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Ugandan Opposition Leader to Form Coalition With Other Goverment Rivals

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni cut short a visit to London Wednesday night to face what some observers say could be his most serious political rival during his 19 years in power. Retired Colonel Kizza Besigye is back in the capital, Kampala, following his return from exile in South Africa yesterday. He is expected to be named the presidential candidate of the Forum for Democratic Change, a major Ugandan opposition political group.

Colonel Besigye told English to Africa reporter Shaka Ssali that he will be participating in a two-day conference of his party that will elect leadership for the party and approve policy. He says one of his main priorities is to develop a strategy with six other opposition parties on how to achieve a democratic transition in Uganda.

In response to rumors that the government may arrest him for alleged criminal activities, the opposition leader says he will defend himself both “politically and legally” against any actions taken against him by authorities. Colonel Besigye also denies government allegations that he has ties to a rebel group that operates in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, saying authorities have failed to produce any evidence tying him to such a group