Election 2016

Col Besigye: We Are Capable of Using Arms to Topple Museveni

Besigye addressing delegates in Hoima on Tuesday

The opposition forces have the capacity to use arms to remove President Museveni from power, troche Dr Kizza Besigye has warned.

In a stunning revelation, Besigye said “power taken by force will not come back easily” because it’s “kept with force” by those “in power.”

The FDC ironman who has lost four presidential elections to President Museveni was Tuesday addressing FDC delegates from Bunyoro region at Bujumbura Cathedral Main Hall in Hoima.

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Besigye emphasised that “freedom is not free,” adding that they had ability to use the “same means” like Museveni to take power.

“We can look for the same guns, fight them, defeat them and take back our power,” said Besigye.

“Definitely, we know it’s possible. We’ve done it before,” he added.

Besigye recalled Museveni going to bush in 1980 with less than 30 guns before removing Obote’s government five years later.

However, the politician was quick to inform his audience that the party would not take that path as it “leaves the community too weak to ask for what it deserves.”

Besigye said half a million people died in Museveni’s NRA struggle, weakening and disempowering the Luweero community.

“That’s the reason we’ve not taken that option,” said Besigye.

He, however, observed that many people have told him that, “You are wasting your time; without guns you can’t remove him (Museveni) from power.”

But, said Besigye, war leaves the country’s infrastructure, schools and hospitals destroyed.

“The cost is very high,” he noted.

Besigye’s remarks on the possibility of pursuing an armed struggle have previously left a bitter taste in the government’s mouth.

He was accused of trying to start the People’s Redemption Army (PRA), a military movement in the region to topple Museveni, charges he vehemently denied.

Government’s views

Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo recently warned that government was determined to deal with any form of subversive activity engineered by Dr Besigye.

“Besigye said Ugandans were permitted by the Constitution to take up arms and use violent means to remove a bad government that has usurped their rights and powers. He knows that he is about to be cornered,” said Opondo a few months ago.

“Government is aware of all his underground mobilization alongside some cultural, religious and civil society organizations to spread fear and panic as the country moves towards LC elections and constitutional review process including threats to MPs deemed vocal on certain positions,” he added.

Opondo’s views were reinforced by Information Minister Frank Tumwebaze’s submission that Besigye was dreaming on taking power.

“Besigye should know that his repetitive chorus of singing anti-NRM doom prophesies and his weird dream of thinking that he can be president through staging chaotic scenes aimed at catapulting his visibility, have all failed miserably for over a decade now,” said Tumwebaze recently.

In his presentation today, Besigye said the people should be willing to take the risk of death and injuries in the struggle.

“We can use a non-violent struggle to weaken and cripple those in power,” he noted.

He also called for “assertiveness”, “change of mindset “and development of capacity to “organize” masses in the demand for change.

Besigye’s political drive could be aimed at whipping up sentiments ahead of the anticipated plans to amend the Constitution to allow President Museveni stand for another election in 2021.

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