Main opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has blasted Yoweri Museveni for vowing to deal with protesters, saying the president is in fear.
In his Coronavirus address on July 21, President Museveni said his government would ‘crush’ those planning protests.
He lashed at those plotting to riot as “selfish” and ‘enemies of our future.”
“I have been hearing some people saying ‘we shall demonstrate, we will riot’. If you riot we shall be here waiting for you, we will deal with you,” Museveni told those planning protests.
“You can plan whatever you plan, we shall crush you. We have been her since the time of the Batembuzi, the Bachwezi…”
He claimed some foreign elements were supporting opposition to carry out protests, further warning those thinking of protests to leave the country and “go with your foreigners.”
This is not the first time Museveni is threatening to crush protesters or his political opposition.
Although he didn’t mention names of those planning to protest, protests have characterized Uganda’s politics, and Museveni’s security agencies have quelled them with force — and brutality.
In 2011, a police officer struck the window of the vehicle of Dr Kizza Besigye, Museveni’s main challenger, and pepper sprayed him.
Besigye was hospitalized in Nairobi after hours of being blocked from leaving the country.
A former Museveni physician and ex-minister in the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) government, Besigye had severally made it clear he was pushing for Museveni’s exit by all means.
Museveni and Besigye have faced off in four presidential elections, all of which the latter has lost and disputed.
Responding to Museveni’s threats, Besigye argued that the president had no moral authority to tell the opposition not to work with foreigners.
According to Besigye, Museveni is afraid of leaving power.
“NRA/NRM was supported by foreigners to win power in Uganda. Mr Museveni has publicly praised the foreign backers and a monument of him and Libyan Leader Gaddafi is a River Katonga,” said Besigye.
“Is this why he’s paranoid about foreigners’ possible support for struggle against his 35-year junta?”