FDC condemns the unexplained arresting as in some cases disappearance of some opposition supporters. This was billed as an election that would be devoid of intimidation and violence, but it’s far from that. Add to that the unfortunate remarks attributed to candidate Museveni over the weekend that he would not leave power are of concern.
In December, while campaigning in Namutumba he said he cannot leave the oil money to other people and that he will go to the bush. That in itself is an intimidating remark, and a well calculated one at that, aimed at causing despondency among the population. But we, as FDC, urge our supporters all over the country to disregard Museveni’s remarks. We urge our supporters to continue the mobilization exercise. Recruit more people and let’s overwhelm Museveni when the elections come. If we all turn up and vote, he will have no choice but to go.
The police have been quick to condemn Dr Besigye’s defiance campaign but when Museveni makes remarks that could be criminal in nature, they look the other way. We believe that the police, together with the army are being complicit in abetting this crime.
This young man here, Senate Karoota Kakwebe, a coordinator of FDC in Nyakashashara, in Kirihura district has been in hiding for his life because UPDF soldiers, who under the law are prohibited from participating in partisan politics, have made it their preoccupation to harass and intimidate him. As he will tell you, a certain Major Alice Kukundakwe vandalized our offices carrying away our files and plucked down Dr Besigye’s posters. This case was reported to the police (Kaguta Rd police detach) for criminal trespass and threatening violence (DDB Ref 05/06/01/2016). Instead of the police carrying out inquiries, the guns were literally turned on Senate Karoota Kakwebe. He has had to flee his home because he is a wanted man for reporting a case. There are hundreds of such stories countrywide.
But as FDC we despise the methods of intimidation, violence that NRM with the help of the army and police are meting out to our supporters. We shall not look on with folded arms. That is why we shall use our Power 10 structures as well as other volunteers to protect our interests.
For a man who spent five years in the bush, Museveni is such a scared. Although it comes as no surprise that Mueveni ducked out of the planned presidential debate, it is disappointing. It is a clear signal that he has nothing to offer. Museveni feared to be exposed for the spent force he is. The claims by his handlers that he would rather spend the time talking to his voters in the villages, is weak. To claim that his support is in the countryside is a fallacy that he has perpetuated over the years. The fact is Museveni cannot debate. He fears to be challenged. It is also a slap in the face to the prominent members of society who put in their time and resources to ensure that the debate happens. Like Dr Besigye said over the weekend, he is available to debate with Museveni whenever he finds the time.
The Independent Coalition, whose Presidential Candidate is Mr. Mabirizi Elton Joseph have agreed to on a Vote Protection arrangement to ensure Free and Fair Elections. We are thrashing out the details which we shall share at a later date.
Ambassador Wasswa Birigwa