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Kizza Besigye returns, whisked away to Kasangati

As widely expected, Dr Kizza Besigye’s much-hyped return to the country has ended with the arrest of the former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate.

According to Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago, who along with several opposition politicians, was at the airport to welcome back Besigye, other passengers aboard the same flight told them that Besigye was whisked off the plane unto a waiting vehicle by security operatives.

He was driven out of Entebbe via the old airport used by the UN to his home in Kasangati. 

Besigye who has been away for almost a month returned to the country today morning aboard a Kenya Airways flight at 8.10am. FDC and Police have been trading barbs since last week when his expected return on September 29 was cancelled for unknown reasons and rescheduled to today Monday. 

Police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi earlier warned that it was treasonous for FDC and their supporters to refer to Besigye as ‘the people’s president’ because the country “only has one president”, President Museveni. He warned that police would not allow a procession from the airport like FDC had planned as it would disrupt traffic flow on the busy highway. 

FDC supporters waiting for Kizza Besigye at Najjanankumbi

Journalists were blocked from accessing the airport, with joint force of military and police officers informing them that they had been directed by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) not to allow them to proceed any farther than a checkpoint at Kitubulu. 

At this checkpoint, only people with passports and air tickets were allowed to proceed to the airport.


Before he addressed the media, was was engaged in a series of closed-door meeting with several opposition politicians including the Erias Lukwago, Joyce Ssebugwawo among others. Addressing the press at his home, Besigye said that “goons” dressed in Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) uniforms lifted him by the trousers at the stairs of the Kenya Airways plane.

“I hear them talk about attracting investors. The people killing investment in this country are Museveni and his group”

He said he did not even given the chance to claim his luggage as he was not allowed to go through immigration.

“Up to now I don’t have my luggage, I have my passport but it’s not stamped because I did not pass through the airport. I’m officially not back in the country”, he said.

“I was lifted by my trousers but if there was any investor who saw what happened today, they can never invest here”, he said. He said right now the country is divided between the people on one side and armed men on the other. The reason the state did not want him to meet the people, he said was because “he was the people’s president”.

Still insisting that he was robbed of victory in the February presidential elections, Besigye said “the people of Uganda made a choice on who is supposed to lead them”. Besigye said the defiance campaign will eventually succeed in toppling President Museveni’s government because “now we are better organised”.

“People are not fighting for me, they are fighting for themselve,s and I am just a rallying point. Example is Ntege Sebagala who had people following him as a rallying point, and when he went to join Museveni, the people continued fighting and rallying behind other people.If I was to abandon this struggle the people would continue and get new leaders because they are fighting for themselves not for Besigye”


Asked whether FDC is not divided along allegiances to him (Besigye) and party president Gen Mugisha Muntu – the reason Muntu was not part of the politicians at hand to welcome him, Besigye said FDC is not divided but its members have different views on different things. He was however quick to add that the they are all united in the fight for freedoms and rights of all Ugandans.

“There is only one leader in FDC and that leader is the party president Gen Mugisha Muntu. There is no any other leader”, he said.

Besigye said the whole of Africa is following events in Uganda and that since independence, many countries on the continent are still serving their masters.

“That is what we want to change in this country. Apart from theses ones, we should never have another dictator in our country”, he said.


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