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Fighting Museveni isn’t a beauty contest-Besigye tells Bwanika

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Former presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye has responded to Dr. Abed Bwanika saying this is not a beauty contest that they are looking for a new face, rather fighters in the struggle against the leadership of president Yoweri Museveni.

During the re-union of Democratic Party (DP) leaders, Bwanika demanded that the four time presidential candidate should step down to pave way for others to contest against 30 years leadership of president Museveni.

In the same meeting, Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine faulted Dr. Besigye for contesting all the times and thereafter, reasoned that democracy doesn’t exist in Uganda. Bobi Wine stated “you can’t say democracy doesn’t exist without providing another measure of fighting against the incumbency”.

Appearing on NBS-TV morning show, Besigye said this wasn’t a beauty contest. “We are looking for as many fighters as possible. But if they are talking about the leadership of the struggle, let them join and lead the struggle. I have said I have no problem anyone leading the struggle.”

He said the struggle is not a Besigye struggle, it’s a people’s struggle who want to liberate themselves from those holding them in captivity. A struggle takes time. When the British were holding us here, it was through struggle that it became impossible for them to stay. Our grandparents fought to force the British out of our country. The people must fight for themselves, we cannot fight for them” He said.

Adding “So how do we fight? We first create awareness so that people understand their situation and that is why we participate in elections because we use every situation to reach out to people. During elections, it’s when we have space to create more awareness at National level.”
“After creating awareness, then we organise and build networks of people to offer leadership”.

Besigye said leadership is critical and relating to an incident in 2009, when the Kabaka was stopped from going to Bugerere, he said people took over government for three days but they were not organised.

Below is the interview.

Qn Did you win elections and where is the evidence?

We won elections and have evidence. But you must know that winning elections and taking power are different. When you win an election, you must be declared winner and given Instruments of power. But the military Junta will not handover power even when we defeated it. So even if we win, we shall not be declared winners or the losers handover power. It will not happen. It does not only happen here in Uganda.

You saw it in Gambia, Yahaya Jammeh was defeated but refused to handover power. It took the intervention of ECOWAS and Senegalese military forces to force Jammeh out.

Qn Some people are saying you must retire and give way.

You see, we are not fighting for leadership positions. We are fighting to get a country because we don’t have a country. The struggle today is not a struggle for leadership, we have nothing to lead and we have to first regain the country. The struggle is to end the rule of the few.

The contests we have are contests for liberation. It’s ridiculous to suggest that a fighter should give way or retire. The only time a fighter in the liberation retires is when he dies and you bury him or her and salute them for their contribution to the struggle.
In the struggle, every fighter is needed. It doesn’t matter whether the fighter is old or young. However, in fighting a dictatorship, the dictator will always try to cause despondency.

Qn But Abed Bwanika says they need a new face of opposition.

Is this a beauty contest that we are looking got a new face? We are looking for as many fighters as possible. But if they are talking about the leadership of the struggle, let them join and lead the struggle. I have said I have no problem anyone leading the struggle.

I have repeatedly said that I have never sought to look for a position. Even in 2001, I was never meant to be a candidate. Someone else (Bidandi Ssali) was to be a candidate.

So whoever wants to be a leader of the struggle, come and lead us? I don’t enjoy being in Teargas and bullets. I never see those people in the heat of moment. Let them come and lead us. I am really not anxious to be in the teargas. I have never seen Bwanika in the heat of things, who has stopped them?

Paid Propaganda is serious business. When you say something repeatedly, people get to believe it. Some people, even in opposition have been saying Besigye and Museveni are the same. Can you believe? If I lead protests against Museveni how does that help him? Anybody who says that I work for Museveni is completely out of his or her mind. If you ask them what is it that Besigye does that is almost what Museveni does, you will not get a response.

Qn Bobi Wine says you have contested four times so you should not tell us there is no democracy, he believes democracy exists.

The reason why we go to school is to learn the experience of others. Every subject that is taught in class be it science or arts, from primary to university, is about experience of others.
Similarly, in politics, we go through many experiences that form a body of knowledge. It’s this knowledge that new politicians pick lessons which they learn from, let me stop it at that.

Police say they stop us basing on Public Order Management Act (POMA), do we need police permission to appear on a radio station? How did I come to this NBS TV? If it is about Public Management? where is the public to be controlled by police in these studios?

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