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Rukungiri fax disowns Besigye

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th November 2000 03:00 AM

THE New Vision yesterday received faxes alleging that 23 of the 31 district councillors from Rukingiri district had disowned presidential aspirant Col Kiiza Besigye

THE New Vision yesterday received faxes alleging that 23 of the 31 district councillors from Rukingiri district had disowned presidential aspirant Col Kiiza Besigye

THE New Vision yesterday received faxes alleging that 23 of the 31 district councillors from Rukingiri district had disowned presidential aspirant Col Kiiza Besigye and pledged to support President Yoweri Museveni in next year's polls, reports Felix Osike and A. Wasike. The New Vision had not yet established by press time whether the faxes were genuine or not. In four faxes last night, the councillors disassociated themselves from statements uttered on November 4 at Rukingiri Stadium that the 99% vote which has always been given to Museveni would this time go to Besigye. Besigye hails from Rukingiri, which has been the bedrock of Movement support. One of the faxes read, "We the district councillors strongly affirm that for the purpose of continuity under the Movement governance, Yoweri Museveni is the right candidate. We, therefore, pledge total support." But Col (Rtd) Besigye called The New Vision and said, "The group has been intimidating people and offering them money. I denounce the abuse of office by these public servants. They are not campaign agents and I demand that the IGG investigate them with a view to apply sanctions against them." He said a State House employee, Grace Nyekwenegura, the Rukingiri deputy RDC and the DISO were circulating false stories in Kinkizi that he was blocking the area from getting district status. "They have been giving money to councillors to move a vote of no confidence in the district chairperson because he openly supported me. Their move was intended to intimidate councillors. They tried to move a vote of censure against the district chairman yesterday but failed," he said. Besigye last week declared he would contest against Museveni on a Movement ticket. Political leaders from Rubabo, Rujumbura and Kinkizi counties also separately faxed The New Vision pledging support for Museveni. Besigye's wife, Winnie, also the MP for Mbarara Municipality, cited cases of intimidation and bribery. Speaking for the Besigye task force, Byanyima said, "This is an arrangement by the Assistant RDC of Rukungiri (Mugisha Muhwezi) and the DISO (Manuel Twagirayesu). We are upset that the councillors are under such State pressure." She said, "We have information that a councillor for Nyakishenyi called Alex Twinomugamba moved a vote-of-no-confidence in the district chairman but did not get a seconder." "We have also received information that the councillors were bribed with sh200, 000. But two councillors, Mugisha William Tindiwensi from Buhunga, and Bwitonyensire James from Nyakagyeme, refused to take the bribe," she said. The district chairman, Antanasius Rutaro, said last night the councillors were acting in their individual capacities. "Money has changed hands. Mrs. Nyekwenegura has been here in Kanungu, Rubabo, giving money. They have been calling councillors, chairpersons of the Movement and sub-county leaders giving them money to disown Besigye," he said. He said in Rujumbura they got only two councillors. He said councillors were being paid sh200,000, adding that he had also been approached. "Nyekwenegura also approached me two days ago to disown Besigye but I refused," he said. The Rujumbura LC4 resolution said the opinion and political leaders there had rejected Besigye's candidature. The Rujumbura statement said the leaders there were disappointed that Besigye, a historical Movementist, had declared himself a presidential candidate without passing through the right Movement fora. The Kinkizi county fax said the leaders there had been watching the behaviour of Besigye towards the Movement and accused him of joining ranks with disgruntled Movementists and multipartyists. "We would like to inform the whole nation that we fully support the candidature of the Movement chairman, Y.K. Museveni, to allow continuity of already registered economic progress and peaceful succession of the Movement leadership to avoid anarchy and political confusion," the fax added. The Rubabo fax said, "The people of Rubabo would also wish to advise Besigye to revisit his decision to avoid future political embarrassment." Ends.

Rukungiri fax disowns Besigye

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