I am Not Scared Of Jail — Besigye

I am Not Scared Of Jail — Besigye

By Serestino Tusingwire

Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)’s four time presidential candidate Dr. Kizza has said that he is never scared of jail.

Besigye said this while addressing the media at FDC Headquarters in Najjanankumbi on Wednesday 12 July, 2016.

He said this just a day after he was released from prision where he had spent two months battling treason charges.

“Whenever I am arrested, I am at ease with myself. I am always psychologically prepared for arrest and torture. I am never stressed,” Besigye said.

He said this to console his supporters who are ever scared of his life and reminded them to always keep prepared for such situations.

“Those of us who chose to oppose must know the dictator’s wrath will be directed towards us; Arrest, Torture and sometimes death,”

Below is what Besigye Said at the Press Conference

Transcript of Besigye’s speech to the press this morning at Najjanankumbi

**updates every minute

Inspite of all the resources they deploy and waste, they are utterly incompetent.

I was able to beat their security and come to town as a show of defiance.

This is was to show that they were detaining me for no wrong. They showed the usual brutality and later on detained.

I was detained pre-maturely because I offered to open my car and I thought it should not go on.

Once I was out, they pretended to show how strong they are by lifting me and then on to their vehicle.

They took me to Nalufenya Prison, briefly. I was then taken to Moroto Prison by air. I spent two nights at Moroto Police station before being charged on the evening of the third night. I have expressed this to court.

While in Moroto station strange things happened. All inmates were transferred and I was the only one in Moroto cells.

Special people were transferred from Kampala. Counter terrorism police were the ones in charge of the prison cells.

There was no power or light in the police cells. The main doors was open which I had complained about.

They told me it was the DPP who had said it should be opened. The RDC came to see if my welfare was all good. I told him all was well.

Later on in the night I noticed some movements in my cell. I had a torch. I got up and torched to see a black uniformed fellow hurry out of the window which was enclosing my cell.

My concern which i mentioned to the leaders of the cell and court is that the fellow who jumped out of the window had a mask on.

This is a matter that I will continue to press on. Charging me in Moroto was irregular.

Briefly, I would like to talk about my stay in prison and what happens when I come out.

Firstly, all of us here who chose to oppose a dictatorship of this country must have known the consequences of our actions. Every one that chooses to oppose the dictatorship knows there will be torture, incarceration and sometimes death.

Whenever I am arrested, I am at peace with myself, I am psychologically prepared for torture. I have been peaceful in mind and body.

The biggest challenge is while you are still in police custody because the police is in direct line with the dictator.

Many are detained for over 48 hours, negotiated with for those who are politicians. If you decide to join us this is what we can give you etc.

I was relieved when I was taken to Moroto prison ward. The biggest challenge is overcrowding. We were 144 inmates. Every part of the cell is occupied.

A suspect on remand should be able to enjoy all liberty. He should be able to even write a newspaper article or message to be put on the social media but they could not allow. These are issues of serious concern which are not a fault of prisons but the law.

The standing orders that govern the prisons have not been reviewed. These were colonial orders. When we gained independence these orders were not changed. I have taken it to myself to challenge these orders because they are illegal and need to change.

There is no way a person on remand cannot transact business. I am a business man and I should be able to do so.

Remand prisoners spend so much time on remand. Many of remand prisoners can stay on remand for over 2-10 years. There must be a limit or cap for when one can stay on remand. There are people in prison that are on remand for 7 years. The greatest majority in Luzira are on remand for over 3 years.

In Moroto, no court has sat at all for over two year. This is really serious. Incidentally, if you are sent to 10 years in prison and have stayed for 6 years without trial, you will spend 4 years as a sentence.

The money is spent on kifeesi police not on courts and proper legal mechanisms.

Some people have been on remand on minister’s orders for over 20 years with no review. They buy them yellow uniforms while they are on remand. I must commend the Uganda Red Cross Society as they have helped on welfare.

When I was last in Luzira, many prisoners were dying. Some dying of malaria, diarrhoea (NRM diseases) I would like to thank the Red Cross for this work that has helped to improve sanitation at Luzira.

You have heard of the Al shabab “terrorists”. One of the suspects was not with them. He had been removed by some leaders of the police. Once you are in prison, you are not in Police’s hands. Court must give an order but routinely, these security agencies go to prison and get people out of prison, illegally to turn them as state witnesses.

