An incident happened recently while FDC politician, Kizza Besigye, was campaigning in Mbale town forcing residents to suggest to him that they buy guns to stand against the government.
While addressing press in Fort Portal yesterday, Besigye said a new thing emerged in his campaign starting from Mbale where the generator stopped running.
“The masses said let’s collect money for the fuel. When they realized that they have collected enough money to buy fuel, they said that they should now collect money to buy guns,” he narrated.
The three time presidential candidate who lost all to president Yoweri Museveni calmed down the masses saying he was not leading an armed struggle.
A retired Colone, Besigye underwent military training and joined the 1980–1986 National Resistance Army (NRA) guerilla rebellion against Milton Obote’s government.
He was responsible for the guerillas’ health and particularly attended to the chairman, Yoweri Museveni.
He says now is not the time for guns because he aims at getting back “people’s power from those who wield the guns”.
“I told them [Mbale residents] that we will not need guns. Our struggle is nonviolent.”
Besigye was arrested on 14 November 2005 on treason charges; the case of treason included his alleged links to the rebel groups, Lord’s Resistance Army and People’s Redemption Army.
He was several other times on different charges with the fourth being on 28 April, 2011 during a “walk-to-work” protest over the high prices of food and fuel.
Although he is famed for activism, Besigye says the new campaign for electoral reforms “doesn’t need the use of gun.”
In May 2015, FDC president Mugisha Muntu, who is challenging Besigye for party flag bearer, defended citizens who take up arms against illegitimate governments.
Maj Gen Muntu, who is also former Army commander said taking up arms is a “legitimate form of struggle”.
“I have no intentions of condemning anybody who would feel frustrated to the extent of wanting to get weapons and fight,” Muntu emphasized.
But Besigyesaid they would never participate in a military struggle.
“Military means would nurture a mind of entitlement, with some of the ‘liberators’ acting with impunity.”
“It is very difficult to deliver the objective of a democratic transition through the use of a violent struggle,” Besigye told Daily Monitor, adding that he aimed at bringing power back to the power.