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Besigye calls out EU over ‘PR stunt’ visit to Bobi Wine’s Magere home; warns IMF, World Bank Ugandans have right not to pay back loans

Dr Kizza Besigye. Courtesy Photo

Opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye used his first press conference since the January 14 presidential election to sting the European Union, warn the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, as well as urge the global community to take action against the Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni administration.

Besigye, alongside Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president Patrick Oboi Amuriat (POA), addressed reporters at his People’s Government (PG) headquarters along Katonga Road in the capital Kampala.

The four-time presidential candidate suggested the results of the election vindicated him.

Besigye had opted out of the presidential election. His party’s candidate Amuriat came third — behind Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine of the National Unity Platform (NUP) in second place, and Museveni of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) in first.

“I told those who participated that election in itself cannot remove the gunmen. Citizens have to do more than participate in an election. We simply have to struggle,” he said.

He castigated the EU for engaging in public relations (PR) stunts instead of taking action against Museveni’s government.

“I heard this morning that a team of EU officials went to visit Mr Kyagulanyi at his home. This is not time for visiting; it’s not time for PR: it is time for action.”

Besigye also warned local and international lenders that Ugandans could refuse to pay back the loans he says are being misused by the Museveni government.

He claimed the money being spent on arresting and detaining opposition members is borrowed, and if the lenders don’t close their taps, Ugandans could decide not to pay.

“All the money being used to hunt down our people is borrowed money: it is not Uganda’s money. Since March last year, government has borrowed 1.7 billion dollars from Stanbic, IMF and World Bank. This is the money being used to torture our people, and we are expected to pay it back,” noted Besigye.

“We want to send a very clear message to these lenders that giving loans the way they are doing is a perfect description of an odious debt. In history there is a lot of precedent that as citizens, we have a right not to pay back an odious debt because these loans are not being used in the interest of the people of Uganda.”

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