Former FDC presidential flag bearer Dr Kizza Besigye has announced a seven-point campaign program that his “people’s government” is going to embark on to resist what he termed as the overthrow of the constitution after its recent amendment.
- Calls for boycott of age limit Act promoters
- Proclaims set up of “people's parliament”
- Says actions protected by the constitution
On December 20, 317 members of parliament controversially voted to have presidential age limits removed from the constitution, opening the door for 73-year-old president Museveni to contest the next presidential elections, whenever they will be.
It is not clear whether the presidential elections will be held in 2021 or 2023, following parliament's extension of its term by two years. There are legal challenges to the constitutional amendment law, which was recently assented to by the president.
Speaking to reporters at his Katonga Road-based office, Besigye said they (opposition leaders) cannot sit back and allow a group of politicians to circumvent the will of the people.
“After the overthrow of the constitution by Museveni and his cabal we are duty bound as citizens by article 3 of the constitution to defend and restore constitutionalism and rule of law in the country,” Besigye said.
The seven-point action plan includes putting pressure on individual MPs, who ignored the wishes of those who sent them to parliament and voted to remove the age limit from the constitution, boycotting their businesses and those of other NRM sympathizers who supported the amendment; setting up a “people’s national assembly and regional assemblies where the aspirations of the people shall be discussed to determine the future of the country”; campaigning for proper utilization of taxes; putting pressure on government to organize LC elections in two months; intensifying the campaign against the land bill and also expanding non-violent struggles that are meant to weaken and ultimately defeat president Museveni.
“We shall very soon swear in the people’s government and release [details] of who does what,” Besigye said. He added that all these actions are legal and provided for in the law.
“There are provisions within the current constitution that immunizes it from overthrow. What we are doing is not unconstitutional at all; using provisions of the overthrown constitution is provided for in this constitution, that is why its unique.”
Besigye scoffed at those who say that his previous campaigns have suffered a stillbirth therefore this latest effort is likely to suffer a similar fate.
“All campaigns are part of one big campaign of returning the power to the people. All these campaigns come to reinforce this. The struggle is growing even when it is not visible. Those who think that what we are doing is going nowhere, let them remain looking,” Besigye said.
Speaking at the same press conference, Kampala lord mayor Erias Lukwago echoed what Besigye said emphasizing that their actions are covered by the law.
“All our actions are legitimate and provided for in the constitution. It’s the people of Uganda who promulgated this constitution and put resistance as a form to defend its abrogation,” Lukwago said.
“All of us seated here, if we were committing treason, we should have been picked already,” Lukwago said.
“I call upon all leaders entrusted with the mandate of the people to rally behind the people’s government to bring this government to its knees,” Lukwago said.
FDC president Patrick Amuriat Oboi said the NRM must know that once they allowed the amendment of the constitution, they opened the floodgate for resistance.
“NRM shouldn’t believe that what they did is a matter that has been settled. How can we do this when the future of Uganda is insecure? We are saying time up for Museveni and his schemers who think that they can just change the constitution anyhow,” Amuriat said adding, “Anybody who thinks we are looking at 2021 or 2023 like the NRM dreamers should think twice; this liberation struggle should be sorted out before anybody thinks about any other election.”