I had accounts from some prisoners taken out of prison to meet some high ranking officers in Government and UPDF. These are illegal and Prisons have to say no but because the institutions have weakened, prisons officers have to comply. The institutions have been monopolised.

I would like to thank many of you who have been to Luzira to visit me as it is not an easy matter. You pass through over five check points. You are deprived of your basic dignity and you must set aside the whole day. Some have been coming and spend hours and hours and fail to see me.

You must understand that the struggle we are in is not just about removing NRM to FDC. We want to change our country, from a country where citizens are still treated as subjects. Where citizens become the masters, there would be masters are treated as subjects. We want to have a country where leaders must be servants.

In the country we are working for, institutions of government must be institutions of the people not those of the dictators. The ones we have today are those of the masters. We need to have a people’s police that is servant to the people not the master. You cannot have a people’s police and have this.

A one Kaggwa was caning innocent citizen. A senior police officer personally beating up citizens even covered on tv cameras. These criminal people in police are the ones that make rules. The majority of those in UPDF and Police cannot support what is going on. Everywhere in police barracks, we won convincingly. They too do not like what is going on. We have few people that carry out crimes for the dictator. We must have different institutions.

What we have now is simply organised crime. We want to have the rule of law. These are fundamental things that we want to have in our country. The short and long of this is the ownership of our country. This must change from those few hands to citizens of this country.

Secondly, the resource use. We are in a country that service a few people. Citizens are just given handouts. All resources are in a few hands. Rest of the country there is no social security. We want a country where there is social security. We are not just tinkering.

I heard one of the colleagues that we were with saying that everything is well now. The aspirations that she had are the same as of the regime.

We get together to do what? to go where? This is the fundamental contradiction between the citizens and the rulers. Not between Besigye or Muntu here. The contradiction is at a fundamental level.

It is a contradiction, there’s a war between citizens and rulers. That is why they are beating up people.

The question is how to resolve that contradiction. Can this be resolved by an election organised by the rulers. Is this possible? As you saw in the last election, citizens came out and spoke. What happened in the election was a coup. use of arms. That is why our HQ was taken over, me also held incommunicado and in prisons. However, these matters are before court. They have turned them into treason. That all happens when you have believe in the force of arms.

The people that need to be in Luzira are putting on neck ties who now steal trillions. The money that we should be using to develop the capacities of our country were stolen by those in neck ties. They view those in prison as hooligans yet they are the real hooligans. They have accused us of treason and I will not talk about it. We shall set this out clear in court.

I have no intention to comprise my rights as a full citizen of my country. When I was in court in the morning. He inquired from Mwijukye MP where I was to go after wards. Where I want to go is my business. I can change my mind as I want. I am a free independent citizen of this country and this is what we should fight for.

I was told that I must act in a manner to breach peace. Nobody should breach peace. I have never breached peace. If I have, I should have been convicted. Every citizen should act peacefully in whatever he is doing.

The people that breach the peace, the kifeesi..I hope we as Ugandans need to act together to charge these people. They will be accountable, if not now then in the future?.

I have no doubt in my mind that Mr. Museveni did not win an election. We have given him that opportunity to show that he did. They charge us of the offences which they cannot bring up for trial.

If they have charge let them bring it on but trying to use their offices to gag us is not a matter we shall take kindly.

We believe that we have a mandate of Ugandans, of people that are terrorised. I am going to discuss with my colleagues on how we can go forward on this.

I guess that arising out of these conversations our people will be guided.

Before I left prisons I said that I will continue to be defiant. This is a matter before Justice Kavuma. How could our prayers be illegal. Just to meet and pray and you say that is illegal?

Mattes of strategy and tactics are matters that are debatable. Some times when you hear the debates within FDC you think we are divided. No that is not the case. This is a continuous discussion. That is not a disagreement. There’s a very healthy and necessary debate that must go on.

That conversation will take place and our supporters will be advised.


Questions and answer session from the press:

I have not had an opportunity to discuss the leadership in Parliament with the leaders in the party. The party has organs and it has to run. I am not a member of any of the national organs, I am not on the management, NEC. The organs of our party run our party.

They have taken decisions on how the party has to run.

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