14 February 2011

Uganda: Security Minister Sabotaged Bush War, Says Besigye

Kampala — The Inter-Party Cooperation flag bearer Kizza Besigye has said Security Minister Amama Mbabazi is a "coward" who deserved to hang for sabotaging the five-year NRA guerilla war while serving in the external wing.

"Those who claim to know NRM more than me, like Mbabazi were even supposed to be hanged because of the many evils they did when we were still in the bush, which eventually affected the progress of our armed struggle," Dr Besigye said at various weekend rallies in Kanungu District.

Mr Mbabazi, also secretary general of the ruling NRM party, is seeking re-election to represent Kinkizi West constituency and it would appear Dr Besigye's barbs delivered on his home turf were calculated to discredit him before voters ahead of Friday's ballot.

According to Dr Besigye, Mr Mbabazi and some NRA external committee members, failed to procure vital weapons to buoy the military campaign as agreed.

"We were very frustrated with him and even Museveni wanted him to get court martialled, but I think he eventually gave up on it," Dr Besigye said in accounts of a war whose details he had hitherto kept to his chest.

Mr Mbabazi would not answer our repeated telephone calls but his daughter, Ms Nina Mbabazi Rukikaire, a frequent political and social commentator, said talk of intimidation in Kanungu was just part of the usual lies by the FDC, common wherever the party lacks support.

"Besigye's hallmark and that of FDC is telling lies," she said while casting doubt on the alleged decision to "court martial" the minister during the bush war.

A day earlier at a rally in Kihihi Town, some four kilometres from the minister's country home, Dr Besigye said Mr Mbabazi had penchant for "sumptuous meals" while living in Nairobi, Kenya and had been nicknamed Karya buro (he who loves delicious millet).

"I left him in Nairobi enjoying good meals and went to the bush because I wanted my country to get peace and become stable," he said, "He was well known as a coward"

To assure supporters who turned up in big numbers to receive him, Dr Besigye issued two telephone numbers; 0774 227 013 and 0701 227 013 as hotlines to call in case of any intimidation.

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