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I will run campaign of defiance says Besigye

Multitudes of Besigye supporters in a procession on Jinja road

Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye says his campaign will be about liberating power from 'dictatorship' back to the people.

Besigye told the press immediately after nomination at midday, that he cannot have a compliant campaign in the current circumstances. Besigye argues that he can not seek for people's mandate to become president when the people don't have that power in the first place.

“This campaign is about changing that - that power goes back to the people, institutions become institutions of the people of Uganda and serve the people of Uganda…This campaign is about first and foremost the liberation of our country, the taking back of our power from the few people who monopolise it using instruments of terror.

We have to liberate our power back to the people. This campaign is about the taking back of our country… And this is why I have said without any shade of doubt that this campaign is a campaign of defiance  not of compliance. We can’t have a compliant campaign complying with a dictatorship", Besigye said. 

Besigye added that his campaign is going to take three phases - liberation, reconfiguration of the state institutions from personalisation by some individuals and thereafter transformation of the country, so all citizens can be proud of being Ugandans.

This he said will be done through broad-based economic development not the current growth witnessed by just a few individuals.

"The regime always talks about development but development by whom? We need broad based development that benefits all people...we need to banish humiliating poverty facing our people", he said.

The crowd waiting for Kizza Besigye at Nakivubo

Electoral Commission Chairman, Dr Badru Kiggundu had earlier declared Besigye duly nominated as a 2016 presidential candidate.

Besigye was accompanied by the Kampala Woman MP Nabila Nagayi Ssempala, Leader of Opposition in Parliament Wafula Oguttu, FDC President Mugisha Muntu, FDC National Chairman Wasswa Biriggwa, among others.

Besigye's nomination was proposed by the MP aspirant for Kitgum Municipality, Kenneth Onekait and seconded by Nulu Nakalema.

"Its quite a unique moment for me to be nominated by the electoral commission that I protest. I have nothing against the ladies & gentlemen of the electoral commission but we have a bad institution. We need an independent commission", Besigye said. He said the 'Electoral Commission is Mr Museveni's walking stick' operating at his whims the reason it had to postpone the presidential nominations for a month to await for the passing of the Presidential Elections Amendment Bill 2015"

 At Banda, Besigye was given a sofa chair for keeps while some of his supporters started to contribute money for his campaigns like it has been at almost all his previous rallies.


Onlookers following the proceedings of Besigye's nomination rally in Nakivubo stadium from their shopping malls. Photos: Sadab Kitatta Kaaya

After four hours of procession, Besigye finally made it to Nakivubo stadium with multitudes of his supporters who trekked from the usually 30 minute drive journey.

In Nakivubo, Besigye reiterated his earlier message saying today had opened a new dawn for Ugandans to liberate themselves. Besigye told his supporters that he was not in Nakivubo to seek for their mandate to become president because they don't have the power.

"You overwhelmingly voted in Erias Lukwago as Kampala mayor, is he in office?", he asked in reference to ousting of Lukwago from his office by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) councilors.

Besigye said next week he will unveil his liberation plan: "Ours is not a campaign of using helicopters to fly for campaigns. If it means walking, I will do that...I don't have billions for campaigns like my competitors. Its you who will contribute to our struggle"

He said that after liberating the country, they will go to restructuring the state whose institutions have been personalised, then to inclusive development for all citizens. He said he will trim his government to just 20 ministers from the current 80, as well cut the size of parliament from over 400 MPs to about 100 MPs.

"Our country is in a very dire situation. Uganda is one of the richest countries but its people are one of the poorest in the world... Despite being one of the richest, Uganda is referred to as 'highly-indebted', no jobs for the youth, with no healthcare system, poor education system - all because the country is under captivity of a small minority", he said.

On corrupt civil servants used to stealing government resources, Besigye said they should be ready to 'lose their hands' when his government comes in hard to make them to repay back the stolen monies.

He further said the few remaining civil servants who will remain in government will earn decent and dignified salaries, enjoy better housing conditions etc just like it used to be in earlier times.

He particularly singled out police officers who, he said deserved better salaries and working conditions compared to the situation now where they live impoverished livelihoods while their bosses live rich and large.

Earlier Gen David Sejusa told the crowd that it is him who persuaded Besigye to stand again under this regime and under the current Electoral Commission.

"Some people say Besigye went against his word, he did not. Museveni was asking what I discussed with Besigye, now let me tell him one of the three things we discussed. I persuaded Besigye to stand for the elections. For some people who don't see beyond, they think by Besigye registering for these elections he will abide by the electoral process. They only see the surface of it"


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