Besigye noted that the president tried to cover his empty speech with lies and shifted the blame on the worsening economic crisis to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
absolutely said nothing during his televised address on the economic situation
in the country, according to his longtime rival, Rtd Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye,
the former Forum for Democratic Change-FDC president.
This comes just hours
after the president, Museveni addressed the nation on the runaway commodity
prices, saying that the government wouldn’t make any interventions to avoid
adverse impacts which could even lead to the collapse of the economy.
Now, in a rejoinder to
Museveni’s speech, Besigye accuses Museveni of wasting time for many Ugandans
who watched his speech as he wasted a lot of time saying nothing as he didn’t provide
remedies to the current economic situation.
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Besigye noted that the
president tried to cover his empty speech with lies and shifted the blame on the
worsening economic crisis to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the
The four-time presidential candidate, says although
the two have affected the economy, they have just worsened the crisis in the
country that is driven by other factors.
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He says the president
failed to address the country on critical issues including wasteful expenditure
in the government and the huge public expenditure.
Besigye says that although
president Museveni is appealing to Ugandans to tighten their belts and brace
for the worst, this isn’t reflected in the government budget.
He cited the
allocation of Shillings 2billion as a daily expenditure for the statehouse and
wondered why the president who is advising Ugandans to eat cassava should
continue to spend such huge sums of money.
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On Sunday, President
Museveni emphasized that the most effective solution to commodity prices is
to find alternatives to costly items like wheat. The president noted that the
use of local products like cassava and bananas can help reduce the high costs
of producing bread.
This wasn't the first
time the president has offered such advice. He had already mentioned the same
while addressing the nation during the international Labour day celebrations.
However, the proposed local alternatives are already being affected by the skyrocketing
Besigye also questioned
why president Museveni failed to suggest solutions to the loopholes, which are
swallowing government money in bribes and corruption. According to available statistics, every year
Uganda loses an astonishing Shillings 9.14 trillion to corruption, which is
equivalent to 44 percent of the total government revenue in 2019.
if the government eliminated the disgrace and damage of corruption, the
situation wouldn't be as ugly as it looks right now. According to Besigye, the
government is currently giving back to the population, which grapples with high
taxes as people foot high medical bills since the health system is in limbo and
He further argues that even if the situation was a result of
the COVID-19 effects and the war in Eastern Europe, people couldn’t be
suffering this much if the government was meeting the basic requirements. Quoting from the
President's speech, Besigye noted that the government is eying the oil cash as
the only way to save the situation, which he is skeptical will also be put to
Besigye notes that since the president has come out and rightly
stated that he has nothing to do in relation with the current crisis, this
justifies his campaign to rally Ugandans to wake up, join hands, and send a
unanimous message to those in government who are indifferent to the hard economic
situation that Ugandans are faced with.
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Last week, police held
Besigye in his car for about eight hours as he attempted to drive to the Kampala city center
from his residence in Kasangati town council in Wakiso district to rally
Ugandans to raise up against the skyrocketing commodity prices.
The prices of most
imported and domestically manufactured products have been increasing since late
last year pushing the inflation rate up from around 3.2 percent in November to
4.9 percent in April 2022. Soap, cooking oil, and other similar products are
the most affected while the price of fuel, wheat, and fertilizer are also on