“At Besigye rally in Mbarara, it was too massive to the extent that they [government] had to deploy even Uganda prisons,” FDC youth activist, Moses Byamugyisha, says.
While campaigning in Mbarara district on Tuesday, Besigye was given 12 cows and six goats by supporters despite a ban slapped by police on animal gifts at his rallies.
“A sea of crowds”, Byamugyisha says, brought Mbarara town to standstill as locals thronged Boma grounds to listen to the retired colonel deliver his defiance message.
Supporters from all walks of life started by cleaning the streets ahead of the colonel’s visit.
Boda boda motorcyclists and pedestrians then drove and walked through town respectively, singing and chanting Besigye’s name.
Mbarara has always been termed as the “NRM and Museveni stronghold” a myth Besigye proved wrong on Tuesday.
Mbarara is also the home of former Mbarara Municipality Member of Parliament, Hon. Winnie Byanyima, and Besigye’s wife.
Museveni has always enjoyed massive support in Mbarara; in the 2011 presidential elections, Museveni beat Besigye in all the districts in the region, polling an average of 80 per cent against Besigye’s 20 per cent.
Francis Mwijukye, a parliamentary candidate for Buhweju constituency, says the wheel of fortune is turning against Museveni.
There is an incident reported in Kashaari where FDC youth got out of their vehicles, picked sticks and threatened to attack the police officers until they drove away.
Besigye told the people of Mbarara to vote for him since the government seems to have forgotten its core function of service delivery.
He promised the people that he will fight corruption since it is the order of the day in Museveni’s government.
Besigye asked his supporters to dismiss claims that there would be chaos in the post-election period.
This was alleged by Media Centre Executive Director Ofwono Opondo, who accused Besigye and his supporters were planning to cause chaos if FDC loses the presidential bid.
“If he [Museveni] leaves power, who will create war?” he wondered.
“So should we become his slaves until he dies? There will not be war,” Besigye emphasised.
He said in 2011 elections, there was inflation because government poured money in the economy to bribe voters.
He told Mbarara to resist intimidation and guard their votes in February elections.
Besigye told the crowd that he has massive support at home as well as in diaspora and is ready to win these elections.