Barbara Allimadi, the famous FDC activist who led the widely-publicised strip protest campaign against the arrest of Ingrid Turinawe in Kampala, has now blasted the same political party members of being “intolerant”, adding, “As Ugandans, we shouldn’t fool ourselves that people will behave any differently when they get power.”
The below-the-belt attack on Dr Kizza Besigye’s strategists confirms widely-held reports that the presidential hopeful continues to surround himself and nurture extremists.
It all started Wednesday with FDC’s Deputy Secretary General [in charge of administration] Mr Harold Kaija revealing that Allimadi was contacting several party delegates on a landline phone asking them to shun Dr Besigye.
The former FDC president is contesting against Muntu as the party’s flag-bearer in the 2016 presidential elections.
“We request whoever knows her, to tell her to leave our internal process. We shall not tolerate her blackmail on the candidature of Dr Besigye,” Kaija blasted the powerful female activist on Facebook.
The remarks touched off a political firestorm with Besigye’s supporters joining Kaija to condemn what they described as Allimadi’s shameful acts.
Allimadi is remembered for leading a group of half-naked women to the Central Police Station to protest against the manner in which the then FDC’s women’s league chairperson Ingrid Turinawe was disgracefully manhandled by policemen during a political activity in 2012.
Following Kaija’s remarks, Allimadi fired back, urging him to present evidence to back his claims.
On Thursday, Allimadi, whose father, Otema Allimadi was Uganda’s former Prime Minister, renewed the fight.
The popular activist, who is said to be in Gen Mugisha Muntu’s camp ahead of the delegates conference, explained that she was compelled to respond to accusations against her “…only for the sake of people who believe in me and what I stand for.”
She further praised her fans for “all the messages of encouragement in the face of such hostility from people I have struggled for.”
Allimadi pointed out that, “It’s quite telling when people who claim to be pro-democracy activists…are the same people who are so intolerant of other people’s views.”
She said such people “are so quick to make judgement based on rumours,’ emphasising, “None of them have come forward to substantiate their grave accusations that I was blackmailing Dr. Besigye…and they claim to offer a better alternative for the country – I shudder…”
Allimadi urged acceptance of divergent views in the party.
“I may not support your candidate, but I don’t hold your choice against you…opposing views should not equate to enmity…As Ugandans, we shouldn’t fool ourselves that people will behave any differently when they get power…”