Uganda’s first ever live political TV debate was aired Sunday on NTV between FDC politicians, Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu and Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye.
The two are vying for the position of party flag bearer ahead of 2016 general elections.
Here is what they said:
The debate was televised from Sheraton hotel Rwenzori Ballroom.
At every engagement before you leave, you will hear voices asking “How have you left us”
The question of poverty in our country is a major problem and citizens have been turned into beggars
We have a country of unemployed people which is extremely worrying
The outcry because of land grabs is another worry. There are many citizens that are misplaced
The question of TVs that were switched off. I didn’t know the bad impact it had on people across the country
I have been happy in the last 57 days
Unfortunately because of the betrayal of president Museveni, we parted ways
We are sitting on a time bomb as a country.
The country could easily implode if we don’t remove Museveni by 2016
We hope this exercise will build trust in Ugandan people who think it’s impossible for democracy to be practiced
There’s nothing impossible under the sun if the people and the leaders are committed
There has been a lot of propaganda around who I am deliberately cultured by opponents
While I have demonstrated in anger, I have not shown violence towards anyone
(To Muntu) You have been president for FDC for the last 3 years, how much have you tried to reach out to ruling party
We chose to take a more difficult path to mobilise citizens to understand their rights
Look at our active participation in building TDA.
All those in NRM can participate in setting ourselves free as a people
This country suffered more than 30% inflation post 2011 election as a result of abuse of power
Money was drawn from central bank to fund campaigns
We are living in a country where no country has ever peacefully handed over power. We must put a stop to this
We have never had free and fair elections. The courts of law have for the first time confirmed that
The determination that the next election must be free and fair is not mine alone but for the citizens too.
I’m in this campaign to advance that cause
Citizens have resolved that we shall have reforms ahead of the next election
Election Timetable is a result of Politics. When Politics change the timetable can change.
We should engage in civil obedience to mobilise the population and to concentrate on party organisation
Whether we chose to go through electoral processes, organisation is a critical factor
Museveni is terrified of strong organisation and a unified force
Building of structures did not end with delegate conference
We must choose one path and have one message
The task is to organise ourselves if we want to take the electoral process
If we lose question of unity, we are finished
TDA agreed to go through the electoral process. This is not a personal decision. FDC will go through 2016 elections
I’m concentrating on organisation capability
The position of TDA and citizens compact. Are you committed to them? Besigye to Muntu
Is he committed to the decisions he appended his signature on?
Mugisha Muntu emphasises organisation
Muntu to Besigye
It’s not that the people who want to see Museveni out would refuse to stand behind a good candidate
I’m a good candidate, I’m easy to sell
Will you [Besigye] be on the ticket or not if elected as flag bearer?
You will not extract a yes/no answer for wrong question
Will you [Muntu] be on the ticket or not if elected as flag bearer?
Yes I will
I agree that we don’t have free and fair elections and that we have military dictatorship in this country
It depends on whether we ourselves are honest about the political environment we are dealing with
Don’t front statistics that we have so many candidates as long as we are dealing with this kind of politics
I cut my term back to strengthen party structures
The focus of the party is to ensure we have organisational structure right from village level
When I was in the army we had 7 rebellions. We defeated 5!
One mistake is on always how I always trust and rely on people to execute tasks critical to the work that I do
Re-structure government to small, competent government
Refocus our resources to where our people are especially in areas of agriculture, education
Put together an effective team, ensure our forces in S. Sudan are brought back…
Deal with major infrastructure bottle necks hindering development in various areas of Uganda
Third thing will be to focus on purging on corrupt elements in civil service structure
Have empowerment of citizens, ability to respect and listen to citizens so that they take charge of their situations
(Besigye to Burundi) There needs to be more focus on regional efforts
(Muntu to Burundi) It is not surprising that the benefit children get from school is low.
We are at a critical level of education delivery
We must improve infrastructure of schools to provide basic necessities and scholastic materials to make the education experience rewarding We are very focussed and committed to make sure we have a different type of election than we have had before
The struggle for reforms is on and is not going to end. I’m not one who throws in the towel that easy
Within that line of defence, I include all the other measures we have taken to protect our vote
We have to create an environment where we ensure people are at peace within themselves.
The moral question of homosexuality: I’m a Christian and my moral values are guided by my faith
The Bible talks about love thy neighbour as you love thyself.
Homosexuals shouldn’t be castigated
Through love they can be recovered from their situation
But we must protect our children. Campaigns to encourage our children to convert them must be stopped
He’s suppressing the rights of others. That’s what is keeping Museveni in power
We need to create a business friendly environment & refocus our resources to areas where we have competitive advantage
On state of the economy, Muntu says to Concentrate on efficiency in government and purge corruption in civil service
One area that I’m familiar with is losing and I’ve never had trouble with that but I’ve also won a number of times
There are no winners or losers. We are in a contest where FDC will win.
If my brother wins, I will be behind him and expect the same if I win
I’ve never had personal conflict with Gen.Muntu. Internal democracy in a party is important
Many Ugandans are focussed on individuals instead of institution building
Whoever is chosen by TDA, I will be behind them.