Independent presidential candidate Joseph Kiiza Kabuleta has said he will not halt his campaigns after four of his colleagues in the race suspended campaigns, saying such a boycott only gives the incumbent a smoother run.
“Suspending campaigns as a form of protest over the brutal and mindless arrest of our colleagues Patrick Oboi Amuriat and Honourable Robert Kyagulanyi can only serve the interests of one person – Museveni,” Mr Kabuleta said in a statement yesterday.
Four presidential candidates, Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu of the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde of Renewed Uganda, Mr Nobert Mao of the Democratic Party (DP), and Mr John Katumba, an Independent, have suspended their campaigns in protest against the brutal arrest of their colleagues.
NUP’s Kyagulanyi and FDC’s Amuriat were arrested on Wednesday for reportedly violating the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Health’s standard operating procedures, according to police.
Mr Kabuleta argues that while the Opposition players suspend their engagements with the electorate, the incumbent continues to campaign.
“We are 11 candidates, which makes for a football team. If two of our players are temporarily and unjustly taken off the pitch, our best chances of victory lie in the remaining nine players pulling up their socks and attacking the opponent ferociously.
But if they walk+ off the pitch in protest, the match is easily won by the opponent. And remember our opponent is also the referee,” Mr Kabuleta said.
“If there is one thing that Dr Kizza Besigye’s 20-years of defiance showed us, it is that the man we are dealing with is beyond any shame. By suspending campaigns over the various injustices and unlevelled ground, our colleagues Gen Muntu, Gen Tumukunde and other boycotters prove that they entered this race under the illusion of fair play,” he added.
With elections scheduled for January 14, the candidates are left with only 53 days of campaigning.