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Winnie Byanyima Disagrees with Husband Besigye, Tells Him to Reconcile with Muntu

Besigye's Wife: Only a United Opposition Can Defeat Museveni

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Oxfam International executive director Wiinnie Byanyima has told her husband Dr Besigye, Uganda’s opposition kingpin, to re-unite with former army commander Mugisha Muntu.

Besigye and Muntu fought in the five-year war that brought Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s longest-serving president, to power in 1986.

Besigye was Museveni’s physician in the bush war days.

They would later serve in government before falling out with Museveni.

In government, Muntu served as army commander  from 1989 from 1989 while Besigye served as internal affairs and presidency minister, among other position.

Out of government, the duo started the Reform Agenda that later became FDC in an alliance of like-minded voices keen on challenging Museveni.

Besigye and Muntu Rift

Muntu. Amuriat and Besigye
Muntu. Amuriat and Besigye

But Besigye and Muntu are now on rival camps — not in Museveni’s government — but in the FDC they formed themselves.

In 2017, Besigye backed former Kumi Municipality MP Patrick Amuriat Oboi to challenge Muntu for FDC president.

Amuriat won, but the party has since been divided.

After losing, Muntu started consultations on whether to leave the FDC or stay. He is yet to announce his way forward.

Last week, Amuriat dropped Muntu allies — except Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda — in a shakeup of the opposition leadership in parliament.

Those dropped include Kasese Woman MP Winnie Kiiza, who was replaced with Gulu district woman MP Betty Aol Ochan as leader of opposition in parliament.

Amuriat also replaced Bugweri county MP Abdu Katuntu with Kawempe South legislator Mubarak Munyagwa as chairperson of the committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase).

Speaking in Mbarara on August 9, Besigye said Ugandans should not pay much attention to the reshuffle of the opposition leaders in parliament, saying the struggle to liberate Uganda won’t be done in parliament.

Besigye: New Opposition Leadership in Parliament Won’t Do Much in Struggle to Remove Museveni

Enter Winnie Byanyima

Besigye and Byanyima
Besigye and Byanyima

But Byanyima, who previously said she doesn’t like to be referred to as Mrs Besigye, has challenged Besigye to value the role of parliament.

“No! Parliament is an important platform where laws are made and public budgets are allocated,” she tweeted in reply to Besigye’s statement.

“Our elected leaders have a critical role to play in deepening democracy & defending human rights.”

Byanyima also called for unity.

“Uganda needs a united, strong opposition to challenge NRM government,” she noted.

“Besigye, Muntu come together!”

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