Dr. Kiizza Besigye has urged against the use of guns to topple President Museveni and his NRM party from power.
The four-time former Presidential candidate says that it is useless to use violence against Museveni. He said Museveni who used the gun to assume power in 1986 has demonstrated that taking power using the gun does not offer a solution to vices like dictatorship.
“Because those who are victorious by the gun become the new problem,” he said.
Museveni and his fighters resorted to rebellion after losing the 1980 elections.
Colonel Besigye was one of the fighters of the NRA rebellion that brought President Museveni to power. He said he and other NRA fighters continue to receive flack for having pursued violence.
“Truly regret it and apologize for the violent engagements that we went through. But it was a form of engagement. It was the how. Because when you are going to fight, you unite to fight” he said.
He noted that fighting was the mission after Museveni and others united so that they would fight that had caused the country power using guns.
Besigye said that there was a conviction that they would defeat those in power to reestablish the common good that had been forcefully denied by the holders of guns.
Besigye was one of the speakers at the Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere Legacy Conference held at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
The conference was attended by Dr. Ssemogerere’s widow, Jemima Namatovu Dr.Ssemogerere’, their son, Kaloli Ssemogerere,andPaul Ssemogerere the Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese.
Some have suggested that the opposition has been failing to defeat President Museveni and his NRM because they have failed to unite and field a single opposition-backed candidate at the Presidential elections.
Besigye however maintains that even if they united behind one candidate, they would not be able to defeat Museveni using the ball.
“If we still think that we will unite, this violent hold on power, using the means prescribed by those violent, I think will be doing ourselves a disservice,” he said.
Besigye is of the view that President Museveni wouldn’t have attained a degree had he been going to school under the prevailing conditions.
He said most of the problems in the country emanate from the failure of President Museveni and his cronies to provide a common.
He said the lack of common good or selfishness, and attention to private things is becoming universal.
“You know your private thing and how you improve yourself to the neglect of the common good is what is destroying the environment” he said.
Dr. Besigye agreed with the Lord Mayor of Kampala that the opposition can keep Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere’s legacy by pursuing the enforcement of the things that he achieved in the constitutional or legal arena.
“It is only common sense, it is logical that to pursue those common goods, we must have a collective effort. So unity in our diversity is not just reasonable, it’s unavoidable if we are to achieve the common good,” said Besigye.
Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere is remembered for having pursued the return to multipart rule through a number of petitions through courts of law.
Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere had mooted and continued to front the idea of unity in diversity.
He believed that players from different political parties including the ruling NRM could still come together and agree on governance of the country. At the end of 2020, Dr. Ssemogerere attempted to bring different political parties to form a coalition in preparation for the 2021 election.
His idea had been on since the 1996 election in which he contested as a candidate under the Inter Political Forces Cooperation (IPFC) comprised of DP, UPC, and the National Liberal Party. Can the opposition Unite?
Former Uganda Democrats stalwart, Muwanga Kivumbi, one of the National Unity Platform representatives in Parliament. Said the political elites are the major stumbling block to unity.
The out-spoken Butambala MP who has previously been to Parliament on the Democratic party ticket said the opposition needs to find a formula on how to sort out the elites when it comes to politics and politicking in the country.
“If we don’t address it and insulate it, then all our efforts will fail” he said.
There has been talk in the political corridors that President Museveni is mainly interested in disunity in major political parties but Muwanga Kivumbi said it has come to a time when the President needs a united force to confront some of the challenges of the time.
“Actually, even the President of Uganda, President Museveni needs this unity than any of us. He is completely even captured. I know how difficult it is for him to manage this economy,” he said.
Dr. Paul Ssemogerere died in November 2022 aged 90. Many speakers at the conference hailed him for having mentored the young folks into politics.