Uganda opposition leader Kizza Besigye has officially announced the start of nationwide protests against the government of President Yoweri Museveni.
Besigye is demanding for an international audit of 2016 elections so as to determine the genuine winner before Museveni can be sworn in on May 12.
Constitutional Court last week issued a four-weeks injunction banning all FDC defiance activities including today’s demonstration.
The demonstration is supposed to see a procession of FDC officials walk from Najjanankumbi to Nakivubo Blue Primary School.
Police said FDC never met the conditions for this gathering and will not be allowed to hold one.
Besigye says otherwise.
This is his full statement:
5th May 2016, is the start of Nation-wide demonstrations in demand of an Independent, Internationally-supervised Audit of the 2016 presidential elections.
This has become necessary because we never had the recourse to petition the Supreme Court of Uganda, challenging the presidential election results announced by the Electoral Commission on 20th February 2016.
A recourse to petition the Supreme Court is guaranteed for every presidential candidate by the Constitution of Uganda. No one is conclusively elected as President of Uganda until that recourse has been exhausted.
Senior FDC Party leaders and I were violently arrested from our Party Hqs on the morning of 19th February 2016. I was detained continuously for 45 days. FDC Hqs remained occupied and controlled by the Uganda Police from 19th February to 11th March 2016. Several of our (FDC) District offices were raided and some materials confiscated. More than 300 FDC leaders and election agents were detained in various parts of the country.
The above actions were unprovoked, illegal and unconstitutional! These actions made it impossible for me to have the recourse to the Supreme Court to challenge the results declared by the EC. This, in turn, rendered the 2016 presidential election inconclusive! The electoral process was aborted.
A petition by one of the candidates in the 2016 elections cannot extinguish the right of all the other candidates to do the same. Consequently, a ruling on a petition by one candidate cannot deal with the grievances that were (illegally and unconstitutionally) detained and couldn’t get to court.
In spite of all the aggression and rampage by the Police and Security agents, we have got sufficient, empirical and incontrovertible evidence that I won the 2016 elections with 52% of the vote.
That’s why we consider that an Independent Audit would help to resolve the glaring contradiction between what the EC declared as a final result and what we have.
Such an audit is not provided for in the Constitution, but neither is the illegal detention of a candidate, raiding and taking over Party offices, or illegal detention of hundreds of Party leaders and officials! The country was driven off the constitutional rails. The Independent Audit is a prudent political measure that can help take back onto the constitutional rails.
If Mr Museveni and his junta decline the offer of undertaking an Independent Audit, we’ll be left with no option but to go ahead and publish the results of the 2016 elections in our possession and to form government as mandated by the people of Uganda.
We shall not allow our country to continue being controlled by those wielding brutal force and violating the Constitution! It’s time for our citizens to regain control over their country; to regain control of State institutions; and to regain control of the our National resources.
After 30 years of the most corrupt regime in our country’s history, the people of Uganda voted for change. They want jobs, good education, functioning health care system, good roads, available & affordable electricity etc. They can’t wait any longer. They’ve said: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!
Therefore, join those around you and START wherever you’re, DO whatever you can, and USE whatever you have!
No turning back!
Kizza Besigye Kifefe
Uganda opposition leader