Forum for Democratic Change Presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye has condemned police brutality following the Monday incident which saw him arrested and left one person dead.
According to Dr Besigye who says has traversed the whole country canvassing for votes, Ugandans are eager for change.
“It is a shame that indeed one young man was shot and killed in this unnecessary violence. We shall mourn our loss and declare him a hero in our struggle. To those who think the enthusiasm of Ugandans can be dampened, I want to say it’s too late. Your time is up. The people of Uganda have already made up their mind. They want change. Nothing and no one will stand in their way against change that they need and deserve,” Dr Besigye said Tuesday while addressing the press at his home in Kasangati.
He further noted that men in uniform (police and military) have a unique and critical role of ensuring that Uganda has a peaceful transition from the current regime.
“As it has been in the past, the action and inaction of the men in uniform can lead to disastrous outcomes. They must act judiciously and know that the country is bigger than the commander in chief,” he added.
Mr Besigye also asked the Electoral Commission (EC) led by Dr Badru Kiggundu not to interfere with parallel tallying centers.
According to Dr Besigye one of the major ways elections are rigged in Uganda is by false tallying.
“We demand that opposition agents be given unfettered access to the tallying centers especially the national one,” Besigye further said.
Last week, the EC warned anyone, including the media against declaring unofficial results and banned use of phones within the polling centres.
However, Dr Besigye contends that EC chairman Kiggundu does not have any powers in the law to block anyone from carrying mobile phones or using them at the polling centres.
“Every Ugandan should carry their phones and use it to protect their votes. The presence of camera phones will be deterrent to those who intend to steal our votes,” he said.
Citing last week’s incident in which EC apologized for having 20,000 people who are not supposed to vote on the register, Besigye said EC has repeatedly failed in their mandate of organizing free and fair elections.
“The EC is a creature of law and must strictly abide by it. Unfortunately, the EC and Mr Kiggundu have consistently fallen short of their mandate. This is why we have termed our campaign a defiance campaign,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Besigye met European Union (EU) Election observers.
According to the EU Election Observation Mission chief Edu (w)ard Kukan, 130 members of his team have been deployed across the country ahead of the February 18 presidential elections.
Mr Kukan told the media that they intend to meet EC to address some of their election concerns before polling date.