The former presidential candidate says he will not retreat until the people’s government fully takes charge of the country.
Former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate Kizza Besigye has said the question of what he called “rigged February 18 presidential election” has never been settled, and that shifting the focus to other things or the next election in 2021 is out of question.
“We won the election; this time, however much they rigged and tried to cover up, it was still obvious that we won. (Mr) Museveni was not elected to lead the country. From Karamoja to Kabale, wherever I pass they say ‘the people’s President has come.’ We shall not accept the suppressing of people’s decision,” Dr Besigye said.
The Opposition leader was speaking in Kakyeka, Kamukuzi Division, Mbarara Municipality, at the weekend where he was hosted by the party members as they celebrated his release from Luzira prison where he was detained over treason charges for two months. The High Court granted him bail on July 12.
Dr Besigye told the ecstatic crowd: “What happened on February 18 has never been concluded, we must address what went wrong.”
He said government seized people’s power with security personnel besieging FDC headquarters in Najjanakumbi, Kampala, putting him under house arrest in Kasangati, Wakiso District, and deploying army and police officers on the streets in the aftermath of the of the poll.
Mr Badru Kiggundu, the Electoral Commission chairman, announced incumbent President Museveni as the winner with 60 per cent while Dr Besigye, his fourth time challenger, was declared second with 35 per cent. He rejected the results claiming he got 52 per cent. Dr Besigye was later seen in a video clip that was widely circulated in May swear himself in as president.
At the weekend, he mocked government, wondering where they will detain him from, if they have to, after incarcerating him in the far-flung Karamoja, and Luzira.
Besigye no longer imprisonable
“I am no longer imprisonable; I was telling people (in Rukungiri) that you can imprison my body but not my soul. Even if you take me to Luzira, I remain the president of this country,” Dr Besigye said.
“We must understand; government’s mandate is not secured by gun, it is given by people.”
Dr Besigye said they will not retreat until the people’s government fully takes charge of the country. He asked people not to accept repression and trampling on their rights.
“We shall not retreat, not even once, there is a people’s government and it will remain. We are going to show you how they (those in charge of people’s government) will serve you; even when we don’t control the money, we are here and will serve you until these ones leave and we fully take over.”
The former presidential candidate was accompanied by Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, MPs Mubarak Munyagwa, Francis Mwijukye and Roland Kaginda, FDC secretary for mobilisation Ingrid Turinawe and DP vice president for western Region Imam Makumbi.
Dr Besigye said they are open to negotiations with the NRM about its peaceful exit.
“When they got terrified, voices started coming saying let’s talk; we are not against it. What we want to talk about is how they will go. If we don’t talk about how they will go, they may go in a bad way,” he warned.
He said police are not oppressive to the Opposition but are misled by a few of their commanders working for the regime and not serving interests of all Ugandans.
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