Kampala- Violence and intimidation by government agencies will not deter the Opposition’s quest for power, Buganda Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga has warned, calling for roundtable talks to de-escalate the tension that has gripped the nation.
Mr Mayiga said the claims that some Opposition leaders have broken the law all rotate around the presidency, which he said President Museveni wants to retain.
“The Opposition want power; those in power such as President Museveni himself, wants to retain, consolidate it. The brutality being practised is to foil attempts for those looking for power quest to stop their plans,” he said Monday while addressing the Lukiiko at Bulange Mengo in Kampala.
His remarks come weeks after several Members of Parliament and about 30 other people were arrested ahead of the Arua Municipality parliamentary by-election and later charged with treason in connection with stoning a vehicle belonging to the presidential convoy.
Some of those arrested, including Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, and Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake, were badly tortured and have since travelled abroad for special treatment.
Mr Mayiga warned that no matter the level of violence the government metes out on its opponents, it will not stop their quest for power.
He alluded to the past regimes, which he said were brutal but that this did not stop their opponents from fighting for power.
“Obote was fierce, Amin was brutal, Daniel arap Moi in Kenya, Salva Kiir in South Sudan is fierce but all that stops no one to pursue power. Violent acts may block that one who wants power today but not forever. President Museveni was in the bush at a time of indiscriminate arrests (Panda gaari) so that people would not join him. But all did not deter fighters,” Mr Mayiga said.
The Katikkiro also criticised the shooting dead of innocent football fans in Mityana Municipality about two weeks ago and that of Yasin Kavuma, the driver of Bobi Wine, in Arua Municipality on August 13.
He called for prosecution of the soldiers and police officers involved in the criminal acts, warning that criminal charges remain valid even after 100 years. He also called for restraint, urging talks among the aggrieved parties.
“The President should sit and debate the issue of power with those pursuing it. If we do not sit for negotiations, more blood will be shed,” he said, alluding to Kenya where President Uhuru Kenyatta and his long-term rival, Mr Raila Odinga, resolved their differences through talks.