Former opposition Presidential Candidate Col (Rtd) Dr Kizza Besigye has ruled out the possibility of the opposition parties in Uganda heading into the next general elections on one front.
Besigye says thanks to the various techniques that have been employed by the ruling NRM government to keep the opposition apart, unity at this stage is unlikely.
“Uniting and working together as opposition members may not be possible,” Besigye said while speaking on a city radio talk show last evening.
“For those of you asking us why we cannot join hands and work together, you have to look at four different tactics that the regime has used against us.”
According Dr Besigye, one of the tactics government employed is intimidating some of the key opposition figures and later on buying them off with the vast resources that “those in power have seized from the country.”
“Those with power, the first thing they did was to seize national wealth. They use this wealth to buy the leaders of those who want change,” he said.
“If you start organizing and holding rallies, they will look for the chief organizers, arrest them intimidate them and then pay them off.”
“They’ll come to you and say ‘what are you fighting for? Here’s something for you, just leave that side and you will be alright.’”
He added, “You keep hearing them every now and then; you’ve come along with someone fighting for change, and of a sudden, they are like, ‘It seems I have been moving blindly, I didn’t know the other side was better;’ and the next day you meet them dressed differently.”
Besigye says the ruling government has mostly targeted vocal members of parliament with cash.
“Every person we work with stands being bought off because the other side there’s wealth and here its poverty. Even in parliament, our people go there speaking straight and being heard, but after a year they start speaking ludicha.”
Journalists too, Besigye says, have not been spared by the regime.
“Those reporters that should have been telling the country what’s going on have also been paid and silenced. You only hear them singing praises to the tormentors. Media houses are now full of regime propagandists, painting rosy pictures of the government.”
The former Presidential candidate says government has also been using such tools as divide and rule, to deliberately sow division in the opposition using all kinds of lines including region, tribes, geographical locations and ideology.
All these he says are the same tactics that were employed by the imperialists to take over the country for 70 years.
He says however, that the opposition has to proceed to fight to oust president Museveni despite these internal divisions.
“We know that all this exists. Even in counties that have overcome our situation, these are the things that they fought against,” he said.
“What we are going through, other people have gone through elsewhere; in Kenya, DRC, Sudan, Algeria and other countries.”
According to Besigye the new strategy under his “People’s Government” is to make sure that President Yoweri Museveni doesn’t appear on the ballot paper in the 2021 elections.
Besigye says Museveni – who has already been cleared by his party to run in the next elections, — has “committed the most treasonous act of attacking parliament which has the representatives of all Ugandans to force it to remove the presidential age limit, which otherwise would have stopped him from running.”
He says the People’s Government will use all possible means to make sure that Museveni is no longer president come 2021.