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Besigye Responds to Museveni Claims that Opposition Politicians Could Have Killed Abiriga

Besigye Agrees with Museveni that Abiriga Murder Could Have Been a Political Assassination

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Four-time presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye has responded to claims by President Yoweri Museveni that the opposition could have had a hand in last Friday’s gruesome murder of Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga and his brother Said Kongo Buga.

Unknown assailants killed Abiriga and Kongo meters away from the MP’s home in Kawanda, Wakiso district.

President Museveni, also the chairman of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), has said it was possible that some people hated Abiriga for political reasons.

Museveni even admitted the murder could expose the risk of supporting the NRM.

Speaking at the burial of the MP in Arua on Monday. the three-decade leader revealed that he hated some people in the opposition but didn’t kill them.

He gave an example of former Terego MP Kassiano Wadri whom he said had given him headache for years now junior interior minister Obiga Kania uprooted him.

Besigye Speaks Out on Abirga Political Assassination Claims

Speaking to the BBC on Monday, Besigye concurred with Museveni that Abiriga could have been killed over his political decisions.

“This particular killing may have been – indeed – political because last year there was a very contentious change of the constitution in which this particular MP was quite notorious in the process of changing the constitution,” said Besigye.

“The change of the constitution itself was something that was an assault on the people of Uganda and there is a lot of deep-seated anger.”

The former Museveni physician during the five-year that brought the NRM (formerly NRA) to power, Besigye noted that the chaos that greeted Abiriga’s body in Arua on Sunday was testimony to public anger.

“Indeed, you may have seen that when the body of this MP arrived in his home town, there broke out spontaneous and widespread demonstration that was turning violent – destruction of the tents and chairs that had been put up, and so forth. So there is a lot of anger.”

Earlier, asked what he made of President Museveni reading that Abiriga’s murder could have been politically motivated, and on NRM secretary general Kasule Lumumba’s claim that opposition have been fanning negative sentiments, Besigye had said the comments were “ridiculous”.

“I think it is ridiculous because the insecurity is affecting the whole spectrum of people in Uganda,” he said.

He then went on to list some of the previous killings.

“There have been a lot of killings of rural people by machetes, by iron bars; nobody has ever been held responsible for those killings,” said Besigye.

“There was killing of a senior police officer who was gunned in exactly the same way; there have been killings of religious leaders – Muslim clerics – we don’t know who killed them. There have been killings of a prominent prosecutor – national prosecutor.”

Besigye on How to Stop Killings

Describing the state of Uganda’s security as “extremely concerning”, Besigye tagged the spate of killings on “deep and long-standing problems that of political, social and economic bases”.

“First of all we have a regime that has been in power for more than 32 years, that came into office through force of arms, not that Mr Museveni was initially elected into office, and has stayed in office, largely by use of force, rather than by the consent of the people,” claimed Besigye.

“So, there is a lot of political frustration in the country.”

Asked how he thought the killings would be stopped, Besigye said there was “need to address popular discontent that arises out of unsettled political questions – the fact that people have no voice, the corruption is eating away their livelihood, they can’t do anything about it”.

“In the short run, the political questions have to be resolved,” he insisted.

Besigye: Museveni Afraid of Losing LC Elections

He further blamed the insecurity on failure to elect local administrative units for close to two decades now.

Besigye even claimed the elections had not been held because Museveni was afraid of losing to the opposition.

“One of the underlying problems is the breakdown of administrative institutions: the grass root institutions – which are the local councils – have never been elected in the last 17 years and these are the people that are able to tell what is going on in the local areas, to be in charge of security,” said Besigye.

“The reason they have not been elected is because Mr Museveni fears that the elections will be won by the opposition.”

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