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Sebaggala Advises Besigye To Return

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd September 2001 03:00 AM

FORMER Kampala mayor Nasser Ntege Sebaggala has asked former presidential candidate Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye, now in the US, to return home and fight for political reform from within.

By Opiyo Oloya, Vivian Asedri in USA and Geoffrey Kamali FORMER Kampala mayor Nasser Ntege Sebaggala has asked former presidential candidate Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye, now in the US, to return home and fight for political reform from within. “I call upon Winnie Byanyima to ask her husband to come back and face jail from here,” he told a big crowd at a victory party in honour of Makindye East MP Michael Mabikke at the Ggaba Beach Hotel on Sunday. “I’ll offer him my small mattress (on his way to jail) but at the end, we will win,” Sebaggala, a special campaign manager for Besigye during the recent presidential campaigns, added. Sebaggala who spoke in Luganda, said a politician must always be prepared for three things in his political life: jail, death and victory. Mabikke beat former Uganda Railways Corporation boss Enos Tumusiime and Uganda’s envoy to the UN, Prof. Semakula Kiwanuka, in the recent parliamentary elections. The party was attended by multiparty bigwigs, who included DP chief Paul Ssemogerere, MPs Omara Atubo, Reagan Okumu, Okullo Epak, Yona Kanyomozi, Ken Lukyamuzi, Nobert Mao, Nsubuga Nsambu and Winnie Byanyima. Lukyamuzi (Rubaga South) and Winnie (Mbarara Municipality) arrived late and almost stole the show as the crowds cheered and chanted wildly, interrupting speakers. Sebaggala said he had heard that some people intended to stand for the Kampala mayorship and warned them, saying the incumbent, Ssebaana Kizito, “is still around.” He then started singing, “Hajji alagidde...,” sending the crowd into a frenzy. Ssemogerere urged Mabikke to remember those who helped him during his campaign and his party’s ambitions and interests. Lukyamuzi said his and Mabikke’s plan to impeach President Yoweri Museveni is on hold, “just awaiting the right moment.” He asked the crowd to reject the high power tariffs. Okullo Epak said he wanted to see the abolition of graduated tax while Omara Atubo asked the Baganda to “sacrifice a bit” as they ask government to grant them a federal status. Byanyima said her husband was not a coward and would return home but called on the Government to “leave him alone.” She said the Movement system would soon be disbanded by Parliament to be replaced by a multi-party system. She asked the crowd to pray for her to overcome her pending court case. Mabikke pledged to fight for the interests of his constituents, which he said are high taxes, federo and multi-party politics. Meanwhile, Former presidential candidate Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye will not rule out the return to armed struggle to effect political change in Uganda. Besigye made the remark while responding to a question by The New Vision during a two-hour interview in Detroit, USA, where he was attending the 13th Annual Uganda North American Convention. He said his broad objectives included spending a few weeks in America before leaving for Britain and eventually returning to Africa where he plans to have dialogue with countries with influence on Uganda including Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa and Libya. Looking relaxed and jovial, Besigye narrated how in the post-presidential election, there were attempts to link him with the ADF rebels. He said part of the plot involved using retired army officers to trap him into discussing the idea of uprising against the government. He said the plan flopped because he did not believe in a bloody uprising as a means of achieving change, and he advised the would-be double agents that the best way to effect change was through political dialogue. The annual Uganda North American Association convention which opened in Detroit Michigan last Friday, in which Besigye is making his first public appearance among Ugandans in the US since he fled there two weeks ago, has been plagued by miserable attendance by Uganda-Americans. The theme of the three-day convention is, “Celebrating the African Heritage.” In a telephone interview on Saturday from Marriot Hotel, the venue of the convention, a participant, Mr. Vincent Nsubuga, said only about 50 people registered to attend. Of these, about 20 were part of a delegation of businessmen from Uganda led by Mr. Ibrahim Kibirige, the managing director of BMK, and Mr. Hood Mayanja of Hood Transports. The average number of participants in the previous annual conventions has been 1,000 people. Ends

Sebaggala Advises Besigye To Return

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