A year later he was still insistent that he would not run, telling Uganda’s Observer newspaper that it is impossible to win an election that is being controlled by Mr Museveni. But in 2015, he changed his mind. His campaign rallies for the 2016 election were characterised by supporters handing over donations, including bunches of bananas and live goats – a stark contrast to most campaign rallies on the continent, which see the candidates distributing gifts hoping to secure the votes of the beneficiaries.
Mr Besigye says previous elections have been rigged and that he has been the victim of a campaign of intimidation by the security forces. Some seven months before the 2016 election, Mr Besigye was arrested ahead of a campaign rally, accused of violating public order laws by attempting to hold public meetings without the government’s permission. On his way to another rally three days before the election, he was briefly held by police who accused him of disrupting the traffic.
Mr Besigye has been arrested on numerous occasions. On one occasion he was shot in the hand, on another he suffered eye injuries after being doused in pepper spray. The authorities have always held that Besigye is provoking them, and he has been charged with inciting violence. The charismatic Mr Besigye, 59, is……Subscribe to Access our Digital Edition ………