In a day of dramatic events in Kampala, on the eve of President Yoweri Museveni’s inauguration, opposition leader Kizza Besigye was ‘sworn in’ as the president of Uganda.
Dr Besigye running on the Forum for Democratic Change party ticket received 35.61 per cent to Museveni’s 60.62 per cent of the vote, which he rejected, claiming to have won with about 52 per cent during the February 18 General Election.
As presidents and other dignitaries landed at the Entebbe International Airport to pomp and ceremony and were escorted to Kampala sirens blaring, Besigye, who has been under surveillance by police over threat to public order, made a surprise appearance in the capital attracting crowds.
The security forces fired teargas to disperse the throngs and in the ensuing chaos, Besigye was arrested.
In a video posted on YouTube later, Dr Besigye is seen on a podium accompanied by FDC officials taking oath of office with a banner proclaiming him as the elected president of the people’s government of Uganda in the background.
Looking dapper in a fitting black suit and a blue tie, Besigye, 60, then gave a brief speech saying the extraordinary ‘swearing-in’ “was occasioned by Mr Museveni and his regime trying to use force, once again, to overthrow the will of the people of Uganda.”
He said calls for an independent audit of the election to establish conclusively who won the election had been regrettably neglected or ignored by Museveni who he claimed had not won the election and therefore his inauguration Thursday was unlawful.
President Museveni is being sworn in for a sixth time since he took power in 1986. Among heads of state to witness the inauguration at the Kololo grounds are Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Edgar Lungu of Zambia, John Magufuli of Tanzania and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta.