Opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye has claimed that the current gun violence in the country has the hallmarks of the hand of the state.
According to Besigye, the current economic conditions have made the ruling NRM government increasingly popular and could be using the violence to create a state of emergency.
“I am increasingly inclined to believe that the violence we are seeing is State-inspired to create some kind of emergency,” the four-time presidential challenger to Yoweri Museveni said in an interview on Monday, 12 December 2022.
While addressing the nation last Friday, President Museveni linked different attacks to elements of the Islamist rebel group Allied Democratic Forces, army deserters, active officers, who serve at his request as UPDF commander-in-chief, and police, as well as organised criminals.
Mr Museveni’s report came barely two days after Internal Affairs minister Gen Kahinda Otafire ruled out any links to a rebel group, tagging attacks to security personnel and establishments to mere criminals.
On December 1, in a statement delivered to Parliament, Gen David Muhoozi—the junior interior minister—linked the attacks to subversive activities facilitated by rogue members of security, as well as laxity of personnel.
But according to Besigye, the other reasons are less likely.
“This armed violence in the country may be from people who can’t survive and are fighting for their survival. I don’t rule out a rebellion. It is a possibility considering the political situation in the country. What is most likely, however, is that this armed violence is state inspired,” he said.
Nevertheless, Besigye says this is reason enough to change the government and free the country from what he called gun rule.
“All political actors in the opposition united and agreed that electoral processes will not free Uganda. That came as a result of the experiences during the by-elections we had,” he said.
“Political action is not just defined by what political parties are doing. It’s the population that determines the political mood. There has been a lot of talk about the war in Ukraine, which has pushed the economic crisis further, but the crisis in Uganda started before the war in Ukraine. The crisis is intensifying every day, and this leads to other things like labour externalization and insecurity because of the desperate situation in the country,” he added.