FDC defends Besigye’s people’s government

Four time Presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye addressing a news conference previously.

The opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has lashed out at the critics of the “people’s government”. According to the party, the “people’s government” led by the former FDC presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye, was a continued protest of their purported cheated victory by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) in the 2016 general elections.

The decision to form the “people’s government” was made immediately after the 2016 presidential elections. Besigye last week announced the cabinet at a function in Busabala, Wakiso district. The cabinet includes president Besigye, deputy president Erias Lukwago and Prime Minister Proscovia Salaamu Musumba, with the deputy prime minister being Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.

It also has a presidential council of state made up of Wasswa Birigwa, John Ken Lukyamuzi, Patrick Oboi Amuriat, Betty Aol Ochan and Chappa Karuhanga. Oduman Okello is the speaker and Cissy Nabantanzi Ssempa, his deputy. Ministers include Wafula Oguttu, Francis Mwijukye, Atkins Katushabe, Paul Mutawe, Nathan Nandala Mafabi, Wilberforce Kyambadde, Ingrid Turinawe, Mubarak Munyagwa, Joyce Sebugwawo Naboosa and Harold Kaija.

The announcement by Besigye has since steered debate, attracting criticism, including sections of the Opposition as a platform by Besigye to seek political relevance. Museveni was declared the winner of the 2016 general election with 60% of the votes and was sworn in for another five-year term of office on May 12 of that year. Besigye, who got 35%, claimed the vote was rigged, culminating into protests and arrest of Besigye.

Addressing journalists during the weekly party press conference at the Najjanankumbibased party headquarters in Kampala yesterday, Ssemujju, who is also the party spokesperson, said some sections of the Opposition were only interested in undermining FDC through criticising its programmes and its leaders.

“Some people are criticising Besigye and FDC all the time. Some hate him more than even Museveni, whom they rarely criticise,” Ssemujju said:

“This is a liberation outfit designed to wrest people’s sovereignty from the military leader.”

“Our main duty is to empower citizens, raise their civic awareness and mobilize them to engage in non-violent actions that will continue weakening the Museveni regime. It is still growing and all democracy seeking forces are invited to embrace it.”

Keeping a distance FDC, in a clear message to some opposition players, who are pursuing early efforts to form an opposition coalition, distanced itself from early election activities.

“There is excitement being generated by the 2021 general elections. People are already positioning themselves. We do not have any problem with anybody positioning him or herself. For us, as a political party, we want to occupy ourselves with calculated activities to continue weakening the regime,”

 Ssemujju said. Last month, Peoples Development Party, Social Democratic Party and Truth for Justice, announced a decision to consolidate efforts with the Democratic Party to form a political bloc capable of causing regime change. The political consortium proposed an opposition election campaign strategy dubbed “one-on-one model”.

On top of fielding a joint presidential candidate, the strategy proposes opposition political parties to field candidates in the parliamentary and local council elections basing on their strength in the region.