Members of the opposition under their umbrella, ‘People’s Government’ led by Dr Kiiza Besigye have called upon the opposition in Bugiri to remain united despite failure to agree on a single opposition candidate in the upcoming municipality Parliamentary election.
Opposition strongman, Besigye addressed a press conference on Thursday, a day after the nomination of candidates in Bugiri, together with other politicians in the opposition; Betty Nambooze, Erias Lukwago, Mubaraka Munyagwa and JEEMA’s Husein Kyanjo.
The Bugiri elections have already divided the opposition where two candidates Asuman Basalirwa, President of Justice Forum (JEEMA) and FDC’s Eunice Namatende are contesting against each other.
This followed unsuccessful attempts recently by FDC and JEEMA to front a joint opposition candidate.
These two despite several engagements failed to rich a consesus which has resulted into bickering within the opposition and have shifted the fight from what they refer to as their “common enemy,” the NRM.
The former FDC President, Dr Kiiza Besigye said today that it is so unfortunate that the opposition failed to reach a consensus and this has tainted them with a wrong image.
“We have received several concerns from democracy seeking Ugandans accusing us of failure to have a unified voice to challenge the junta in Bugiri,” Besigye said.
“It should be noted, however, that there were efforts to try and have a single candidate but this hasn’t happened. We are still hopeful that the efforts should continue even within campaigns,” Besigye added.
He noted that the candidates should not fight each other because that might undermine the struggle they are in.
“We should maintain our focus and target on the junta, any side attack is disastrous for ourselves and we should manage the situation responsibly,” Besigye noted.
On her part, Mukono Municipality MP, Betty Nambooze has said that the attack within the two camps should not continue since they are all members of the same family.
“There is no need to put our focus away from the common enemy of Uganda, the biggest election for us is in Sheema where an MP wants to represent two constituencies. This same effort in Bugiri should be put in Sheema, Palisa, Kotido, Nebbi, Njeru and Iganga,” Nambooze urged.
Similary, JEEMA’s former President, Hussein Kyanjo asked that talks and negotiations for a single candidate continue with hope that a single candidate will be arrived at before the polling date.
“The campaigns in Bugiri should be civil focusing on the candidates’strong capabilities as well as focusing on the common enemy,” Kyanjo said.
So far, Dr Besigye and Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) who in the recently concluded by-election in Rukungiri were shooting in the same goal, have already dissented on their candidates of choice in the Bugiri elections.
Bobi Wine says Basalirwa has been in the struggle against the current government, given legal representation when those in opposition were arrested and thus is a person the opposition can not afford to lose. It is yet to be seen which other opposition figures will back Basalirwa’s bid.
On the contrary, Besigye will be throwing his weight behind the official FDC candidate, Eunice Namatende. Such a split in the opposition, many observe, could give the NRM candidate, John Francis Oketcho an upper hand in this election to emerge winner.