Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye, the former president of the opposition FDC,has expressed disappointment with the former Prime Minister Hon Amama Mbabazi, together with whom he was yesterday arrested and detained as they set out to hold meetings with their supporters as presidential hopefuls in the coming elections.
The arrests that generated remarkable local and international coverage, Besigye said today, should be an eye opener to people like Amama Mbabazi who still have doubt about President Museveni nature.
While appearing on the NBS Television’s Morning Breeze program, Besigye said he was disappointed that Mbabazi still held a false sense of defense that the NRM government would be kind to him, now that he came out to openly challenge President Museveni in an election.
He listed a number of former NRM/NRA top leaders, that faced the wrath of the regime upon showing signs of challenging the president, including former Vice President Gilbert Bukenya, Lt Col Ruhinda Maguru, Gen David Sejusa, and Mike Mukula among others, who he said ought to serve as examples to Mbabazi
“One of the things that I am surprised and rather disappointed about Hon Amama Mbabazi’s position is being shy to explain the serious problems there are,” said Besigye.
Besigye went ahead to blame Mbabazi for being shy and unable to openly confront the regime.
“When I still hear him saying the NRM is okay, and that it’s just time to have a new leader. The NRM has created very serious problems for this country. It has undermined democracy in the most fundamental ways. It has undermined even our economy in the most serious ways, our social ways.”
“My impression is that Amama Mbabazi is shy because I am sure he knows. I am surprised he doesn’t come out to say, by the way we have made serious mistakes and I realize this now, it’s time to roll back,” stressed Besigye.
Amama Mbabazi since he declared his intent to contest in next year’s election, has been careful to recognize the NRM government for a number of achievements, which he said he was proud to be part of.
The NRM he said had managed to unite the country and increase prosperity.
“We have also attained a greater level of peace and security, access to education and won great respect internationally,” he said during his declaration on June 15.
When asked recently whether he thought Dr Besigye has more insight than him, having realized government’s shortfalls back in 1999 long before he did, Mbabazi’s response on a TV talk show was, “May be.”
Besigye pointed out on Friday, that the country had long been derailed and that it was the responsibility of the Mbabazi, Besigye himself and other leaders on the opposition front to put it back on truck.
He noted, “NRM was a liberation movement that came into power through a war that consumed half a million people. We have a serious responsibility to this country including me because I was part of the struggle, to account for why those people died. They died on the platform that we were presenting that we were fighting for democratic change. That the 1980 poll was rigged, and that’s why we went to the bush.”
“The leaders of this struggle, 30 years later citizens are being treated as hostages, and the same or even worse rigging of elections is taking place under your watch. State institutions have been broken down and corrupted.”