Kizza Besigye, FDC Flag-bearer, Sworn In As President of Uganda

By Our Online Correspondent
Listen to article

A Ugandan judge has presided over the swearing-in ceremony and administered the presidential oath and oath of allegiance to the President of the Government of National Unity, Col. (Rtd.) Dr Kizza Besigye.

A source within Uganda that prefers anonymity has told us that the actions of the unnamed judge are supported by a number of judges at the level of the High Court, Court of Appeal and three Justices of the Supreme Court.

The swearing-in ceremony has been attended by ministers, deputies, secretaries, officials of the Government of National Unity and members of the general public.

This is an event that has been anticipated. It is expected to be greeted by celebrations in various towns and villages across the East African country. As is the tradition, congratulatory messages and statements of recognition are being received from national leaders.

Several African leaders phoned Dr. Besigye in the week running up to the swearing in ceremony expressing their support for the Government of National Unity.

It is not clear what the United States, Europe and Canada, major trade partners and donors of Uganda have said, although they have increasingly been vocal about the perilous human rights situation and governance malaise there.

In a recent statement at the United Nations, US Ambassador to the global body’s General Assembly Samantha Power stated that Gen. Yoweri Museveni who was controversially declared winner of a botched election held in mid-February was a threat to the stability of Uganda and the region.

The past year has been characterized by heightened political tensions, mass arrests and detentions without trial and unprecedented use of brute force by Museveni’s 30 year reign.

It does not help matters that the landlocked East African country which has successfully prospected for oil has suffered dwindling economic fortunes as foreign investors relocate to more stable destinations. Paralyzed by political uncertainty, the domestic economy has gone through severe strain as local traders and entrepreneurs close shop, suffer foreclosure and default on high-interest loans.

The strong appeal that Dr. Besigye and the Government of National Unity wields comes from the promise of setting the stage for a National Dialogue that will lead to a definitive political settlement which shall be the basis for a free, democratic and prosperous Uganda moving forward.

In brief remarks after being sworn in Dr. Besigye said: "What is happening today is not an ordinary swearing in ceremony. And this is because our country is in a rather unique and unenviable place of not running according to the constitution of Uganda. This was was occasioned by Mr. Museveni and his regime trying to use force once again to overthrow the will of the people of Uganda.

Unfortunately, having offered a way back to the constitutional path through having an independent audit which we could present our evidence to and whoever else who was interested could present evidence to and which could in the circumstances establish conclusively who won the election, a conclusion we have clearly committed ourselves to abide with, that process and that offer has been regrettably neglected or ignored by Mr. Museveni who intends to cling on to what Mr. Kiggundu announced.

That is untenable from the available evidence. Therefore any swearing by Mr. Museveni is not a swearing by the constitution of the Republic of Uganda because he has not won an election. And we have every evidence that we won the election and that is why today we are being sworn in, in front of the people of Uganda, to offer leadership in the next five years."