On the morning of Friday February 19, 2016, Party leaders of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) were holding a meeting at the Party Headquarters in preparation for a press conference. We intended to show the gross discrepancy between the presidential election results that the Electoral Commission was releasing and those that we had in our possession and knew to be correct.
Before the press conference, heavily armed police, operating on wrong and illegal orders from President Yoweri Museveni’s regime, invaded and disrupted our meeting and arrested Dr. Kizza Besigye, our party presidential candidate, Ms. Ingrid Turinawe, our Secretary for Mobilization, and me. We were taken to Naggalama Police Station in Mukono where we were detained all day without any charges being laid.
In the evening of the same day, Dr. Besigye and I were told that we were free to go but that Ms. Turinawe would continue to be detained.
If our arrest was intended to intimidate the leaders of FDC, the effect was to strengthen our resolve and our single-minded focus on fighting for our rights, our freedoms and democratic governance in Uganda.
One thing that all Ugandans must understand is that our fight for our rights, our freedoms and democratic governance cannot be compromised. These are the objectives on which we have focused our efforts and we shall continue to do so. Our energies, efforts and attention must remain on the achievement of those objectives.
At a strategic level, the situation is highly in our favour. At a tactical level, where Museveni still has some temporary advantages, we must focus on shifting that imbalance in our favor.
I thank all Ugandan people who participated fully and honorably in this exercise and were bold in voting and in guarding our votes throughout the country. I thank you for the sacrifices you have made. I urge you not to lose hope or to be discouraged by this temporary upset. We must all remain focused on our objectives.
I call upon all Ugandans and the international community to reject and condemn the fraud that has been committed and to expose it to the fullest extent possible.
Lastly, we must all be psychologically prepared for the occurrence of more illegal arrests and other forms of intimidation. Clearly what we are witnessing in the choreographed announcements of the fraudulent results is part of a creeping political coup d’état. However, we have no doubt at all that the Ugandan people will ultimately prevail.
Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu
Forum for Democratic Change