Dr Kizza Besigye, the former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president and four time presidential candidate, Thursday rallied Opposition supporters to unite and confront the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party in the forthcoming Bugiri Municipality elections.
Dr Besigye’s call comes after FDC and the Justice Forum failed to field a single opposition candidate.
Opposition parties have failed to agree to field either Ms Eunice Namatende or JEEMA’s Mr Asuman Basalirwa.
Other candidates who have been nominated are; Mr John Francis Oketcho of the NRM, Mr Siraji Lyavala Samanya, the former Bugiri District Chairman and Mr Joel Wamono.
Speaking to journalists at Fairway Hotel, Dr Besigye said those yearning for change in Uganda must work as a team to defeat the regime.
He said the public is concerned about what is happening in Bugiri.
“We were unable to have a unified voice to challenge the junta. Two of our prominent members have been nominated to contest causing anxiety among the people who want to see change,” he said.
Dr Besigye, however, said doors must not be closed to reach a compromise.
“Hopefully, efforts will continue throughout the campaign period. The elections in Bugiri should not undermine the whole process of change in this country,” he said.
He said Uganda is not a democratic country, warning that what the country is witnessing is a junta trying to legitimise its existence.
“We must never forget that there is no democratic dispensation in this country because this country is led by a military junta. The elections are not between the political parties, but between the people and the state that has been fused with the NRM,” he said. “This country has never seen a leader raised by the ordinary people, but only leaders who have always taken power by force and remained there until they are also removed by force.”
Ms Betty Nambooze, the Mukono Municipality MP who is a member of committee tasked to harmonise FDC and JEEMA positions said the struggle for change is not about political parties, religion or tribe, but a struggle about Uganda.
She said prior to the nominations, her committee engaged the two parties in a dialogue. Ms Nambooze, said although their effort didn’t yield fruits, all hope is not lost yet.
“We shall continue to engage the parties to ensure that even if we fail to agree on a single candidate, the campaign should be civil between the two opposition candidates,” she said.
On the looming Local Council (LC) election, Ms Nambooze said Ugandans should participate to defeat the dictatorship at village level since it’s where massive rigging takes place.
“The foundation for dictatorship in this country is embedded in the LCI and LCII elections. We need to have two lines. A line for the people’s chairperson and another line for the NRM chairperson,” she said.
Al Hajji Hussein Kyanjo, the former Makindye West MP, who led the Jeema team during the dialogue apologised for failing to reach a consensus.
“First of all, I must make a public apology for failing to reach a consensus. It was not because of lack of trying, but because people’s positions remained steadfast,” he said. “Our candidate accepted, but the majority members in the NEC and other party organs refused this position. They said we are not going to put our candidate through such conditions. It continues to haunt us as to why we can’t agree when we did it in Jinja and Rukungiri. I am here to state that we shall continue with the engagement up to the end.”