Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine, the president of the National Unity Platform-NUP party has announced a nationwide tour starting next week to open his party offices and mobilize support.
Speaking to the media in Kampala Wednesday, Kyagulanyi said unlike Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the president’s son who is barred by law from campaigning because he is still a serving military officer, the law allows politicians to reach out to the people.
Kyagulanyi said that he is aware of the fact that the last time his party, the National Unity Platform-NUP tried to hold a nationwide mobilization campaign, they were stopped by the security but this will not deter them from trying again.
For his part, David Lewis Rubongoya, the NUP Secretary General said that they have fulfilled all the necessary requirements to hold their meetings. Rubongoya said they have already written to the Inspector General of Police, and the Electoral Commission and have already booked venues where their public rallies will take place.
Meanwhile, Bobi Wine said although he welcomed the decision by the World Bank to put a moratorium on loans for Uganda over the Anti-gay Act that was signed into law by the president recently, he was saddened by the selective way in which it looks at human rights. Kyagulanyi said the international community must understand that human rights in Uganda are beyond gay rights and must be promoted equally.
“We welcomed the World Bank decision on suspending loans to Uganda but we are unhappy with them thinking that the only rights are gay rights. This government has killed people on a number of occasions but the international community has done nothing. While we welcome sanctions against Museveni, we call out the hypocrisy of the international community. We want to tell them that all rights matter especially the right to life they should not be selective on which right to support,” Kyagulanyi said.
On the scandals in the FDC where a section of senior party leaders has accused Nandala Mafabi and Patrick Amuriat Oboi of obtaining money to ostensibly fight the NUP, Kyagulanyi said although such allegations were unfortunate, they were not surprising. He said for a long time, Museveni has used the same script of buying off leaders in the opposition but this has not stopped the people from seeking change.
“Museveni can never compromise the desire of the people. We continue to tell him that he can not buy the people of Uganda. He can compromise the DP, UPC, and FDC; even NUP is not safe because he has already compromised some of our leaders, but this will not stop the people from continuing with the fight against his regime. I want to tell our leaders that if you leave the side of the people, you will go into oblivion,” Kyagulanyi said.
On allegations that NUP has not supported its member of parliament Muhammad Ssegirinya who is currently in the Netherlands receiving medical care over what some media outlets have suggested to be cancer complications, Kyagulanyi said his party is working together with parliament to ensure that this matter is handled. He appealed to Ssegirinya not to be used by those seeking political capital to discredit his own party.
This week, Kampala central MP Muhammad Nsereko hosted Ssegirinya on his social media pages where he said he had been neglected by not only parliament but also his party. Ssegirinya said the medical care he was receiving was too expensive for him to manage single-handedly.
Parliament this week said it was unable to immediately be of help to Ssegirinya because he had not followed the required procedures for one to receive treatment outside the country. It is said Ssegirinya left the country for the Netherlands without being cleared by the medical board that clears all international referrals.