Besigye: My Family is Defiant Too

Dr Kizza Besigye told the UNAA Convention that his family has been deeply involved in his struggle against government

Col Dr Kizza Besigye on the weekend found himself having to respond to the accusations that he has stirred political unrest in which a number of Ugandans have suffered great harm, physician while his family is tacked away in the safety of first world countries.

The concern which has prevailed for a long time now, came up once again as the former presidential candidate addressed scores of Ugandans in the Americas during this year’s Ugandan North American Association (UNAA) Convention in Boston.

At the convention which was attended by several government officials including the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and his Deputy Jacob Oulanyah, Dr Besigye was tasked by the audience to explain why his family that includes his wife Winnie Byanyima and their only son Anselm Besigye, have not been involved in the so -called Defiance Campaign.

In the heat of Dr Besigye’s defiance campaign in which he called upon Ugandan youths to reject last February’s election results, some Ugandans including the Chairman of the National Electoral Commission Eng. Badru Kiggundu questioned why the Besigye hadn’t put his family at the frontline of this struggle.

Read Also: Byanyima Hits Back at Kiggundu: “My Son Doesn’t Eat Burgers”

In their defense however, Dr Besigye said that his wife Winnie has been involved in the opposition struggle ever since he broke ranks with government a decade and half ago.

“My wife is there,” he said. “When I went into exile in South Africa, she was arrested seven times. My son was two years old. He was in prison aged only two; it is on record.”

Probed further what charges were leveled on the 2 year old prisoner, Besigye responded, “What charges have been put on me even when I am an adult? There is nothing.”

Born in September 1999, Anselm Besigye first tested the wrath of Ugandan politics in 2003 after his father lost in the 2001 presidential elections and run to exile.

Government security operatives — reportedly the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) led by the late Brig. Nobel Mayombo (then Colonel) — raided their house in Kampala “to check” on the little boy.

At the time, his mother Winnie, a Member of Parliament representing Mbarara Municipality was away on a trip in Manila in the Philippines.

The boy was consequently picked by his grandmother from Kampala and rushed to their country home in Mbarara before being flown out of the country to South Africa in September.

He has since lived with her mother in South Africa, Ethiopian, the US and England where she currently works as the Oxfam International’s Executive Director, although he studies in a distant US.


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