The opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is mobilizing for funds to treat its party president and former presidential candidate Patrick Amuriat Oboi and some members of his campaign team.
The FDC president like his National Unity Platform (NUP) counterpart, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu had his campaign team members brutalized by the security agencies which claimed to be enforcing regulations intended to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Amuriat says that the violence that dominated the 2021 election campaign season left him and his team with permanent injuries which requires them to get specialized treatment out of the country.
“I have a very unhealthy team, some with permanent injuries, me also my sight was highly affected,” Amuriat said. “l also have a chest pain with a continuous cough especially in the night which I never had before.”
Amuriat got into confrontations with security agencies—mainly police and the army—on several occasions leading to his getting arrested at least 13 times, confined in different places, and taken to court three times.
According to the election violence data collected by Uganda Radio Network, the FDC team got involved in 44 incidents involving the police using teargas to break up Amuriat’s campaign meetings.
Despite all the brutality meted on the team during the campaigns and discontent with the election results, Amuriat says they have no intentions to use violence as they try to dislodge Museveni from power.
‘‘There are many ways of dealing with Museveni and his character, but one way that we are not going to choose is the way of violence, picking up arms to fight Mr. Museveni; we are not going to do that. There are civil ways by which change can be brought to this country without having to resort to violence,” Amuriat said.
Amuriat also argues that confrontations curtailed his team’s movements during the campaigns, hence minimizing the time they would have spent interacting with voters.
“If we have to put together the times we were able to interact with people we could say we had cumulative interaction of just one week and a half of the 65 days when we were supposed to meet with people,” he claimed.
He claims that COVID-19 was just used as an excuse to limit the reachability of candidates to voters. Three weeks to elections, EC banned campaigns in Kampala, Mbarara, Kabarole, Luwero, Kasese, Masaka, Wakiso, Kabarole, Jinja, Kalungu, Kazo and Tororo due to the COVID-19 surge.