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Uganda's Presidential Campaign Pits Candidate's Wife Against The President


With just thirteen days left before Uganda’s presidential election, the campaign is taking a more personal tone. Earlier, the wife of opposition candidate Kizza Besigye had given President Yoweri Museveni a two-day ultimatum that expired Thursday night. Winnie Byanyima threatened to expose Mr. Museveni’s “own secrets” unless the president stops undermining her husband’s campaign.

With the ultimatum deadline come and gone, does Byanyima intend to make good on her threat? Byanyima told English to Africa reporter James Butty “I warned President Museveni two days ago that if he continued to malign our candidate, I was going to come out to spotlight him. And I have already told you that in the last two days, he has not said anything to malign our candidate. But I continue to watch him, and I will certainly do what I promised to do if he repeats those malicious, unfounded, and even illegal statements that he has been making about our candidate.”

Asked whether the “secrets” she says she knows about the president pertain to alleged corruption, abuse of power or infidelity, Byanyima said “It has to do with a lot of what you have just said and more, and I’m not willing to go into specifics now because as I have told you, it’s not going to be in our interest to focus on an individual but rather on our party platform, to present our party platform and to contrast it with his party platform.”

Byanyima says she’s not concerned about the possibility President Museveni or his supporters may attempt to reveal secrets about her or even threaten her. “They have been threatening; I have been their victim for many, many years. I’m not bothered about that. I have my track record; I have my personal history, and I’m proud of it.”