The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has downplayed a recent attack on its former president and presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye, saying it was too small to shock him.
Besigye, the party’s founding president and four-time presidential candidate was attacked by a group of youth in Bulange, Mengo a suburb of Kampala on Saturday. The attackers were chanting People Power, a slogan associated with Kyadondo East firebrand legislator, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.
They heckled Besigye who had just been on a political talkshow on CBS radio, telling him that all they want is Bobi Wine since he, Besigye had been in opposition for a long time and failed to wrestle leadership away from President Yoweri Museveni.
But Bobi Wine hastened to distance himself from the fracas, describing it as regrettable. He said People Power does not condone acts of violence against anyone. Bobi Wine said Besigye has been such a strong pillar for the forces of change and his contribution ought to be recognised.
FDC deputy spokesperson John Kikonyogo said Besigye is a battle-hardened man who remains unfazed in the face of such attacks. He, adds that the party is investigating the motive of the youth and will act accordingly since their faces are well known to those who have been in politics for a long time.
Kikonyogo appealed to the youth to reject anyone who wants to use them for selfish motives. He argued that opposition members are brothers who should not reach the extent of attacking each other even when they have differences.
“There is no reason why we should be fighting each other even if we have some differences. But we don’t care who sent them. I think FDC is ready to defend itself if provoked to some level,” he said.
The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party through its secretary general Kasule Lumumba condemned the incident in a statement issued on Sunday.
Lumumba asked the police to apprehend youth who attacked Besigye and further advised opposition political parties and competitors to desist from any form of violence within their ranks and embrace fair competition, by encouraging debate and principled engagement.
But Kikonyogo said NRM has no moral authority to condemn the attack because they have been behind Besigye’s torture for a long time.
Besigye’s aide, Ronald Muhinda explained the attack incident as follows.
“As president Kizza Besigye responded to their questions inside CBS reception, I went out to establish if it was all okay. I later established sim-card holder 0755635553 had mobilised journalists to come and cover what they had planned to do.”
“Later, I heard Mubiru James asking journalists whether they had covered the story well. But when mobilising against KB, or want to deploy hooligans against him, please, put forward your best and bravest. Anybody else will be scattered properly and some will take wounded or as prisoners of war!”