DR KIZZA WARREN BESIGYE KIFEFE
Nickname, Dakitari, Hammer
By Tolberts Joseph Sibuta
Until the youthful Bobi Wine came into the picture, Dr. Warren Kizza Besigye was the most visible opposition leader in Uganda. Kizza Besigye was unsuccessful in2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 presidential elections. He lost to the incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in all the four attempts. He is a committed Ugandan Opposition leader, former colonel and former President of the Forum for Democratic Change, a strong opposition party in Uganda.
Dr Kizza Warren Besigye was born on 22nd April 1956.
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)
He attended Kinyasano and Mbarara primary schools; he later joined Kitante High school in Kampala for his O’ level. He later went to Kigezi high school in Kabale district for his A’ level. Besigye then joined Makerere University, Kampala in 1975, there by graduating with a degree in Human Medicine five years later.
On 7th July 1999, Besigye married Winnie Byanyima, also a former politician and Member of Parliament. They have two children, Adam Ampa Besigye and Anslem Kizza Besigye.
The politician hails from Rukungiri district and resides in Kasangati, Kampala district.
When the National Resistance Movement and Army (NRM/A) was incepted in January 1986, Besigye was appointed as Minister of State for Internal Affairs. He later held the positions of Minister of State in the President’s office and National Political Commissar. In 1991, Besigye became the commanding officer of the mechanized regiment in Masaka district, central Uganda, and in 1993 was appointed the army’s chief of logistics and engineering
Opposition political Career, Riding the Opposition wheel
Can he beat Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the game? In 1999, Besigye published an article entitled “An Insider’s View of how the NRM lost the broad base”. The document accused the NRM of becoming a sectarian kleptocracy, barbaric and a one-man dictatorship. Besigye was then charged before a court-martial for “airing his views in the wrong forum”. He later brokered a deal in 2000 in which the charges were dropped in exchange for an apology for publishing the document. In October 2000, Besigye announced that he would run against President Museveni in the 2001 elections. He retired from the Uganda People’s Defence Forces in 2001, by then, he was a Colonel. During his campaign, Besigye, who was Museveni’s strongest opponent, accused the government of hyper corruption and pushed for an immediate end to Museveni’s rule, which he said had served its purpose as an instrument in Uganda’s political transition to multiparty dispensation
Who won? Besigye lost the election to the incumbent Museveni; he later asserted that there was widespread vote rigging, violence and coercion of voters. In March 2001 Besigye petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify the election results. A panel of five judges voted 5-0 that there had been cheating but decided 3-2 not to annul the elections
In June 2001, Besigye was briefly arrested detained over treason.
The government accused him of being behind a shadowy rebel group – the People’s Redemption Army (PRA) – allegedly based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Besigye’s supporters said the government had fabricated the existence of the insurgents to harm his credibility among Ugandans and the international community. In August 2001, Besigye fled the country, citing persecution by the state. He asserted that his life was in danger and at high risk. He relocated to South Africa for over four years. While in the Zulu land, Besigye continued to oppose Museveni’s government. He later returned to Uganda on 26th October 2005, just as an early bird to register as a voter in the general elections of 2006. He received a heroic welcome, as revelers stormed Entebbe road to welcome him amidst hymns and jubilations.
Besigye’s campaign came to an abrupt halt on 14th November when he was arrested on charges of treason and rape. The treason charges pertained to his alleged links to the PRA and the 20-year-old northern Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army rebellion. The rape charge related to a 1997 accusation by the daughter of a deceased friend. His arrest sparked widespread riots in Kampala and different parts of the country. Museveni was accused of framing up charges against him so as to discredit him and kill his reputation. Both the local and international community came down heavily against Museveni’s administration, urging it to release Besigye on bail.
The government reacted by banning all public rallies, demonstrations, assemblies or seminars related to the trial of Besigye. It further barred the media from discussing the trial; threatening media houses with the revocation of their licenses should they refuse to heed the ban. On 25 November, Uganda’s high court granted Besigye bail, but he was immediately sent back to jail on military charges of terrorism and the illegal possession of weapons. Besigye denied the charges against him and has argued that as a retiree from the armed forces, he should no longer be subject to an army court-martial. He was freed on bail by the high court on 6th January. Although the charges against him stand, today, Besigye continues to pursue his dream and ambition to become the next president of the republic of Uganda.
On same sex relationship
Besigye highly condemned the act. His stance against Uganda’s notorious penalties for this same sex relationship will not be forgotten. Currently, this practice is illegal in the country.
On Covid 19 measures
On the same page? The “Hammer” associated with President Museveni’s preventive measures on the Covid-19 pandemic. Urged Ugandans to be Vigilant and observe the standard operation procedures.
Estimated net worth, $USD 1 Million-$USD 5Million