News / Africa

Uganda Opposition Leader Fighting for Equality not Presidency

Opposition leader Kizza Besigye waves to his supporters prior to his arrest at gunpoint in late April.Opposition leader Kizza Besigye waves to his supporters prior to his arrest at gunpoint in late April.
x
Opposition leader Kizza Besigye waves to his supporters prior to his arrest at gunpoint in late April.
Opposition leader Kizza Besigye waves to his supporters prior to his arrest at gunpoint in late April.
The former leader of Uganda’s main opposition party -- the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) -- says his struggle is not about being president of Uganda, but rather one that seeks qualitative changes in Uganda.

Kizza Besigye says he has been fighting for a Uganda that is well-governed, free of human rights abuses and where resources are distributed equitably, free of corruption.

Besigye was responding to comments made by Tarsis Kabwegyere, Uganda’s minister for General Duties in the office of the prime minister.

Kabwegyere reportedly said that besigye should drop his ‘wishful thinking’ that political activism will one day make him president of Uganda.

Besigye says Mr. Kabwegyere misses the point about the reasons for the struggle in Uganda.
                   
“It’s unfortunate that the minister made those remarks because he should know that my pursuit is not one of an office but one of qualitative changes in our country, specifically we have been struggling for a long time for a democratic country in which our people can have equal opportunities and that they can live in an environment free of corruption,” he said.
 
Besigye said once those changes have been achieved and Ugandans have transitioned to a democratic dispensation, he will retire to his grave a very happy person regardless of who is leading Uganda.
 
In April 2011, Besigye and a group called Activists for Change (A4C) began the walk-to-work protest to express their concerns about people's dissatisfaction with rising prices.

Since then, Besigye says, he has been in and out of jail countless times. He says the authorities have told him they are keeping him under ‘preventive detention’.

But Kabwegyere reportedly said Besigye’s political activism breeds anarchy and confrontation with police.

Besigye says he’s not surprised by Kabwegyere’s comments.

"Well, anybody serving a dictatorship cannot like a strong challenge to that dictatorship. Mr. Kabwegyere is right. He is expect4ed to be a spokesperson of a regime which violates human rights with impunity," he said.

Besigye says the fact that the protest is ruffling the feathers means that it is a popular protest.
 
Besigye recently criticized leading religious organizations in Uganda of for lending a death ear to political activism.
 
“Well, I was simply inviting our religious leaders who are obviously important voices in our country to do more, to speak on behalf of the voiceless which is what religious leadership is supposed to do,” Besigye said.
 
However, Besigye said it is regrettable that a “large section of these religious leaders have been co-opted by the regime through patronage arrangements”.
 
He described as problematic Uganda’s intervention in the South Sudan conflict.
 
“First all, it was done without the due process that would allow our troops to be deployed outside our country which according to constitutional laws would require the parliament of Uganda to approve. Secondly, we have a large population scattered all over Sudan and our forces were taken to intervene on one side of the warring parties,” Besigye said.
Butty interview with Besigye
Butty interview with Besigyei
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More