Kampala — Founding president of the Forum for Democratic Change party Dr Kizza Besigye has warned Members of Parliament against a creeping "culture of fear", saying it has frustrated efforts to wrest power from President Museveni.
In a closed-door meeting with Opposition and selected Independent MPs at Parliament yesterday, Dr Besigye reportedly told MPs that cowardice only avoids danger in the short-term but it has far-reaching effects in the long run.
"Owakimanzi nibarira, owakitini nibasheka" (there is mourning in the household of the brave and joy in the household of the cowards)", Dr Besigye told the MPs.
The phrase means that cowards celebrate for surviving danger because they feared to confront it as the brave weep for paying the ultimate price for taking the risk.
The meeting aimed at iron outing simmering differences in the opposition ranks but it failed to reach a definitive solution.
Speaking after the meeting, Dr Besigye said his briefing concentrated on the political situation in the country and increasing what he called the "conscientisation" and "determination" of Ugandans.
"I briefed them [the MPs] about our main activities. Our main activities are to increase the conscietisation and determination of our people to live in a free country and to have influence on how the resources are applied," Dr Besigye said.
The former Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mr Wafula Oguttu, who attended the meeting, said Dr Besigye spoke out against fear to confront the regime head-on.
"He was saying that it is bad thinking to say that they mourn in the home of the brave while they jubilate in the home of a coward. He said that it's a bad culture [perception]," Mr Oguttu said.
Dr Besigye's lecture also tackled the prevailing economic situation in the country and growing insecurity, marked by a harrowing wave of murders and kidnaps mainly targeting women for financial and sexual gain through ransom and rape. Government has attributed kidnaps to the ADF rebels.
Dr Besigye said insecurity is on the rise because Mr Museveni treasures "loyalty" rather than "competence" in security appointments.
Ntungamo Municipality MP (Ind) Gerald Karuhanga asked Dr Besigye whether he can guarantee that he would be any different from Mr Museveni if he was elected President.
Dr Besigye responded that there was no guarantee that he would be any different from Mr Museveni if he was elected but said the option was to empower the population to ensure any future president would be voted out if he/she attempted to cling on power.