By Kevin Patrice
A day after opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye’s talk show on the Eastern Voice FM in Bugiri District was blocked by the area Resident District Commissioner, and after singer-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine staged his first successful online music concert, President Museveni has explained why his government has always stopped events organized by two of his challengers.
On Sunday, Dr Besigye’s three-hour show on Eastern Parliament program on Bugiri’s Eastern Voice FM radio was cancelled after RDC Godfrey Nyakahuma warned the manager and directors against hosting Besigye whom he called a threat to the Museveni government.
In a phone conversation with the station’s administrator only identified as Nkwanga, RDC Nyakahuma warned that the station would face it rough if it hosted Besigye.
“You shouldn’t even air his program on radio. I am forewarning you, whether you go ahead and air Besigye on your radio, then I should not be blamed for the consequences, because me what I am telling you I am communicating what I know is going to take place. If that man is on radio, you are going to have a big problem,” RDC Nyakahuma told administrator Nkwanga on phone hours before Dr Besigye was due to be hosted on the program to talk about Covid19.
Besigye, who has previously been blocked from appearing on various radio stations across the country including Jinja’s NBS Radio from which he was ejected forcefully, accused Museveni of suffocating opposition voices.
“[This is] a clear display of abuse of power and violation of fundamental Human Rights. This partisan repression, regrettably, is official policy of NRM/Museveni Junta. I’ve been capriciously denied access to radio programs (outside Kampala) many times,” said Besigye after his show was stopped on the orders of the RDC who claimed he had received intelligence from Kampala that Besigye was going to use the program to threaten government.
Museveni’s other opponent whose events have been forcefully stopped is Bobi Wine. His concerts were banned after he joined politics as Kyadondo East MP and also declared his intention to run for president in 2021.
On the night Besigye’s radio talk show was blocked, Bobi Wine hosted an online music concert from his posh home in Magere in Wakiso District, not only because Uganda is under a Covid19 lockdown but because his shows would not ordinarily have been allowed.
But in an interview aired on NBS TV Monday night, Museveni denied harassing his opponents such as former Security Minister Lt Gen (Rtd) Henry Tumukunde who was released from prison on bail on May 11, Besigye whose radio programs are frustrated or even Bobi Wine whose shows were cancelled, except in cases when they went overboard and failed to differentiate between politics and subversion.
“I have no problem with dissenting voices like Kyagulanyi and Besigye. The only issue is that some of them mix politics and subversion and the arrest of Tumukunde has everything to do with subversion,” said Museveni, giving examples of other presidential aspirants like Beti Kamya, Miria Obote, and Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere who he said had run for president but were never arrested or blocked.
But Besigye shot back at Museveni’s hint on the link between politics and subversion, saying that was the President’s tool to create fear.
“Subversion (undermining authority or power) in Uganda is an “offence” determined by Mr Museveni’s level of fear for opponent! It’s an expression of political cowardice. He’s always the complainant and has never produced anywhere close to credible evidence in court!” Besigye fired back.