Besigye receiving his nomination papers from EC boss Badru Kiggundu
By Conan Businge and Jeff Lule
THE Forum for Democratic Change president, Kizza Besigye, has promised to resolve the federal issue in the first year of his administration if he wins next year’s presidential election.
“We will make sure the federal system of governance question is resolved in my first year as president. It is not only Buganda which needs federo, but also other people in the country,” Besigye said.
He was addressing his supporters at Nakivubo Stadium shortly after being nominated as a 2011 presidential candidate yesterday.
Buganda has been agitating for a federal status, a contentious issue, at every election.
Besigye said if a federal system is adopted, power and resources shall be shared equitably between regions and the central Government.
Besigye, who is also the Inter-Party Coalition presidential flag-bearer, promised to return all Buganda Kingdom expropriated properties.
Besigye, who twice petitioned court over results of the 2001 and 2006 elections, vowed not to return to court should he lose the race in a free and fair election.
“We have today (Monday) appeared before the Electoral Commission which we did not believe in. We will only accept the results of the general elections on condition that they are fair,” he stated.
Besigye said after putting the Government on pressure, Buganda’s FM radio, CBS, was re-opened. “But that is not enough. The Government must compensate the workers and owners for losses and inconveniences faced during the radio’s closure,” he added.
The FDC leader, who said he will not die soon as his enemies predicated and wished, was escorted from his home in Kasangati, a city suburb, by hundreds of supporters chanting FDC and IPC slogans.
Besigye and President Yoweri Museveni’s convoy bypassed each other at a Police check-point in Nakawa.
Museveni, who was under tight security by the Presidential Guard Brigade, commanded by his son, Lt. Col Muhoozi Kainerugaba, was returning from the nomination ground.
Besigye was instructed by the Police to pave way for Museveni, much as some of his supporters resisted the directive.
Museveni repeatedly waved his party’s symbolic salute of the ‘thumb-up’ to Besigye’s supporters, who in turn waved their V-sign.
Besigye also met Norbert Mao, the Democratic Party’s flag-bearer, on Jinja Road as he returned from nomination.
In both incidents, the supporters did not clash.
Besigye, who was on two occasions blocked from driving through the city with his supporters by the Police, reached Nakivubo Stadium at about 4:00pm.
He was diverted towards Queens-way roundabout by the Mobile Police Patrol Unit and Anti-riot Police, contrary to demands from his supporters to drive through the city.
The constables, who were armed with shields and batons, also used their water tankers and pick-ups to block the road.