“I have been accused before of bringing a bad leader to power, I don’t want that to happen again,” Kizza Besigye told press at a The Democratic Alliance [TDA] joint press conference on Friday morning.
Besigye seemed to regret having joined President Yoweri Museveni’s bush war struggle that would later see a revolutionary become a “dictator”.
Besigye served as Museveni’s doctor in the bush and emerged as a Colonel.
He fell out with Museveni who he accused of deviating from the core principles of the struggle and stood against him in 2001 elections.
Speaking Friday, Besigye said he was not ready to repeat a similar mistake.
The comment was in reference to former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, who the alliance rejected on account of corruption scandals.
Besigye, however, noted that they were setting up a contact group to have continued conversation with Mbabazi so that the conversation can continue.
He said for “a homeless person” like Amama, the best home for him is the FDC “which is democratic”.
Amama resolved not to stand on the NRM ticket accusing the party of sidelining him and making it impossible for him to vie for the presidency against its chairman, Museveni.
Mbabazi resolved to join the opposition alliance with his Go Forward Pro Change group only to be thrown out once more as “an outcast”.
Besigye says he is done with dictators
Besigye says FDC’s reservations on the candidature of Mbabazi were on his “non-commitence” to the tenets of their struggle.
“He answered our questions by saying he would commit to those principles by turning from Saul to Paul. However, our central question was at what point would that Saul turned Paul become the leader of the disciples.”
Besigye said their struggle was about dislodging “an armed dictator” so people’s votes can count.
“When you move through the streets you see people running around shouting ‘Kibonge kya Leo’ that is dictatorship too,” he pointed out.
Besigye said he was personally accused of having dictatorial tendencies yet he is always elected democratically.
“We have deliberately withheld any response even to the sustained media campaign to drag our party down.”
He said, for example, TDA talked at length on the option of fronting two candidates for the election but realised that the traditional opposition voters would not take a former NRM leader and even NRM change members wouldn’t vote for him.
“One candidate would have been a good strategy but we have very little time and that is our biggest enemy.”
Besigye said now the emphasis was on the need to focus on the change of systems and not just change of an office bearer.
“Museveni is a man of advanced age and he could sleep anytime in his jet, that certainly presents change too.”
Museveni “the dictator”
In its “World’s Worst Rulers” survey, Forbes, an American business magazine owned by Forbes, Inc. and published biweekly, listed Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, 6th of the World’s 10 Worst Dictators.
According to the findings issued on August 22, 2011, Forbes put Museveni at No.6 of the worst 10 dictators of the 21st century.
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has been President of Uganda since 29 January 1986 (close to 30 years now).
Museveni was involved in rebellions that toppled Ugandan leaders Idi Amin (1971–79) and Milton Obote (1980–85).
With the notable exception of the north, President Museveni has brought relative stability and economic growth to a country that has endured decades of rebel activity and civil war.
In the mid to late 1990s, Museveni was fêted by the West as part of a new generation of African leaders.
His presidency has been marred, however, by involvement in civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo and other Great Lakes region conflicts.
Rebellion in the north by the Lord’s Resistance Army had perpetuated a drastic humanitarian emergency.
In December 2014, Museveni defended Zimbabwe’s Mugabe, for pursuing life presidency.
In an interview with CNN’s Christine Amanpour in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates, Museveni said: “Africa’s leadership question is a matter of “what” needs to be done and not “who” does it” clarifying that it was a question of good ideology not overstaying in power.
“Our people still believe in us because we have solved their problems,” said a man who back in 1986 put: “The problem of Africa in general and Uganda in particular is not the people but leaders who want to overstay in power.”
Museveni among top 5 African Presidents who have overstayed in power
According to My Continent Africa website, President Museveni is No.5 of the African Presidents who have overstayed in power having ruled for over 28 years (January 1986-…?)
Appearing on political talk show dubbed “Capital Gang” last year, Museveni revealed that it is not his intention to overstay in power but Ugandans want it so.
“I have been presenting myself to the people every 5 years and they vote for me. When I go to ask them during elections, 5 million people say no to my retirement,” he stated.
“If they didn’t, I would retire. But everywhere I go, people sing “Taju kugenda (he won’t leave, he won’t go)”.
Even past the constitutional 75 age limit after 2016, Museveni is ready to contest again for five more years and many more…