Main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential flag bearer Patrick Oboi Amuriat (POA) has revealed the party has deliberately kept veteran opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye off the campaign trail to protect him from contracting Covid19.
While many had expected Dr Besigye to join Amuriat on the campaign trail, Besigye has stayed away.
On who he would back, Besigye recently said he would support all candidates with a liberation message.
For the first time in two decades, Besigye will not be appearing on the presidential ballot paper.
After declining to carry the FDC’s flag for the fourth time in a row, Besigye’s ‘protégé’ Amurit, the party’s president emerged the flag bearer after chairman Wasswa Biriggwa pulled out of the race.
Amuriat’s barefoot village-to-village campaigns are beginning to make his doubting Thomases think twice – despite the mainstream media’s main focus on youthful Robert Kyagulanyi (like they gave a lot of attention to Amama Mbabazi and Museveni in 2016 at the expense of other candidates).
But Amuriat – or any other candidate for that matter – would do better with Besigye on their campaign trail.
Famous for his enthusiasm, energy and grasp of key issues, Besigye’s absence in the 2021 election campaigns is so loud.
Now FDC candidate Amuriat says the party has kept Besigye off the campaign trail to ensure that the politician is free from Covid19.
“We are very deeply concerned about him being exposed during this Covid19 situation. We have got to be certain about his safety before he comes to the field to interact with the people,” Amuriat said on November 17.
At the start of October 2020, Besigye revealed he had gone into self-isolation after one of the people close to him tested positive for the deadly viral disease.
A medical doctor by training – and Museveni’s former personal bush war physician – Besigye has even suggested there was need to postpone elections to preserve lives.
He has called out the president for his u-turn on the dangers of holding an election until a vaccine or drug to treat coronavirus has been found.
In May 2020, Museveni told Ugandans: “To have elections when the virus is still there will be madness. Countries like Iran went on with the elections when the virus was still around and it caused a lot of problems. It is very dangerous.”
“This changed on realising that a delay of the election meant his current (stolen) term expiring, hence being required to vacate his office,” said Besigye.
“Moreover, he’d violently changed Uganda’s Constitution to enable him continue to hold onto power after 35yrs in office!”
Besigye further poked holes in the idea of a scientific election that would do away with mass rallies.
“It’s not possible to have a “scientific election” in a country where even radio sets aren’t widely available in homes. Among M7’s false (and I’ll-conceived) Covid19 response promises was to buy a radio set for every home! There’s no grid power supply to 70% of Uganda’s homes; less than 20% access TVs; and only 13% can access the internet!” he noted.
“That’s why the Minister of Health was a prominent early violator of her Covid19 SOPs, while mobilising in her constituency; NRM primaries totally ignored the SOPs; and the general election campaigns can’t pretend to be guided by SOPs.”