Former President of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Dr Kizza Besigye, has clarified on the remarks he made Saturday on the ‘Twebelelemu’ slogan often used by Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) and his People Power movement.
While addressing FDC elected leaders in Kampala on Saturday, at the party’s headquarters at Najjanankumbi in Kampala, Besigye revealed that there is propaganda being orchestrated by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) to write off politicians who have opposed the regime for long, in favour of the new ones, whom they can easily defeat.
“This propaganda, also partly, targets my person on the basis of my origins, to suggest and insinuate that Besigye and Museveni- because they are all from Western Uganda, are the same. You have heard and you know who are propagating this form of propaganda. This form of propaganda has gone far and wide,” Besigye explained
“The propaganda is unbearably too much but no one is concerned about it. That Besigye and Museveni or any other person from Western Uganda is the same as Museveni. That people from Buganda have been used and exploited for too long. You have heard them,” he added.
Besigye who is also a four time Presidential candidate, said that there are coded messages that are used casually and leisurely but with potentially tribal nationalism agenda. He warns that if such messages are not minimized, they pose likely danger on national unity.
“You hear phrases like foolish Galatians (Abagalattiya). Who are the foolish Galatians they refer to? You hear other coded messages like Mwebelelemu. Baani? Ba ffe?” asked Besigye.
A video clip of him speaking at the event, thereafter, made rounds on social media with captions from various people, portraying his statements as being directed to MP Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.
One of the people who shared the clip on Twitter was Observer journalist Sadab Kitatta, with a caption: “So shameful that @kizzabesigye1 can misrepresent a clear message by @HEBobiwine. At least I have listened to Bobi saying ‘Be part of this struggle, don’t leave it to your leaders; Mwebelelemu’. How tribalistic is that message?”
On Sunday, Kizza Besigye responded to the tweet saying his statement was misinterpreted. He said that Bobi Wine (whom he referred to as his brother), is not part of group championing the hateful propaganda.
“A deliberate attempt by some “interests” to pit me against my brother Bobi isn’t lost on me. The clip of 50 seconds from a speech of one and a half hours can do that,” read part of his tweet.
“Bobi isn’t one of those driving a tribal campaign. Whoever understood my words to be aimed at Bobi, my sincere apology,” he added.
This isn’t the first time Besigye is alleging propaganda aimed at portraying him and Bobi Wine as foes. In October, he said at a news conference that the current government had made efforts to cause actual conflict in the opposition, which would be a launchpad for assassinations. This was in the wake of the killing of Bobi Wine’s driver in Arua.
“They made it seem that there was a conflict between my brother Kyagulanyi and myself because of the previous by-elections. What was supposed to happen in Arua is to kill Kyagulanyi and arrest Besigye for his death,” he said.
He asked his fellow politicians within the opposition to be prudent in how they manage their contradictions so as not to fall into the trap of NRM’s web of conspiracy.