KAMPALA: Opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has criticized former Security Minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde for remaining in tow with President Museveni despite the latter sacking him from the Cabinet recently.
Lt Gen Tumukunde, who hails from Buyanja Sub-county in the district, is directly involved in the campaigns for the NRM Candidate, Ms Winnie Masiko, alongside other party leaders such as Jim Muhwezi.
However, Dr Besigye said Lt Gen Tumukunde is not taking lessons from the likes of Gen Kale Kayihura, the former Inspector General of Police, who were “used and then fired” by Mr Museveni.
“I told you whoever follows this government will get reputational damage. I once told Kayihura to tread carefully; now his boss has said he is a bean weevil, a weevil that has been destroying government. So don’t be scared, there is no General who is above Wanainchi who are owners of the state,” said Dr Besigye while campaigning for the FDC candidate, Ms Betty Muzanira, at Nyakisoroza Primary School playground in Nyakishenyi Sub-county on Wednesday.
“They had helped my friend Tumukunde and dismissed him [from Cabinet] but now I am told he is moving in banana plantations at night following them. If it’s true that he is there move right and left with money at night, he will have truly disappointed me,” he added.
He added: “He should leave it completely and accept they have dismissed him. He (should) accept the dismissal and go to work on his own things so that he gets himself repute of humanity.”
The woman MP by-election is scheduled for May 31 and several opposition and NRM leaders have camped in the district to campaign for their party flag bearers.
Dr Besigye, himself a resident of the district, also warned the security agencies to avoid intimidating voters.
“I want tell you don’t fear all those (threatening you). Before I went out of the army they saluted me, because I was above them, they will even still salute me now because I am above them. I want to give them wisdom; those who still can listen; leave things of following a rotten government and working for it to intimidate Ugandans,” he said, urging residents to turn up in huge numbers and vote for the party candidate, Ms Muzanira.
Dr Besigye was accompanied by Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, MPs Mwijukye Francis, Roland Kaginda, Munyagwa Mubarak, FDC Chief Mobiliser Ingrid Turinawe and former Rukiga County MP Jack Sabiiti as they traversed villages in Nyakishenyi and Nyarushanje sub-counties.
They campaigned in the villages of Bikongozo, Nyarushoroza, Omukagaana, Murama, Kafunjo, Kakyenkye and Nyarurambi. They also campaigned in Ruyonza village, Omukyishanda, Omukashenyi and Kisizi Hospital.
Just like for the Jinja East by-election which was won by Paul Mwiru, the Opposition fraternity is united for the Rukungiri by-election.
Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, the former FDC party president, who had threatened to quit the party after losing to Patrick Amuriat, has been campaigning for Muzanira alongside the party Secretary for Mobilization, Ms Turinawe and Mr Kaginda, who campaigned against him.
“I want to tell you that there is not conflict (among us) and we are determined to win this election,” says Mr Kaginda.
In total, six candidates were nominated for the by-election, which will take place on May 31. They are FDC’s Muzanira, NRM’s Winifred Matsiko, Ms Fabith Kukundakwe of People’s Progressive Party’s and independent candidates Sheila Atukunda Kirebete, Seith Mbaguta and Elizabeth Rwakitonera. Rwakitonera has since dropped out of the race.
The seat was declared vacant on March 22 by the Court of Appeal which rendered NRM’s Winnie Matsiko’s 2016 victory invalid following a petition by Ms Muzanira