On one stop in Buganda during his countrywide campaign tour, Dr Abed Bwanika, the president of the People’s Development Party (PDP), found himself pushed against the proverbial wall by some unflattering questions.
In Lyantonde recently some supporters branded Bwanika, a two-time losing presidential candidate (2006 and 2011), a sympathiser of the ruling NRM.
“Yes, we have heard so many stories that during day you identify yourself as an opponent of the NRM government but in the night you put on hijabs and other women dresses and meet President Museveni. What do you normally discuss with him if you are really his opponent… ?” asked one Moses Tebandeke at Arkland guest house.
The people also criticized Bwanika for being too willing to attend President Museveni’s inauguration ceremonies in Kololo. In response, Bwanika said since he planned to become president of Uganda, it was critical for him to respect the man he would replace after the 2016 elections.
“If I don’t respect him today, there will be a great number of people who will also undermine my presidency when my time comes so, it is not a crime for me to attend his swearing-in ceremonies… ,” Bwanika said.
He further told a gathering, that there was nothing wrong with him meeting or talking to President Museveni.
“He is the president of this country and when I am driving on the road, I can not hesitate to give him way when his convoy comes by. I will stand up when he arrives at a function which I attend and I will not have any problem in shaking his hands,” Bwanika said.
He said such behaviour demonstrated responsible leadership. He lashed at critics who completely disregard the achievements of President Museveni during his 28-year rule. He said they [critics] were mistaken. Bwanika said whereas President Museveni was growing old, both in age and vision, he deserved to be credited for bringing peace and security to this country.
Asked about the possibility of members of the opposition uniting to present one candidate against Museveni, Bwanika said his party would not be grabbed from the streets and forced to join a bandwagon.
“If we are to be part of that suggestion, then we should be part of the discussion to form it but our mission is to see PDP winning the coming presidential elections,” he said.
He stressed that he was determined to see PDP convene regional delegates’ conferences before a national conference in 2015. During the meeting, Bwanika formed a 15-man interim committee, headed by Pastor James Muwonge, to organise a regional delegates’ conference for the districts of Lyantonde, Lwengo, Kiruhura, Sembabule and Rakai in December. Pastor Jackson Tugume was elected treasurer of thecommittee.
Source : The Observer