Wednesday February 17 2016

Besigye appeals to EC, UPDF ahead of polls

FDC presidential candidate Kizza Besigye

FDC presidential candidate Kizza Besigye (raising hands) calms his supporters shortly before he was arrested at Jinja road in Kampala yesterday. his rally. Photos BY Abubaker Lubowa. 


Kampala. Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye, has appealed to the Electoral Commission (EC) and the armed forces to rise to their constitutional responsibilities and act with impartiality ahead of the general election tomorrow.

“The actions or inactions of the officers and men in uniform may lead to disastrous consequences,” Dr Besigye stated.
Speaking at his Kasangati home yesterday morning, Dr Besigye asked the army to “act judiciously and remember the country is bigger than the commander-in-chief. The commander-in-chief must abide by the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.”

Flanked by former army commander, Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, Dr Besigye, who served in the Bush War that brought the current government in power, urged those in charge of the military to “recognise the suffering all the other militaries have suffered,” saying that the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) should not be “scrapped” even after President Museveni leaves power.

The FDC flag-bearer, speaking ahead of his final campaign day rallies in Nakawa Division of Kampala, also appealed to regional and international players to speak up about what he said was a deteriorating environment ahead of the elections.
Dr Besigye said Uganda, which has in recent years been known for promoting regional and continental peace, has “now become a major threat to peace and stability in the region and Africa”.

“We have a local saying here that you should not let the baby who you are going to carry on your back to first get covered in mud,” he said when he addressed himself to regional States and the international community.
The now four-time presidential candidate was on Monday blocked from campaigning in the city centre, arrested and detained on two occasions in a standoff that left unidentified man dead, tens injured and many detained.

Regarding the man who died, Dr Besigye said: “We shall mourn him and declare him a hero of the liberation struggle.”
He renewed his dissatisfaction with the EC, which he said had ignored all calls to carry out “even the most basic reforms.” Dr Besigye asked the commission’s chairman, Dr Badru Kiggundu, and the electoral body’s spokespersons, to “desist from being overtly partisan.

“As late as last night, Prof Kiggundu said in an on-record television interview that if he had his own way, I would not have been nominated.”

Dr Kiggundu said on Monday night as a guest on “The Big Debate”, a segment of the 9pm news broadcast on NTV. He took issue, not for the first time, with Dr Besigye’s ‘defiance’ message.