Mwenda: Besigye did not win this election


Senior journalist, Andrew Mwenda, is convinced FDC presidential candidate, Kizza Besigye, did not win the 2016 presidential elections.

Besigye was defeated by incumbent President Yoweri Museveni for the fourth time in a row.

Besigye picked 35% of the total votes cast while Museveni garnered a 60% although he insists he should have got 80%.

The opposition leader contested the results and even tried to storm electoral commission offices to compare notes, only to be placed under house arrest.

“Besigye did not win this election,” writes Mwenda.

“But I agree he won the propaganda war and successfully shaped perception of the election outcome.”

Mwenda says even the FDC party has failed to provide evidence to confirm their candidate won the polls.

“FDC supporters think they can insult their way out of arguments. You can’t win an argument with insult but by counter argument.”

According to Mwenda, FDC should by now have built capacity to protect its vote.

“If it can’t protect its vote, how will it protect Uganda?”

FDC had mobilised its P10 group to protect their votes but most of these were arrested and detained by military police.

“They claim to have been rigged out of victory four times. What have they learnt from that?” Mwenda continues.

He concluded that FDC supporters cannot debate because they don’t have facts but emotions.

“That is why they insult and abuse their critics.”

FDC lawyers have been blocked from meeting Besigye and threatened with arrest while other opposition agents were arrested.

In his article titled: “Why I prayed for Besigye to win” and published by his Independent Magazine on Monday, 29 February 2016 , Mwenda says Besigye’s defeat is also his greatest triumph.

“It has saved him from confronting the reality of managing a poor country, a factor that would have humbled Besigye and quieted his unthinking and often, unruly supporters.”

He continues: “Let us assume a Besigye victory where Museveni would have conceded defeat, called the retired colonel, and congratulated him upon his victory. In one stroke, Museveni would have delivered unto his main rival a devastating knockout blow. Besigye has always claimed that Museveni is a power-hungry maniac determined to cling to power as all costs. In conceding defeat, the president would have made Besigye’s accusation lose meaning.”

Mwenda says the promise of restocking hospitals, giving students laptops, tarmacking roads, banishing corruption and greed of politicians is mere “rhetoric”.

“Yet upon entering State House, Besigye would realise that a budget of Shs 20 trillion for 36 million citizens next Financial Year translates to Shs555,000 ($160) per person.”

In such fiscal circumstances, the journalist writes, President Besigye would realise he is unable to pay for his ambitious agriculture plans, finance his youth unemployment program, build or repair roads and dams, stock hospitals with drugs, buy laptops for secondary schools pupils, etc.

“Three years into his presidency,” concludes Mwenda, “President Besigye would not have tarmacked even 5% of Uganda’s 64,000 kilometers of road network. He would not have repaired many hospitals or schools. Abim would still be Abim. His planned savings on public sector corruption would have ground to almost nothing since his people want to line their pockets as fast as possible before the 2021 election. Sitting back in State House Entebbe, Besigye would realise that all the accusations he made against Museveni were not well founded.” [Read more here: http://linkis.com/independent.co.ug/EciKt]

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