Col. (Rtd) Dr. Kizza Besigye, a former four-time presidential candidate, has invited National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine to issue a public statement calling for a cease-fire on the new People’s Front for Transformation (PFT).
“I called Kyagulanyi and he said he regrets the on-going attacks on this front. Some people have been asking me why he has not done that publicly and I don’t know why but I leave that to him,” Dr. Besigye told journalists at their first address to the media yesterday.
Firstly, Dr. Besigye’s new pressure organization, which is made up of six political parties, has sparked a rhetorical war with followers of Bobi Wine’s NUP. Who claim that PFT is out to combat the opposition leaders in Parliament.
Mr. Patrick Oboi Amuriat, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president and one of the principals of PFT, tweeted at the height of the ‘war’ on social media last week. Indicating that they had no obligation to seek permission from the leading opposition in Parliament before forming political groups.
“Leading opposition in Parliament does not have to lead any struggle against the dictator if they don’t wish, are not prepared or have no capacity to. Mandela (former South African President) led the struggle against the apartheid in South Africa from outside Parliament. FDC doesn’t need anybody’s permission to struggle,” Mr Amuriat tweeted on Sunday.
This isn’t the first time Dr. Kizza Besigye and Bobi Wine’s entities have clashed like this.
Following the launch of Bobi Wine’s People Power pressure organization in 2019, fans of Dr. Besigye participated in a social media brawl with the group. Which they said was attempting to take over their political arena.
Dr. Besigye was exiting a radio station in Mengo, in the city center, when he was approached by a group of “ghetto youngsters” wearing People Power T-shirts.
However, Bobi Wine then issued a public statement condemning the attack. But quickly blaming the government for orchestrating “an attack aimed at promoting hate.”
As a result, the two leaders staged a combined news conference. They titled it “United Forces of Change” to call their supporters to order. The squabbling died down for a while.
Dr. Besigye said yesterday that he was aware that the government has a history of inciting fights on social media in order to divert attention away from the ultimate goal of deposing President Museveni.
Mr. Joel Ssenyonyi, a spokesperson for the NUP, refuses to comment on the fighting. This is to divert media attention away from the fight habit and focus on the major cause of building a path to change power in the country.
The contestants also accused each other of not showing up when the other required their help in forming a political partnership.
They sat in meetings many times, Dr. Kizza Besigye recalled, urging them to join the formation. Which they declined pending more consultation with all other party leaders before making a firm commitment.
“We called NUP and they told us they needed eight months to consult. When the months were done, we asked them again and they told us to go ahead with the formation because they were not yet ready,” he said.
In a rejoinder, Mr. Ssenyonyi said, “There was a time we wrote to all political parties to come and we discuss a way forward after the elections. All the other parties responded apart from POA (Mr Amuriat).”
NUP wrote to FDC four months after the presidential election, requesting a meeting with the party’s leadership. The meeting was canceled at the last minute. The scheduled hosts stated that they had an emergency that prevented them from hosting Bobi Wine and his group.
FDC leaders, on the other hand, said they had cold feet about the meeting since they didn’t comprehend the agenda.