President Yoweri Museveni’s decision to refuse to participate in the first-ever face to face Presidential debate continues to attract scorn and ridicule from different sections of the public. But Museveni’s arguably closest challenger Dr. Kizza Besigye too has not been spared for insisting that if Museveni does not turn up, he too will not participate.
The latest diatribe has come from Lubaga South Member of Parliament John Ken Lukyamuzi who says that Museveni is stuck in the past and that he is running away from questions that would expose his dictatorship.
The debate has been organized by the Inter-religious council of Uganda and scheduled to take place on Jan 15, 2016 at Serena hotel ahead of the Feb 18, 2016 polls.
Lukyamuzi said: “It is a shame to all Ugandans. Museveni has been in power for 30 years, what is he fearing in this is modern world?”wondered Lukyamuzi.
He added: “This shows how Museveni is a real dictator. Why does he fear to answer questions in the place.”
Lukyamuzi however urged his colleague and ally Dr Kizza Besigye to change his mind and participate in the debate. Lukyamuzi argues that this will further strengthen Besigye’s credentials as a democrat who respects and tolerates the views of other people even when he does not support them.
Lukyamuzi cautioned the NRM camp not to risk and send a substitute for Museveni.
“A Televised Presidential Debate is a very good opportunity for all the candidates since the entire country will be watching it’ Lukyamuzi added. “We know Museveni fears political debates. That’s why he abolished the political talk shows(Bimeeza) which used to be aired live by different radio stations.
Other political activists have also asked Besigye not to emulate Museveni by shying away from questions.
Writing on his Facebook page foreign-based renowned Ugandan political activist Eric Kashambuzi argued Besigye to prove his credentials by engaging in the debate.
Kashambuzi told Besigye thus: “If you miss the debate people will judge you as someone afraid of a debate and you are using Museveni ‘s absence to cover up your shortcomings as a debater. Do you want to be described us such? Those from NRM urging you not to debate will be the same ones to accuse you of using Museveni,s absence to hide your serious shortcomings. Be a man. Go and debate.”
Meanwhile Lukyamuzi has lashed out at his rival in the Lubaga South Parliamentary race artist Kato Lubwama for hiring men to follow and disrupt his rallies.
He also warned Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director Jennifer Musisi Ssemakula agaist removing his posters contrary to a directive by Parliament.