Oxfam boss Winnie Byanyima has called on Ugandans abroad never to let her husband and opposition leader Kizza Besigye shoulder the burden of the country’s political struggle alone.
“This man must never feel that he is fighting alone,” Winnie said while opening the dialogue with Ugandans in diaspora held in London UK on Saturday.
Winnie who introduced Besigye as her partner and friend said by the end of each day in Uganda, 17 women will die giving child birth and that is every year.
“[President Yoweri Museveni] will send his daughter to Germany to give birth. That is one single woman yet 17 die every day,” she told the gathering.
“I met a little boy in Karamoja. I asked him why arent you in class he said my mother couldn’t afford. 150m has been spent on just MPs as this goes on.”
Winnie narrated how she met a girl named Patience with a daughter with a first class degree but not job but “there are some school drop outs in the offices as diplomats”.
She cited the case of Burahya County MP Margaret Muhanga who “brought a sack of Shs10bn to buy UBC land” wondering how that was an acceptable alternative.
“I think of a secondary school teacher in Mbarara. She is to teach other people’s kids but cannot afford her own kids’. Is this an acceptable alternative?”
Winnie also cited thousands of “kids” that have been taken to bushes to Congo to loot, wondering if that too was an alternative.
“There is no authority of Parliament. He took me to prison for asking. Our kids die in the bushes. Museveni just takes kids to bushes with no Parliament approval.”
“When I think of all this, it is injustice. When people ask me . How does Besigye cope, I say we cannot accept injustice. There is no choice. We must take a stand once you take a stand you do not go back, you take the blows.”
Winnie said she is married to a man who stands up to injustice and does not count the cost.
She described government spies as bullies asking people to take a stand.
“To be human means not to accept injustice. Do not accept injustice, we take a stand we take the blows.”
“For Besigye I do not sympathise with him, I do not pity him, I take a stand. We first met in the bushes. He treated them and they do not remember him. We take a stand and all those blows are badges of honour.”
It is not just about FDC, Winnie pointed out, it is about a movement to claim back power and have justice.
“The fact that he is a prisoner…we are proud. We shall fight it off, we fought it off remember. We have been there before. That is how a bully works. He still won.”
As a prisoner, she noted, Besigye symbolises that “we are all prisoners” who should “work for the liberation through defiance”.
“We shall defy forcefully. We cannot accept to be ruled illegimitely. Museveni says this kisanja Hakuna Mchezo. I say back this time Hakuna Mchezo.”