Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential contender Dr. Kizza Besigye has received a major boost to his ambition of getting the FDC flag after FDC delegates and hundreds of thousands of people expressed strong support for the retired colonel.
During his three day tour of Jinja, hundreds of thousands of people thronged the roads and tuned into mass media outlets to hear what Besigye had for them ahead of the coming general elections.
But while Besigye enjoyed considerable show of support in Jinja, some NRM politicians were determined to limit his influence on the wider masses who didn’t make it to the rallies.
The MP fo Jinja Municipality West who also doubles as NRM Chairman for the district Moses Balyeku ordered staff at his Baba FM to switch off the radio station which had started to transmit a live talk show where Besigye had gone to feature as guest.
FDC supporters in Busoga sub-region were shocked when Rtd Col Dr Kiiza Besigye who was supposed to address them on Jinja based 87.7 BABA FM during a talk show was switched apparently on Balyeku’s orders.
Reliable Sources at the Bugembe based 87.7 BABA FM radio station told our reporter that the station was switched off on orders from Balyeku.
Observers say that Balyeku was until recently regarded as Amama Mbabazi’s man who has since changed camp and is now trying to mend relations with the Museveni.
Enthusiastic FDC supporters who had eagerly tuned in for the talk show were shocked when the station went off air around 8:00pm the time the show was scheduled to start.
According to staff who talked to us on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, the switch off was deliberate and not an effect of a power blackout or technical problems.
It was switched off after Besigye’s introductory remarks because the owner is an NRM supporter, said one staff member.
Despite its ownership, most staff at the radio station do not subscribe to NRM’s ideology.
Before being invited for a talk show at BABA fm Besigye held a talk show on Monday at Nizam road based NBS fm and KO TV owned by NRM’s Nathan Igeme Nabeta
In Jinja however, Besigye received assurances from FDC delegates that they intend to fully back him for the party’s flag bearer during the party’s forthcoming general assembly.
The delegates gave Besigye the assurance during a meeting held at Rubaga Students Centre on Kiira road in Jinja town on Tuesday.
Besigye who was on a campaign trail in Busoga region told the delegates that he does not dispute Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu’s ability but emphasized that he [Besigye] is the
best placed to carry the FDC flag.
Perhaps fearing to sour relations between him and Gen. Muntu, Besigye hesitated to explore his strength over Muntu, and only stopped at calling himself the better candidate.
“I have worked with Gen. Muntu for the last 35 years, at times as my boss, and sometimes I was his boss, like now he is my boss by I have no doubt that am the best
candidate to hold FDC flag in the coming general elections,” said Besigye.
Besigye supported the need for cooperation between the opposition parties when he praised hailed the Democratic Alliance as a relevant vehicle for cooperation and
consensus building between different political parties with the view to getting one person to challenge Yoweri Museveni in February 2016.
After meeting the FDC Jinja delegates, Besigye addressed a major rally in at Iganga municipal grounds.
Besigye said: “We all believe that the atmosphere is not conducive at all for anyone to stand against Mr Museveni and topple him but as we push for a better electoral
system, we need to organize and prepare very well for the game by fronting the best squad, and I believe I am the best striker” he said.
In Iganga, Police was overwhelmed by the high turn-up of people that flanked the 7km stretch of the Jinja-Iganga highway that turned up to catch a glimpse of the former
Traffic flow was interrupted as FDC supporters accompanied Besigye to the rally venue at Kakindu stadium where he addressed enthusiastic supporters.
While at the stadium, Dr. Besigye accused President Museveni of personalizing the state including national resources such as oil and cash.
“In 1980, I looked for Museveni’s vote in Mbarara but we could hardly get it because he did not even have a home in his village. Right now you hear everything including
money is for Museveni and you wonder. He is working for Ugandans and therefore you shouldn’t be kneeling before him for pleasantries and offers. It’s your entitlement
and its Ugandans sustaining him in everything” he said.
Besigye had no kind words either for Police officers who have made his home a police cell by detaining him daily without charging him.