Opposition leaders in the country have roundly rejected last Thursday’s presidential poll as a fraud and not a true reflection of the will of Ugandans.
According to Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leaders, denied Ugandans the right to choose their leaders when they declared incumbent Yoweri Museveni as the winner of the Feb 18 polls instead of Kizza Besigye.
Dr. Besigye and his team have since rejected the declaration of results in favour of Museveni and have vowed to go to the EC to collect declaration forms to prove that they were tampered with. Perhaps in an effort to prove Besigye’s allegations as true, the government with full support from the police has frustrated the FDC leader from accessing the declaration (DR) forms.
Dr. Besigye has mounted what so far appears to be a spirited defiance against Museveni and the Electoral Commission by continuing to push on with his demands.
Faced with the wall of oppression, FDC leaders say they will stop at nothing to fight for the rights of Ugandans. The party spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemuju Nganda says his party will not be derailed from pushing on with what he called the people’s campaign but will rather push on with resistance.
Ssemuju told The Sunrise that his party will not give up resisting what he refers to as a dictatorial regime taking lessons from among other countries such as South Africa and Libya “Where it took over thirty years to finally get their political freedom granted.”
“This is a people’s revolution and we have known all along that it is never going to be an easy task. We therefore urge our people not to backtrack on that resolve no matter the threats and we call upon them for their resilience in continuing to resist the regime,” Ssemuju said.
Besigye has garnered sympathy from other opposition parties such as the Democratic Party and JEEMA. Recently re-elected Butambala constituency MP Muwanga Kivumbi emphasized the need for continued resistance.
“This is the moment for Ugandans to rise up and take their victory back by force,” Muwanga says, Omar Kalinge Nnyago, the spokesperson for Joseph Mabiriizi’s TIC alliance equally says that “Besigye’s victory was hijacked by the NRM with the assistance of the Electoral commission.”
The Director of Uganda Media Centre Ofwono Opondo, also the spokesperson of the NRM government has however warned the opposition against what he terms as inciting violence.
Opondo said: “We hear messages (from opposition leaders) inciting violence but as usual we are taking our time before we respond. But when we rise up to do so, we shall strike decisively.”
Opondo sounded the warning while appearing on NBS TV along with Butambala County Member of Parliament Muwanga Kivumbi this week.
Opondo’s remarks were a reflection of Maureen Faith Kyalya, a former presidential contender in the just concluded presidential polls, urging Ugandans to remain calm despite what she calls massive irregularities in the concluded elections.
In her concession message Kyalya said: “I sympathize with my young brothers who leave their small businesses and activities to fight wars that do not belong to them. I advise you to desist from chaos for the good of Uganda”
President Museveni’s media adviser Tamale Mirundi on the other hand rubbishes Besigye’s resistance stance as hollow and only aimed at bringing trouble to innocent souls.
Mirundi warns: “Besigye should be mindful of Generals who have been arrested and arraigned in courts in this country before. He is not going to be any different especially if he keeps on insisting on inciting rebellion among Ugandans.”
But renowned city lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuzi argues that suppressing Dr. Besigye not only violates his constitutional rights but is also making the possibility of massive violent resistance ever more closer.
“I know for example that religious leaders are calling upon aggrieved parties to use constitutional means. But how can Dr. Besigye use constitutional means when he can’t even be allowed to go to the EC to get the evidence he wants,” Rwakafuuzi said adding that ” it is paramount that even those who are advising against violence use fair means otherwise it is not sustainable.