Former President of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Dr Kizza Besigye has announced that the so called ‘People’s Government’ will swear into office people that will constitute it, as part of their campaign to restore the constitution of Uganda.
Besigye and other leaders in the opposition were Thursday launching a campaign dubbed ‘Tubalemese’ (Let’s disable government) to counter the recent amendment of the constitution to scrap Presidential age limits.
He said ‘the people’s government’ is embarking on awakening Ugandans as well as to intensify the process of organizing the citizenry to take back their power.
“We intend to crystalize our structures and the People’s Government will be formally sworn in so that they commit themselves to serving the country,” Besigye told a press conference held at his office along Katonga road in Kampala.
“This government will be at the district, regional and national level. We shall publish dates for the inauguration of the different bodies,” he added.
In addition, the opposition will form what they call People’s Assemblies which will from time to time deliberate on various issues of national interest. These Assemblies will also have district structures as well as at the regional and national levels.
Asked about how and where this ‘government’ will operate, Besigye said; “Government is not a building. It is similar to a church or mosque. Wherever people converge to pray, that becomes a church. So, our Assemblies will sit where they deem convenient”.
He clarified that this does not delegitimize the institution of Parliament or the opposition MPs therein, saying that their loyalty to Ugandans had been galvanized during the contentious Age Limit debate.
The so called People’s Government according to Besigye is not partisan but rather brings together those who have Uganda’s interests at heart.
Besigye said that in a bid to further sideline the 317 MPs in the ruling party who voted in favor of the amendments, the opposition will select its own 317 representatives “to represent the views of the people that were neglected”.
FDC President, Patrick Amuriat recently rallied the country to isolate the 317 MPs whom the opposition accuse of choosing their personal interests over their electorate.
“The 317 MPs will be trashed. We continue the campaign to isolate them in all spheres – politically, socially and economically. Those that have businesses, don’t buy anything from them,” Besigye said.
Contrary to claims that efforts of the opposition and its minority in Parliament have not amounted to significant force against the NRM, Besigye reassured that a lot of success has been registered and that the “junta” (government) has been brought to its knees.
“The regime today is at its weakest point; security is dysfunctional, the economy is in deep trouble and nobody noticed how we got here because our struggle has been gradual.”
He said the ultimate objective of the ‘Tubalemese’ campaign is to foster transition of power from a dictatorship to a democracy and to restore the sanctity of the constitution.
Regarding the legality of this campaign and the swearing in of a parallel government, Kampala Mayor, Erias Lukwago cited Article 3 (Clause 4) of the constitution which grants citizens the right to do all in their power to defend and restore the constitution once it is abrogated.
“The doctrine of resistance is provided for in the constitution and that’s what ‘Tubalemese’ is about. There is no way people will defend their constitution when they are not organized,” Lukwago said.
“And the only way to do that is by putting in place structures of the people’s government,” he added.
Lukwago stated that by failure of the state to prosecute Besigye over the ‘trumped up charges of terrorism’ that were levied against him after the 2016 elections when he swore himself in as President, it became clear that he was in no violation of the law.
Besigye was accompanied by Lukwago, FDC President Patrick Amuriat, Conservative Party President, Ken Lukyamuzi and other opposition MPs; Mubarak Munyagwa, Allan Ssewanyana, Mugume Roland Kaginda and other opposition supporters.