Ugandan Opposition chief Dr. Kizza Besigye was on Wednesday afternoon ‘sworn in’ as ‘president’ a day before president-elect Yoweri Museveni’s inauguration.
Besigye, who belongs to the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), was arrested several times after the country’s disputed February 18 general election.
“Winner of the 2016 election, after swearing in as the new President of Uganda,” the party wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, May 11.
But police arrested Dr. Besigye as he addressed a crowd in Kampala after the ceremony.
The opposition leader has been on a campaign of defiance aimed at disproving what he calls Museveni’s “illegal presidency.”
Details of the celebrations are scanty. However, it is said that Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago was to preside over it.
In late April, 2016 Dr. Kizza Besigye said he won’t allow Museveni to be sworn in as president – unless an independent audit of the February 2016 presidential election is conducted.
Besigye’s political party FDC organised a series of events to coincide with the swearing in of President Museveni for his fifth term in office.
“We have a whole range of activities to challenge any intention to ignore the need for an audit and go ahead and swear in somebody not conclusively elected. These activities will be unfolded as and when they come due,” Dr. Besigye told Uganda’s NBS Television.
Among other activities that FDC seeks to have is an audit of 2016 General Elections to ascertain the ‘validly elected President’.
“Unless there is an independent audit, we shall continue to challenge anybody who purports to become an elected person out of the 2016 elections.”
Without giving a specific date – that happened to be Wednesday, May 11, Dr. Besigye said he would announce his government on or before President Museveni’s swearing in.
“If the stalemate continues, we shall proceed as mandated by the people to form government and offer service to the people,” Dr. Besigye said.
President Museveni, who seized power in 1986, was returned to office in February 2016 poll with 60.8 percent of the ballot, the electoral commission said.
Dr. Besigye, 59, secured 35.4 percent, according to the results, in a poll that he alleged was fraudulent.
Museveni, 71, dismissed accusations that the electoral commission favoured him and his National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.
Dr. Besigye, who was once close to Museveni and served as his field doctor during the war which brought the long-time president to power, has now lost four consecutive presidential elections to President Yoweri Museveni.
The video below shows Dr. Kizza Besigye’s ‘swearing in’ ceremony: