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COL BESIGYE SPEAKS OUT ON GEN KAGAME MEETING: ‘AS A LEADER I’M FREE TO MEET OUR EAC LEADERS’

By Mulengera Reporters

Leading Ugandan political opposition figure Col Kizza Besigye has finally spoken out on last month State media reports that he had held meetings with Rwandan President Gen Paul Kagame in New York and other Western cities. On a Saturday last month, Robert Kabushenga’s Vision Group carried a front-page story, relying on unnamed sources, in which they claimed KB had met with Kagame and discussed things that remain unknown.

Dr. Kizza Besigye’s powerful wife Eng Winie Byanyima chats with powerful African men Paul Kagame, AfDB’s Kaberuka and Nigerian tycoon Dangote (Africa’s richest man) in a recent photo. Some initially thought she could have brokered the meeting between KB and Gen Kagame

In his characteristic style, Besigye (who indeed was in the US when it was published) never responded to the story as to its authenticity. And even in the subsequent media engagements they had with him, Uganda electronic media journalists never remembered to prompt him about the same. To their credit, the East African newspaper’s Kampala Bureau team journalists led by Charles Mpagi have (in their latest issue) carried an extensive interview with Besigye. In the front-page interview, the retired Colonel is interrogated on many things including the reported Kagame meeting.

He told the interviewer Julius Barigaba that the truth is he never met President Kagame as reported. He was asked did you meet him? What did you discuss? And his answer was as follows; “I did not meet President Kagame and I have no plans of meeting him.”

He explains the last “the time I was in Rwanda was when Gen Fred Rwigyema was being formally interred in 1995.” Besigye then adds that there is no point denying existence of a “state of war between Uganda and Rwanda” and that President Museveni (referencing on his earlier letter that was famously published by New Vision) has previously “confessed to meeting leaders of armed groups of Rwanda for whatever reason.”

Col Besigye further explains; “I don’t think Rwanda wants to fight Uganda because fighting Uganda disadvantages Rwanda in every sense.” He says the problem began in RPF’s formative years when President Museveni perceived the new Rwandese political movement as incapable of their own existence independent of his patronage.

“As we say in the military language, they are now providing covering fire in saying Besigye is meeting Kagame. But even if I were to meet Kagame, I’m not a rebel. I have every right to meet our regional leaders whether they are from Rwanda, Kenya or any other country. The EAC, which Museveni claims to champion, is a cooperation of the EAC citizens and not EAC regimes,” Besigye concluded his submission in a long interview that saw him give his views on Uganda’s political scene, the essentiality of 2021 general elections and the advent of Mr. Kyagulanyi Sentamu’s People Power as an opposition force in Uganda.

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