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Uganda Opposition Leader Denies Rumors of His Own Demise


The leader of Uganda’s main opposition party, the Forum for Democratic Change, Kizza Besigye says he is alive and in good health contrary to rumors in Uganda that he is dead. Besigye is currently visiting family members here in the United States. But back in Uganda, rumors of his death have been spreading. From U.S. state of California, Besigye told VOA the rumors are part of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s plan to mislead the public.

“These are rumors which are deliberately put out by the National Resistance Movement (the ruling junta in Uganda), and I think that the intention could be one of two things either to put out what has been the main story in Uganda regarding the serious defeat of the President Museveni-led campaign in one of the constituencies that we won recently in eastern Uganda,” he said.

Besigye said the story of his party’s election victory has been the major news story in Uganda for the past week, and that President Museveni’s government might have planted the rumors of his death as an attempt to change the story of the government’s humiliating election defeat.

Even though he said this was not the first time rumor of his demise had surfaced, Besigye said such rumors might be in line with the Museveni government’s overall plan to get rid of its political opponents.

“Partly it may be in connection with what we have known as a plan by the state to eliminate its opponents. There was information that poison had been imported into the country by the government to kill a number of its opponents, and I have been at the top of that list,” he said.

Besigye said he was certain the Ugandan government wants him dead.

“Definitely! He has intimated so. On many occasions he had threatened that I will end up six feet under the ground. He announced that I was infected with HIV and I was about to die many years ago. So it’s not anything that would be new for him to have such a plan,” Besigye said.

News of Besigye’s alleged demise was first reported on two FM radio stations in eastern Uganda. But Besigye said his party has no intention to sue the stations.

“If we were to go the court way, we would be in court almost every day because there are false information stories that go out almost every day. Our own response is to simply correct the information and leave it to the population to really judge what our kind of media is. But we don’t have any intention of going to the court,” he said.

Besigye said he is on a family holiday in the state of California.