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Monday, 18 April 2016

When opposition politicians surrender the dictatorship to God: Besigye urges supporters to believe in God of defiance

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Besigye urges supporters to believe in God of defiance

 


L-R: FDC leaders Aswa County MP Reagan Okumu, party chairperson Wasswa Birigwa, president Mugisha Muntu, former presidential candidate Kizza Besigye and deputy secretary general Harold Kaija pray at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, Kampala, yesterday. Photo BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA 

By SOLOMON ARINAITWE & EBBER ATURINDE

Posted  Wednesday, April 13   2016 at  01:10
In Summary
Testimony. The Opposition activist notes that it was God who guided them through the Bush war as they fought for justice 

KAMPALA.
At his debut prayer service following a 47-day virtual confinement, Opposition leader Kizza Besigye yesterday said the Bush war that ushered President Museveni’s government into power was largely aided by God and rallied his supporters to believe in a “God of defiance”.
Dr Besigye, who police allowed to leave his Kasangati home yesterday, but trailed him and forced him to use alternative routes, recounted the problems that conspired to frustrate the war ranging from the 1983 UNLA’s Maj Gen Oyite-Ojok led offensive to severe drought and the aborted attack on Kabamba barracks.
“If it was not for God, all of us, including Mr Museveni, would not have come from the bush. It was not because of Ssabalwayanyi [Museveni] that we who won the war, it was because of God. Some people were rather spiteful of this idea of prayer but the first testimony I am going to give is that our God is God of defiance. He defies injustice and he stands with all those who seek justice,” he said.

Mr Geoffrey Tayebwa, the Kampala south deputy regional police commander (2nd R), with other plain-clothed security operatives.
Though the party was holding the prayers for the fourth week, it was the first time Dr Besigye was allowed to access the FDC headquarters in Najjanankumbi since he was picked up from there as the party prepared to address the media on what they said was a results-manipulating racket on February 20.
On his first attempt to participate in the party’s weekly Tuesday prayers last week, Dr Besigye was arrested at Mulago roundabout and held for the entire night after disagreeing with police on routes to access the city.
Throughout the enforced routes that he used yesterday, Dr Besigye was trailed by tinted unmarked vans while plain-clothed operatives sprayed teargas on unsuspecting road users and warning onlookers not to applaud the Opposition leader.
Yesterday, Dr Besigye told the party supporters that although God may be sympathetic to the anti-Museveni struggle, Ugandans must also take the initiative.

One the plain-clothed security operatives who beat up and pepper sprayed some road users as they trailed Kizza Besigye yesterday.
“Let those who are evil fight the people who are praying. With God, we will not fail. But that is not to say we should sit and do nothing because God helps those who help themselves. Our country is in captivity by those who are wielding the power of the gun,” Dr Besigye said.
Buoyed by the harsh criticism of the election by the US, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago rallied the international community.
“They have a duty of helping in dismantling the dictatorship which they contributed in building,” he said.
The prayers
The ‘Free My vote’ campaign was unveiled to protest the Electoral Commission’s results that indicated that Dr Besigye polled 35 per cent of the valid votes. It envisaged forcing an international audit of the disputed results. “We serve a God of justice. The Bible says those who exalt themselves will be brought down low and will perish. I am sure that with the passing of time, we will see it ourselves,” party boss Mugisha Muntu said.


The Kampala Metropolitan Police commander, Abbas Byakagaba, has disowned goons who were draped in black T-shirts with masked faces, wielding recoiling whips that they used to beat up supporters of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)’s Col Dr Kizza Besigye.
Byakagaba says police will investigate and take action against its officers who looked on as strange men unleashed terror on citizens. His statement should embarrass Byakagaba! Does he realize how incompetent he sounds with such a statement?
The constitutional duty of the Uganda Police Force (UPF) is to protect people’s lives and property. In this particular incident, the police officers who were equipped with guns and other tools meant to subdue and control crowds looked on as these men beat up people as if they were approving their actions.
Masked men beating up people on Tuesday
In the past, police officers in similar circumstances have looked as the so-called Kiboko squad bashed demonstrators on Kampala streets. Again, in the beginning, police, including their leader, General Kale Kayihura, disowned this group but could not explain why they were not arrested as they beat up people.
Later, President Museveni owned up, and introduced the squad as peace volunteers. The question is, is police in charge of the security of this country anymore? In the past, they have been arresting members of outlawed groups  such as Kifeesi, Power Ten, and many other groups that had come up to counter the police-backed crime preventers. 
Police is being dishonest in this matter because how on earth can a stranger beat up people in full view of the security agents, and police does not react? If everyone in this country is allowed to take over the security of their life and property, would it be a country governed by rule of law?
Is the police so weak and ill-equipped as to fail to control the crowds – in that they have to rely on the support of illegal outfits such as these masked men?
The action of these men could suggest that actually police is not able to maintain law and order, and such a duty has now been delegated to illegal organisations. 
During the elections, police arrested people who were involved in the beating up of President Museveni’s supporters in Ntungamo district. The police chief even offered the police helicopters to fly them to hospitals.
A Shs 20m bounty was placed on former head of candidate Amama Mbabazi security, Christopher Aine, for whoever would arrest him because of his alleged involvement in the Ntungamo fights.
We only hope that the gusto and spirit with which they hunted down those involved in Ntungamo fights would be the same or even more while hunting down the masked men. We need to end impunity, and police needs to own up.