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Monday, December 5, 2022

Besigye: My coalition with Bobi Wine not about 2021 presidential election

Opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye of the People’s Government (PG)  says his alliance with Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine is not targeting the 2021 presidential election.

On June 15, Besigye, Bobi Wine and other members of the political opposition unveiled a loose coalition platform dubbed United Forces of Changes.

They even launched a joint campaign called ‘No, Nedda’ meant to demand better services and freedoms.

They called upon Ugandans “to rise up and defend themselves against a regime which has used the Covid19 situation to enrich itself at the expense of Ugandans and to entrench themselves further.”

 PG Deputy President Erias Lukwago and Justice Forum (Jeema) leader Asuman Basalirwa in Wakiso District read a joint statement of the Forces of Change.

“We are now, therefore announcing that we shall lead Ugandans in a range of non-violent activities aimed at changing the status quo,” read the declaration in part.

A day later, the Electoral Commission (EC) announced  guidelines for the conduct of 2021 general elections.

Commission Chairperson Simon Mugenyi Byabakama said political rallies are banned, and campaigning will be restricted to media channels.

Election observers and other political players have challenged the guidelines, saying they are not steeped in law.

Pastor Joseph Kabuleta of Watchman Ministries has already sued the EC over the guidelines.

But the Byabakama-led Commission insists it has the existing laws allow it to determine the manner of campaigning for the presidential poll.

Enacting other enabling laws is outside their mandate. It is the work of Parliament, the EC has further argued.

Even as debate on the ‘scientific elections’ rages on, Besigye, who has lost four consecutive presidential elections, seems to have little hope in the process.

“If we have no power to make decisions in this country then we have no vote, a near paper is not a vote,” he says.

He is rallying his PG, largest opposition political party the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), People Power pressure group and other anti-Museveni forces to unite.

“You cannot be a Besigye supporter when your focus is on attacking those who are as oppressed as Besigye. Then you are not a Besigye supporter. We should all focus on the oppressor,” Besigye has appealed to political opposition.

“If you want to be a freedom fighter, focus on who is oppressing us and not the oppressed. I have always apprehended Besigye or People’s Government supporters who attack the oppressed.”

He has also emphasized that there should be “no justification whatsoever to turn guns on each other.”

“There should not be any fight between the People’s Government and People Power supporters because we are all oppressed.”

While his recent coalition with Bobi Wine, a singer-turned-politician, and other political players has been interpreted as being geared at the 2021 elections, Besigye says otherwise.

On June 18, he told TV47 Kenya’s Eugene Anangwe that his deal with Bobi Wine had nothing to do with a joint presidential candidate plot.

Even on the day of unveiling the coalition, Besigye’s aide Ronald Muhinda had written that “the Unity Platform of leaders in FDC, DP, UPC, JEEMA, CP, TJ, People’s Government and People Power is not an Electoral Platform.”

Muhinda had said the united front was a “show of unity to take on Mr Museveni and advance Defiance as a means of struggle to remove Mr Museveni from power and stop him from organising or being a candidate in future sham elections.”

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