By flying out his four children, National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has betrayed his so-called struggle and supporters who have sacrificed so much for him thus far, Foreign Affairs state minister Okello Oryem has said.
Kyagulanyi's nemesis Moses Ssali aka Bebe Cool, a sycophantic regime supporter posted on social media pictures of Kyagulanyi's four children at Entebbe airport and their itinerary details, sparking off a fierce debate over privacy breaches by the airport and airlines authorities, betrayal of other families and the constant risk opposition politicians and their families are exposed to.
Oryem says that if Kyagulanyi claims that his family has been living in constant fear, then every other Ugandan is living in constant fear. He added that now that Kyagulanyi has flown out his family, he's leaving other families to suffer during his revolution.
"If President Museveni is the one who took his family out of the family or me, minister Okello Oryem took the family out of the country or somebody else took the family out of the country, then it would portray what the family is. But this shows that this guy has betrayed all his friends and those he claims to be standing for. He’s a traitor. He’s scared about his family, himself more than all those other people that have sacrificed for him. There are people who have been on front lines to die for him, there are people who stood on the frontline to go to jail for him, there are people who have been on the frontline to suffer for him. By sneaking clandestinely his family out of the country without care or concern for families of those other people who are sacrificing for him. Those other families don’t live in fear?" said Oryem.
Many have predicted election violence due to a determined opposition and electorate seeking to end incumbent President Museveni's 35-year in power. Museveni himself has severally warned of "crushing" and not allowing anybody to destabilise the country during and after the January 14 general elections. In November last year, over 60 people were killed when security shot at protestors who were demonstrating against Kyagulanyi's arrest in Luuka district.
Oryem says while it is not true that there are plans to harm Kyagulanyi and his family, the government will however not tolerate anything done outside the law. He adds that Kyagulanyi's true character has finally been exposed, where like the clever children's book character Mr. Hare, he has told Ugandans to throw their mother in the water, and yet for him he only threw a mortar and pestle.
Kyagulanyi, in a statement, said he has for long resisted calls from fellow opposition politicians including Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze to take his family out of danger. He said his children for the last three years, have been living under constant fear most especially when grenades and other explosives were thrown at their bedroom and a surveillance drone flown at night over his home in Magere, Wakiso district. Kyagulanyi temporarily suspended campaigns in December last year when his convoy was directly fired at with multiple shots by the army during a trail in Jinja.
He also said some people in intelligence told him that the state had planned to kidnap his children or wife and use them as leverage to compel him to agree to certain conditions before or after elections. Read Kyagulanyi's full statement here.
This comes at a time when former Uganda boxing captain Isaac ‘Zebra Mando’ Ssenyange was shot dead nine times by 12 state security operatives last week after baulking out of plans to infiltrate Kyagulanyi's camp and deliberately start street fights to give chance to the army to 'intervene'.
Zebra feared that such a ploy would lead to the death of many innocent people. Kyagulanyi's head of personal security detail, Eddie Mutwe and best friend, Nubian Li and other confidants are currently locked up in prison after they were remanded on allegations of assaulting police officers.
His personal driver, Yasin Kawuma was shot dead in August 2018 in Arua in northern Uganda during a parliamentary by-election. Last month, Kyagulanyi's personal bodyguard, Francis Senteza Kalibala aka Frank was knocked dead around Busega roundabout in Kampala allegedly by an army vehicle as Kyagulanyi and his team rushed journalist Ashraf Kasirye, who was in critical condition after being shot in the head in Masaka to get medication at Rubaga hospital.
A section of Kyagulanyi's supporters have reminded Museveni's supporters criticising his decision to fly out his family that Museveni too flew out his family first to Nairobi and then Sweden before he launched a 5-year guerilla war in which an estimated 500,000 people were killed despite the fact his family had not been threatened by the regime in power then and that Museveni even recruited children as known as kadogos as fighters.
Will just leave this here pic.twitter.com/Q4EW4E4k96— King of Hearts ♡ (@PierreHudson) January 7, 2021
Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said that the National Resistance Movement government and its leadership has a long good track record of not harming or killing politicians, their families or its opponents.
Opondo said Kyagulanyi's latest claims is an old narrative that has previously been employed by former opposition Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate Kizza Besigye and his wife Winnie Byanyima and their surrogates
“Remember Besigye and [David] Sejusa even fled Uganda claiming their were in danger. Besigye and Byanyima claimed that Besigye would be poisoned while in Luzira prison in 2006," Opondo said.
Opondo says that Kyagulanyi is lying about the risk his children were exposed to because he has been caught off guard yet he has been encouraging other people's relatives to get involved in violent riots and harm's way.
“To the contrary, it's Kyagulanyi who has been defiant throughout this election campaign including assaulting police officers on lawful duty and insulting whoever disagrees with him. NRM government and leadership has a long good track record of not harming or killing politicians, their families or opponents” Opondo added.
Meanwhile, Jacob Siminyu the Immigration spokesperson has refuted claims by Kyagulanyi that immigration officials had leaked the travel details of the children who are travelling to the USA. He says the people to answer are officials at Qatar Airlines and individuals who had access to those details.