Besigye: I can’t rule out war

Sunday February 27 2011

UNRELENTING: Dr Besigye says even if war is an option, he believes there are still more avenues through which Mr Museveni can be dislodged from power. PHOTO BY ISAAC KASAMANI

Dr Kizza Besigye has said he is not ruling out the possibility of going to the bush to dislodge President Museveni from power, but a final decision is pending because he believes “other avenues still exist to remove the illegitimate government”.

The Forum for Democratic Change party leader, in his first wide-ranging interview with a newspaper since losing the February 18 presidential ballot, said Mr Museveni and the Electoral Commission colluded to steal the election through a combination of ballot stuffing, vote-buying, intimidation using the military, disenfranchisement of registered voters and alteration of actual results.

“I have never ruled out the use of arms to remove a dictatorship,” Dr Besigye said in answer to our question whether he would consider armed rebellion to topple Mr Museveni, who himself started a guerilla movement on grounds that the 1980 election which he lost was rigged.

Results rejected
Mr Museveni won the February 18 vote with 68 per cent, and Dr Besigye, his former bush-time personal physician, and bidding for the political chief executive job for the third time, came second with 26 per cent ahead of six other contenders.

All the losers have rejected the poll result, and four of them, including Dr Besigye, have called for countrywide peaceful demonstrations to force Mr Museveni out of State House.

“The reason we are saying we should not go to war now is because we think there are still other avenues to bring the country back on the path of constitutional rule,” Dr Besigye, who ran as presidential flag bearer for the IPC, said in an interview on Saturday.


“But war is not something you walk into casually. War is extremely a destructive process and shouldn’t be entered into lightly. It should be the extreme option. And I have not ruled it out as an option.”