Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The President of the National Unity Platform-NUP, Robert Kyagulanyi has said that only mass demonstrations will end President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s nearly 40 years hold onto power.
Speaking to party supporters at the newly acquired headquarters at Makerere Kavule along Bombo road, Kyagulanyi said the 2021 general elections and the recent by-elections in Soroti, Kayunga, and Omoro have confirmed that elections were a wrong choice to end Museveni’s reign.
Kyagulanyi said since the end of the 2021 general election in which he was a presidential candidate for his party, he has traversed the world exposing Museveni but all this will be in vain if Ugandans don’t wake up and show their dissatisfaction.
“We told you that we are not going in this election because we expect the Electoral Commission to declare us because we knew it works for Museveni. Now we have already exposed him everywhere. We have participated in elections but they have declared those who have not won. Now, we are asking ourselves why we continue voting. We want to tell you that our message is going to change. We are not going to just participate in an election even if they declare our people, there is no difference it will make. So, any election we go into should be an election to trigger change,” Kyagulanyi said.
He called upon all Ugandans not to rely on him to bring about change. “If you see the people of Busoga demonstrating, start from where you are also. Mobilize yourselves for change, the election should just put you in action mood,” Kyagulanyi said.
Kyagulanyi is joining Dr. Kizza Besigye, a four-time presidential candidate to declare that elections cannot remove Museveni from power.
In the lead-up to the 2021 election, Kyagulanyi said there was democracy in Uganda and that he was confident that elections were capable of ending Museveni’s rule. This statement attracted criticism, especially from the FDC supporters who interpreted it as an attack on Besigye.
Earlier, Fred Nyanzi, the NUP National Secretary for Mobilization called upon Kyagulanyi to command his supporters to demonstrate against the government with a view of overthrowing it. Nyanzi said it would be foolhardy to wait for 2026 to challenge Museveni in another election which he said would be rigged. “Our people need a solution, they are tired of voting and the results are changed. Now that all parties have come together, NUP should lead in fighting for our victory. The time has come for you [Kyagulanyi] to come up and we demand our victory.
He added, “the demonstrations we have had in the past have been uncoordinated but now we are waiting for you to command us and see how we chase Mr. Museveni. We can’t wait for 2026 for another election because they will still steal it,” Nyanzi said.
Kyagulanyi also called upon opposition supporters not to rely on politicians because they will betray them. He cited former politicians such as Norbert Mao, Beti Kamya, Betty Amongi, and Joyce Ssebugwawo among others who have crossed to the NRM as examples of betrayal. He revealed that there are also some of his party members who he said are working with the government but all these, he added shouldn’t demoralize people from continuing to strive for change.
Kyagulanyi called upon supporters of NUP to embrace the recent efforts by opposition political parties to work together to confront the government. He said anybody who speaks against Museveni’s excesses is their ally and anybody regardless of their political affiliation who is enabling Museveni to continue holding state power is their enemy.