Veteran opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has silenced 2021 presidential candidate Lt Gen (Rtd) Henry Kakurugu Tumukunde with a clear response in bitter war of words touching on bush war comrades Gen Elly Tumwine and Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi.
It all started when Gen Tumwine used his handover speech, as he paved way for Maj Gen Muhwezi as security minister, to reveal he would convince Museveni to peacefully leave power.
Besigye quickly told Tumwine it was too late.
Tumukunde then told off Besigye the opposition was not his preserve.
The four-time presidential candidate would also warn Muhwezi Museveni would use him again and dump him.
To this, Tumukunde claimed Besigye was once in the NRM bus.
“Col Besigye, don’t you remember occupying more than one seat on the same bus at some point? Starting ‘first’ does not negate history,” Tumukunde, a former security minister, said.
Besigye’s response was: “I’ve never been and will never be a member of NRM(o) Party and its BUS!”
Besigye was an NRA bush war fighter, and warlord Museveni’s personal physician.
After the bush war, he served in several capacities, including as National Political Commissar, and junior internal affairs minister.
For 19 years after Museveni and his NRA took power in 1986, Uganda was under the Movement system, a sort of one-party system.
It was in 2005 that Ugandans, through a referendum, voted for a multiparty system, opening up the political space to other political parties.
Besigye fell out with Museveni after a 1999 missive detailing how the president had veered off the path of the aspirations of the NRA revolution.
In 2001, he challenged Museveni in a presidential election as an independent candidate.
With the political space open, pressure groups like Reform Agenda merged to form the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) which sponsored Besigye in the 2006 presidential election.