Besigye rallies opposition, vows mass action against govt

Opposition leader Kizza Besigye addresses a press conference at his offices on Katonga Road in Kampala on April 18, 2023. PHOTO/ABUBAKER LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • The Opposition leader says he will retire from politics after his mobilisation is successful and the current regime leaves power.

Opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has said his pressure group is meeting other political parties to mobilise the public to denounce “the bad governance that has pushed the country into a deep crisis”.

Addressing journalists at his offices in Katonga, Kampala, yesterday, the chairperson of the People’s Front for Transition, Dr Besigye said all the sectors in the country are in a deep crisis and promised political action to get those in power to act.

He cited the health system which he said has worsened and desperate patients are being asked to buy a list of requirements before accessing what is meant to be free medical care in government hospitals.

“The state we are dealing with is a collapsed state. Even the police that have always been chasing us don’t have fuel and paper to write on. We now need to focus on ending this state capture and have the sovereignty of this country in our hands,” Dr Besigye said.

It is against the above background that he announced a series of meetings with other political parties to mobilise and launch a campaign against corruption, non-payment of health workers and bad infrastructure in the country, among others.

He revealed that at the weekend, he met the National Unity Platform (NUP) leaders .
Dr Besigye said once their mobilisation is successful and the current “regime” leaves power, he will retire from politics.

“My personal decision is that once we bring down the regime that captured our state, I will not seek any leadership position myself. I will not accept any leadership position,” Dr Besigye added.

He cautioned police against interrupting their mobilisation, accusing them of being partisan by letting the first son and presidential advisor on Special Operations, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, to campaign freely yet Opposition meetings were interrupted.

“Museveni is growing weak and sooner or later, he will go, whether he wants it or not. That is why I think his son is actively moving around the country in total violation of the law to demonstrate the impunity and to show that they are the state and the law,” Dr Besigye said.

“We cannot tolerate the fact that Muhoozi is the only one who is allowed to speak and do the mobilisations while others are blocked. He is holding rallies and processions while being protected by the police and the army. We are also going to start and if they want, they will come for us,” Dr Besigye said.

Gen Kainerugaba has been traversing the country and launching various projects, a move politicians and independent thinkers say is early presidential campaigns. He is currently in Kigezi Sub-region.

Efforts to get a comment on whether police would permit Dr Besigye to conduct the mobilisation campaigns from the Force’s spokesperson, Mr Fred Enanga, were futile as he did not answer our repeated calls by press time.

His deputy, Ms Polly Namaye, was also not reachable as her official number was switched off.

Police have on several occasions blocked processions organised by Dr Besigye on grounds that he did not seek clearance from the Force.

Iron sheets saga
On the arrest of ministers over the mismanagement of iron sheets meant for the Karachunas (youth warriors) in Karamoja Sub-region, Dr Besigye said the root cause of corruption must be dealt with starting from the institutions before going to individuals.

“People spend all their time talking about iron sheets. These are insignificant parts of the kind of robbery that is going on and the money that is being stolen. Of course the ministers could not be spared because they took the iron sheets which make a lot of noise,” he said.

Police are currently investigating the mismanagement of the iron sheets. So far three ministers have been arrested over the matter.