Opposition figure Kizza Besigye has reminded Ugandans that if they want back their power from President Museveni’s regime, they must fight for it.
“The thing is, if we want our power back, we must fight for it,” he told Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] leaders in Kasese town.
“We will not fight a battle that Museveni chooses; we shall fight our on battle and choose where we fight it,” Besigye explained.
“So this struggle, I want you to understand where it ends; it ends by subordinating the military to civilian authority- the military realising that the people are stronger than them,” Besigye told Kasese leaders.
Besigye says what happened in 1986 was a mere change of guards not a fundamental change as Museveni claims.
“I was there with them. I was the national political commissar. I asked Museveni ‘where are we going’ but he just told me to keep quiet.”
“Even if we took up arms, we can defeat these ones but nothing will have changed because the population will not be able to control us.”
Besigye said he wants to show Museveni’s regime that Ugandans can defeat him without holding guns.
His aide Ronald Muhinda, said police and the army deployed heavily in Kasese town with offensive military battlefield equipment to hunt for Besigye.
Besigye and FDC President Patrick Amuriat emerged at Kasese FDC offices prompting the army and police to fire bullets to disperse their supporters.
Besigye and FDC National Leadership had not gone to Kasese since 2016 because every attempt was failed by the security.
While hundreds of people had gathered at Nyakasinga playground, police called in the army which deployed APCs and dispersed them.
According to FDC chief mobiliser Ingrid Turinawe, hundreds of armed SFC soldiers, heavy war gunships, military, police etc, were deployed in Kasese six days before our scheduled mobilisation activities.
“Their priority target was to make sure we do not arrive in Kasese. They mounted road blocks on every road that enters Kasese District. They intimidated our leaders and the locals not to respond to our invitation,” Ingrid said.
She said they intimidated all FDC service providers and the management of the radio station the opposition party had booked.
“They checked every hotel room recording information of every guest that slept in Kasese town. We entered Kasese by defiance. We held a meeting with our grassroots structures by defiance.”
She added: “We survived the juntas bullets, teargas, brutality in Kasese town by defiance. All efforts to arrest us were foiled by the locals, we left Kasese by defiance. Soon, Museveni will be defeated by defiance. No turning back.”
According to Chapter Four UG, a non-profit, non-partisan, legal and advocacy organisation, the current spate of attacks on freedom of association, assembly and expression targeting Forum for Democratic Change, the Democratic Party Uganda and other opposition political activities is deeply concerning.
“They point to a democracy in peril and a repetition of evils that have plagued Uganda’s elections in the past,” the CSO said.
It added: “The actions of the state and state agencies in the build-up to the elections will have a considerable impact on the general outlook and final outcome of the elections.”