From Col Dr. KIzza Besigye:
NAKED ROGUE REGIME- No more pretence of multiparty system or Rule of Law:
This weekend (Friday and Saturday 28th/29th March 2014), I planned to join the Political Party and Civil Society leaders in Kabale and Kasese to launch the “Call for Free and Fair Elections Now”.
After what happened in Mbale and Soroti last weekend and the Statements that were being made by the “Police” Chiefs in Kampala, Kabale and Kasese during the week, I knew that we would be facing stiff challenges in our tasks.
I suspected that I would be blocked en-route to Kabale; so, I first evaded the 24/7 police surveillance around me and drove to Kabale while my “guards” were vigilantly guarding a house in Kampala, where they expected me to be.
At about 8 pm (Thursday), we passed by two Police Patrol Vehicles about 30 kms to Kabale. Soon, it became clear that they were chasing after us and our driver (Mr. Fred Kato) did the needful to keep ahead of them. As we entered Kabale town, the patrol vehicles were quite close behind us. We drove very first up the hill overlooking the town centre and were able to elude our pursuers.
We had already organised a “hideout” to stay overnight and managed to get there without being noticed. As we settled in to have a much-needed meal, we received the news of our colleagues being evicted by “Police” from a radio talk-show.
FDC President, Maj Gen (rtd) Mugisha Muntu and Bishop (rtd) Zac Niringiye had been invited to radio Voice of Kigezi (VOK) to discuss the electoral reforms we intended to launch and other political issues.
By the time of the talk-show, it was clear that the “Police” was up to no good. Heavily armed policemen had surrounded all the 3 FM stations in Kabale town. I understand that Zac and Muntu had to use creative means to get into the VOK unnoticed.
Twenty minutes into the program, the Kabale District Police Commander (DPC) Bosco Arop stormed into the Station with his forces and ordered the program to close immediately and the visitors to leave at once! The host of the program had no choice but to close the program and to ask their visitors to leave as ordered.
I also learnt that a public lecture that was to be delivered by Bishop Zac Niringiye to students of Kabale University on Thursday 27th March was unceremoniously stopped. The Regional Police Commander (RPC), the DPC, the DISO and a heavily armed police squad had arrived at the University shortly before the lecture was due to start and ordered the Vice Chancellor to call it off.
On the same Thursday, the “Police” ordered the owner of the venue booked for our Friday meeting to cancel the booking. Rev Fr Gaetano Tibanyenda (Parish Priest of Kitanga Catholic Parish) and his organising team quickly secured another venue at a downtown hotel.
Vehicle and foot police patrols were reported all over Kabale municipality throughout Thursday night. To the foot policemen’s anguish, a very heavy downpour of rain started at about 5.30am and continued throughout the morning and early afternoon.
As I settled in my Kabale “hideout”, it was clear that we would not be able to hold our meeting as planned. I did not emerge from my “hideout” until about 2 pm, the time of our planned meeting. I was able to reach the venue, the Hill Top Hotel without being noticed.
Expectedly, “riot policemen” had surrounded the Hotel. A crowd of people who had gathered for the meeting was throwing curses at the policemen. Rev Fr Gaetano and Gen Mugisha Muntu were standing by the entrance of the Hotel.
I waved to the crowd through the sunroof; triggering frenzied police activity around us. The notorious police van that permanently tails me had, apparently arrived early in the morning. It’s goons were on rampage around us; trying to clear the gathered people and to force us to leave. The goons were pepper-spraying into any possible opening to our locked vehicle’s cabin.
Gen Muntu informed me that before we arrived, they had told the people to disperse and return to their chores since the police had blocked our meeting. However, a large crowd was still gathered there and we chose to remain there too.
After a while, a recovery vehicle (breakdown) was brought to tow my vehicle away. That’s when we decided to leave the venue and proceed to my home in Rukungiri, about 115 km north of Kabale. The Police van and two patrol vehicles pursued us.
At Kisiizi, midway between Kabale and Rukungiri, we found a large market, where people cheered us wildly and about 20 boda-bodas followed us hooting and cheering.
Shortly after Kisizi Hospital, the police van overtook us and blocked the road. It’s occupants jumped out with batons and guns and viciously attacked the boda-bodas. Others tried to break into our vehicle. We drove through the bush; bypassing the van and speeding onto Rukungiri. I understand some of the boda-bodas were badly injured and are being treated at Kisizi Hospital.
Shortly after getting to my Rukungiri home, the police van arrived with three patrol vehicles (re-enforced by Rukungiri Police) and policemen were deployed all around the home.
It was at this point that I learnt of the arrest of Gen Mugisha Muntu and Rev Fr Gaetano. They were apparently arrested shortly after we left Kabale. They were briefly detained at Kabale Police Station, and then transferred to Ntungamo Police Station (80 km) North East of Kabale. Later in the evening, they were released without any charge.
While in Rukungiri last night, I was informed by our leaders in Kasese (our next stop after Kabale) that police had succeeded in intimidating the owner of booked venue to cancel the booking. It had become difficult to secure another booking, for the same reason. Our meeting was being postponed for week to reorganise.
In spite of this, “Police” blocked DP President General, Mr Norbert Mao, and other DP leaders (who were already on the way to Kasese), at Katunguru brigde. DPC of Kasese informed them that he had instructions not to allow them beyond that point. He ordered them to return to Kampla.
As all this was going on, the High Court in Kampala was once again giving a ruling re-stating that Ssalongo Elias Lukwago was still the Lord Mayor of Kampala. There had been two other similar ruling on the same issue.
The Judge ordered a stop of the elections the Electoral Commission was purporting to organise to fill the office of Lord Mayor. The Judge castigated the Attorney General and Minister for Kampala for contempt of court. We all know that in spite of all this, Mayor Lukwago will not be entering his office because soldiers to stop him from doing so surround it.
The Museveni/ NRM regime has worked hard over the last 28 years to manufacture covers for their brand of military dictatorship. All covers are now gone. I never cease to be amazed by the similarity of the “NRM revolution” and the revolution of George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
In the end, “Animal Farm” was re-named “Manor Farm”; Napolean (the pig), the head of the Animal revolution was wining, dining and playing cards with Mr. Pilkington (man of Foxwood farm). The Animals that carried out the revolution had long been marginalised and terrorised beyond what their original master (Mr. Jones) did.
Peeping through the window, the Animals could no longer see the difference between the Napoleon or the other pigs, and their former masters, the men. I am sure that if all the former dictators were back in State House, dining with Mr. Museveni, we would not tell who was who!
The rogue regime is now as naked as they come. Let’s be under no illusion, we must stand together again and eject all the pigs and the Pilkingtons. This time, we must keep our eyes open and defend the revolution.
WE SHALL OVERCOME!!