“For a man who spent five years in the bush, Museveni is such a scared one,” said FDC Chairman, Ambassador Wasswa Birigwa, in a statement.
Birigwa was commenting on President Yoweri Museveni’s decision to pull out of the presidential live TV debate scheduled for January 15 and broadcast by NTV Uganda.
“Although it comes as no surprise that Mueveni ducked out of the planned presidential debate, it is disappointing,” Birigwa continued.
He said it was a clear signal that he [Museveni] has nothing to offer. “Museveni feared to be exposed for the spent force he is.”
NRM taskforce spokesperson, Mike Sebalu, said Museveni would spend the day in Igara county Bushenyi district campaigning.
Birigwa insists that the claim by Museveni handlers that he would rather spend the time talking to his voters in the villages, is weak.
“To claim that his support is in the countryside is a fallacy that he has perpetuated over the years.”
“The fact is Museveni cannot debate. He fears to be challenged.”
Birigwa said Museveni’s absence from the debate is also a slap in the face to the prominent members of society who put in their time and resources to ensure that the debate happens.
“Like Dr Kizza Besigye said over the weekend, he is available to debate with Museveni whenever he finds the time.”
Besigye indicated that he would not take part in the debate unless Museveni was present.
This, he said, would be a fruitless debate and one-sided.
Birigwa, meanwhile, also touched on remarks attributed to candidate Museveni over the weekend that he would not leave power are of concern saying they were unfortunate.
“Those who say, let him go, let him go, they need to know that this is not the right time. This old man who has saved the country, how do you want him to go? How can I go out of a banana plantation I have planted that has started bearing fruits?” Museveni was quoted by Daily Monitor as saying in Rwashamaire Town in Kajara County, Ntungamo District.
In December, while campaigning in Namutumba he said he cannot leave the oil money to other people and that he will go to the bush.
“That in itself is an intimidating remark, and a well calculated one at that, aimed at causing despondency among the population,” Birigwa said.
“But we, as FDC, urge our supporters all over the country to disregard Museveni’s remarks.”
He urged FDC supporters to continue the mobilization exercise, recruit more people and let’s overwhelm Museveni when the elections come.
“If we all turn up and vote, he will have no choice but to go.”
He said police have been quick to condemn Dr Besigye’s defiance campaign but when Museveni makes remarks that could be criminal in nature, they look the other way.
“We believe that the police, together with the army are being complicit in abetting this crime.”
He also announced that Independent Coalition, whose Presidential Candidate is Mr. Mabirizi Elton Joseph have agreed to on a Vote Protection arrangement to ensure Free and Fair Elections.
“We are thrashing out the details which we shall share at a later date.”