News / Africa

Uganda Opposition Leaders Reject Invitation to Join Ruling Party

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.
Peter Clottey
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has called on two senior opposition leaders to stop fighting losing political battles – and join the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Mr. Museveni accused arch rival Kizza Besigye and the Lord Mayor of Kampala, Erias Lukwago, of opposing the government’s development programs and peddling untruths. He demanded an apology and repentance from the two opponents.

But, both Besigye and Lukwago dismissed Museveni’s call as “political jujitsu” to shore up support for the party in the capital, whose voters often fail to support the ruling party.

President Museveni and his ruling NRM has been in power since 1986. But, Lukwago says Museveni’s latest antics are as a result of what he says appears to be the disintegration of the ruling party.

“It’s now collapsing, and now you are inviting me to jump into a capsizing ship. That cannot happen,” said Lukwago. “Definitely, those are the kicks of a dying horse. The NRM is disintegrating, and the center can no longer hold. That is why President Museveni is just pandering from one angle to the other. He has lost direction, and he doesn’t know what to do.”

Museveni accused the mayor of undermining government’s programs aimed at improving the lives of city dwellers. Lukwago disagreed.

“I have initiated a number of ideas which have been frustrated. He doesn’t want the city to be run on the basis of a shared vision, and he wants to project a picture of one person running the city …He doesn’t want us to establish a system of accountable governance in Kampala,” said Lukwago. “I have been struggling to build a robust institution that can deliver the quality services the people of Kampala deserve.”

Lukwago, however, said he is willing to work with the ruling party to resolve the challenges facing the city. But supporters of the NRM say Lukwago’s statements are calculated attempts to embarrass the country’s leader.

“There wouldn’t be a problem ideally as much as I am in the opposition, I should have a working relationship with the sitting government,” said Lukwago.  “But we have not addressed the crisis governance issues. The regime is tired; it’s a one man’s rule; it’s a crisis of institutions, and we are on the verge of being declared a collapsed state.  That is the situation we are grappling with.”

Lukwago said officials of the administration have often refused to work with opponents on public concerns - an accusation ruling party representatives have denied as being without merit. They accuse the opposition of thwarting government’s efforts to maintain law and order and to ensure the country’s peace and stability. Lukwago disagreed.

“That is again a demonstration of the intransigence, the arrogance of the sitting government. They don’t want to listen to the voice of reason. They are quick to rubbish us as people who are just all out to criticize the government, and we are not appreciative. But, they forget that we are raising fundamental issues,” said Lukwago.
Clottey interview with Erias Lukwago, Lord Mayor of Kampala
Clottey interview with Erias Lukwago, Lord Mayor of Kampalai
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Emma mulako from: Dar Tz
October 15, 2013 6:16 AM
Ugandans believe it that too much of anything is dangerous, Museven has taken too power and now he‘s drunk and confused!He is in dilemma! Choose another president with upright mind not drunkardM7

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid