KAMPALA – Opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has accused government of using colonial tactics to block opposition leaders from mobilising their supporters ahead of 2021 elections.
Speaking in Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipality on Wednesday, Dr Besigye said the ruling party is using police and the military to stop the opposition from visiting rural areas.
“The police and the government are using tactics of the British, who colonialised us, to threaten people with guns but we are not giving up the struggle. We are moving all over the country to empower Ugandans to stand against the oppressors,” he said.
“What you are seeing now is a sign that Mr Museveni fears the power of the people. That is why he does not want us to talk to them so that they can get empowered. Once the people are empowered, they will not fear Mr Museveni’s colonial tactics and he will eventually leave power to Ugandans,” he added.
Dr Besigye made the remarks after he and FDC party leaders were blocked by police from addressing FDC party supporters at Kizinda playground in Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipality. Police fired tear gas to disperse his supporters.
The FDC party president, Mr Patrick Amuriat, said they are not surprised by police actions because their mobilisation activities have always been disrupted and supporters dispersed.
“We are on countrywide mobilisation; we are conducting indoor meetings with our leaders per region and after, we address the public. Out of respect, we inform police of our activities and we know that according to the law, we do not need to seek for permission and they are not supposed block us from addressing our supporters,’’ Mr Amuriat said.
“Earlier we had organised to go to Mubende but we were surrounded and could not meet the people. We then went Kaliro our supporters were beaten and harassed. We condemn acts of harassing people and teargassing people by police because this is not expected of a Force that is supposed to keep law and order,” he said.
However, the police spokesperson for Greater Bushenyi region, Mr Martial Tumusiime, said FDC did not seek permission to address the rally.
“Dr Besigye came to Bushenyi on Wednesday and he was allowed to go to BFM radio station. Thereafter, he went to a hotel where he met his people and we did not have a problem with that. But he was stopped from addressing a rally in Kizinda because they had not asked for permission and that is when there was a bit of teargas,’’ Mr Tumusiime said.
He added that police are acting professionally and we will remain so.