I am not quitting the struggle, says Dr Besigye


Former presidential candidate and FDC founding president Dr Kizza Besigye yesterday declared he is still in the struggle to liberate Uganda and will only leave when the job that brought him into the struggle is accomplished.

Dr Besigye said many are wondering whether he is going to contest for presidency for the fifth time against President Museveni in 2021.

However, he warned that nobody invited him in the struggle for regime change in Uganda and, therefore, people should stop focusing on him and rather concentrate on the purpose.

"There is confusion in the public on whether Besigye is coming again. Do not focus on me, you should keep your eyes on the ball. Is there anybody who invited me in this fight or is there anyone who invited you here? Everybody is invited in the struggle with their conscience," Dr Besigye said yesterday at the ceremony where FDC was unveiling Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago as their new member.

Mr Lukwago, formerly of Democratic Party, was unveiled yesterday at a ceremony held at the FDC offices in Najjanankumbi, a Kampala suburb.

"We all came here to fight until the job is done. Me who brought myself here will fight until the job is done. By the way, my eyes are not on the office but on the freedom and equality of all Ugandans where we can share the wealth of this country equally," Dr Besigye charged.

He said the struggle they started long ago is about to come to an end and the fact that they have started identifying candidates who were in the reserve, they are good to go.

Swipe at NRM

Dr Besigye accused the government led by President Museveni of failing to set aside reserves for pandemics that tend to hit the country periodically.

He said the country was not prepared for the Covid-19 pandemic and resorted to borrowing money and depending on grants and donations.

"Covid-19 helped us to expose what this regime was. They did not have any money in the reserve. They did not even have a bag of posho (maize flour) and they had to ask people to donate. How can you claim to be strong when you borrow everything?" Dr Besigye said.

Internal and external leaders of FDC have been contacting Dr Besigye to persuade him to carry the party's flag again in the 2021 presidential elections, but he has not given them a conclusive position yet.

The party still hope Dr Besigye will change his mind and carry the FDC presidential flag.

Meanwhile, FDC has also started identifying strong party leaders whom they expect to choose from in case Dr Besigye does not express interest to seek nomination for the 2021 race by next Tuesday.

FDC president Patrick Amuriat at the yesterday's function said the party cannot rule out that Dr Besigye will carry their flag.

He also said FDC cannot rule out that other members, including Mr Lukwago, party secretary general Nandala Mafabi and party vice chairperson Joyce Nabugwawo, can carry the flag.

FDC roadmap

Mr Amuriat further stated that party chairperson Wasswa Biriggwa, FDC chairperson for eastern region Salaamu Musumba and himself can also carry the party flag.

"By Monday next week, we shall be able to see all those who will pick the nomination forms. I can assure you that we shall go in the forthcoming elections with a candidate," he said.

Uganda's largest Opposition party will nominate aspirants for its presidential flag bearer on Monday and Tuesday next week before their delegates conference in September, which will choose the presidential candidate for 2021.

Mr Amuriat said the party has set three conditions for entering a coalition that has been advocated by various Opposition leaders.

He said FDC wants to know if the people asking for the coalition are not working with their "tormentors and dictators."

The FDC president said they have established that some people without a party are working with the "tormentors" and they existed before FDC chased them. He did not mention names.

Mr Amuriat said the party also wants to know what those who want the coalition will bring to FDC and what their interests are.

"We do not want to make the mistakes we made with The TDA in 2016 where FDC was the most affected party. If we are not sure of the said conditions, I really do not know the future of the coalition," he said.

Background

Dr Besigye has been holding the party flag in all the previous elections, first in 2001 under Reform Agenda pressure group which later morphed into FDC in 2004. He contested again in 2006, 2011 and 2016.

The four-time presidential candidate was in the 2006 elections nominated in absentia because he was out of the country as the time of party nominations.

This article was published by Daily Monitor.

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