoima.
Hoima District police commander Bernard Akankwasa and the deputy Albertine Regional Police Commander Mr Ronnie Waiswa, attempted to stop Dr Besigye’s rally, claiming his rally was past the official time of 6pm and therefore illegal.
However, the defiant Besigye proceeded with addressing the rally as supporters blocked the police chiefs from accessing the accessing the podium .
Later, Maj Gen Muntu held a discussion with the police chiefs on the sides.
President Museveni’s convoy, moving from Kibaale District, passed via the Hoima-Kampala highway adjacent to Besigye’s rally venue.