Opposition leader Kizza Besigye has fired back at police for threatening to arrest his supporters.
Police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi threatened to arrest everyone who calls Besigye the people’s president and charge them with treason.
Addressing press on his return, Besigye said he was aware of the threats but that he would continue to defy police and its “dictator”.
This is his full speech:
Dear Ugandans, First of all, I am back. Nkomyeewo.
I have been away for more than a month and I had a very busy schedule with a lot of activities which I intend to brief you on comprehensively. In truth, I had fruitful engagements and soon I will report to the country the details of the trips I took in the United Kingdom and United States.
Today I will focus on what unfortunately happened at Entebbe Airport. As you all know, since the elections, our country is in a stalemate; in a stalemate because it is very clear that the people of Uganda made a choice as to who should lead this country- a choice has been fiercely fought by force of arms by Mr. Museveni’s group which is seeking to perpetuate themselves in power.
So very clearly, we have the people of Uganda on one side and a group of armed men using arms to terrorize the people on other side. We have a country that is divided – people on one side and gun men seeking to dominate the people on the other side, gun men seeking to dominate the people of Uganda.
I was charged for treason because we declared ourselves winners. But very clearly, anybody who cares to know what is going in Uganda knows that the people who are committing treason are Museveni and his group because they are using guns to suppress the will of the people and to establish an administration that contradicts the will of the people of Uganda. That is demonstrated very starkly, very clearly on what has happened at Entebbe Airport.
Today, I was just returning home. I travelled on a commercial flight. Certainly, they (security) know I was travelling unarmed. But because they fear the people who voted me in February Presidential elections, they would not want me to pass anywhere where people are gathered.
As I came out of the Kenya Airways plane, the goons were waiting on the steps of the plane, this time wearing Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) uniform. Can you imagine the death of our national institutions? The people who captured me from the steps of the plane were wearing CAA uniform, the vehicle they put me also belonged to CAA vehicle. They picked me up, drove me to the old airport and put me into waiting police vehicles. Six police vehicles with a saloon lead car took me out of the old airport that now acts a military airbase and drove me through sections of the Entebbe-Express Highway, Nakawuka, Nateete Busenga and I was dropped at my home in Kasangati.
What happened is a clear demonstration that there is the president of the people of Uganda. The regime’s role now is to ensure that they prevent the president to get to his people. The lesson we take is that if people choose to withdraw their support, their cooperation from the regime, the regime falls. It cannot survive. That is exactly what we shall continue doing- to mobilize our people to withdraw their cooperation from these imposters. We shall tell our people to stand firm and see that no dictator will ever again emerge to lead Uganda.
The revolution taking place in Uganda is of major interest to the whole of Africa. Since independence, the people have never regained their power taken away by colonialists. Those guns used by colonialists were handed to Africans who are using them to silence and dominate the people. What is happening now in Uganda is being watched closely and monitored across the African continent as people of Uganda seek to regain their power from gunmen and force leaders to be servants not masters. I guarantee you that people will regain their authority in this country, not having leaders who treat citizens with contempt. That is going to happen in Uganda.
We are in the process of carrying out very serious revolution/transformation because the actions of the Museveni regime concede that I have much authority to lead the people of Uganda. The Museveni regime accepts that it is besieged.
What happened should be condemned because it clearly demonstrates that unpopular regime can kidnap a senior citizen from the airport- because up to now I don’t have my luggage, my passport is not stamped and therefore I am in the country illegally. Some police men attempted to claim my luggage from Kenya Airways.
This must be condemned that we have a regime that behaves criminally by arresting me from a plane in full view of all travelling passengers who could have thought I am a terrorist.
These scenes are very unfortunate and they are not good for our country. I hear the Museveni regime talking about Investment. When I was in London, I attended a Uganda Convention in UK and I was frank with them. You cannot invite investors who see political instability on the steps of a plane. If there were investors on that Kenya Airways plane and watched how I was handled, they must have got second thoughts on investing in Uganda. The people who are killing investment in Uganda are Museveni and his group. Anybody trying to invest in Uganda must be sure of political stability. So the enemy of Uganda’s progress is the Museveni regime and their criminal behavior.
I understand the frustration of our supporters who are disappointed that they were not able to stand on the road side to wave at us because that is the best they can do- I salute you and appreciate your resolve and show of support to our efforts to defeat the dictatorship. I am aware of your commitment to defy the dictator. I am aware of the threats by Andrew Felix Kaweesi to charge our supporters with treason for recognizing the government you elected. Make no mistake; don’t get tired, we are going to win by defiance because we are getting better organized. We shall win because we are going to have new campaigns all over the country.
Lastly, I understand many of our supporters were arrested, of course in complete breach of the law. We demand that our people should be released immediately and unconditionally so they can be free in their country.
We are fully set and we shall not turn back.
- Kizza Besigye.