Uganda: Candidate Mbabazi's Supporters Dismiss Fear Of Arrest By Gen. Museveni's Regime

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Mbabazi -- will regime police try to block his nomination?

[Africa: Uganda Elections]

As the day of his nomination as candidate for the presidential election draws tomorrow speculation is rife that Amama Mbabazi Uganda's former prime minister could be arrested and charged with various alleged crimes to block his candidacy.

An official with The Democratic Alliance (TDA), an umbrella group created to rally all the political parties behind one opposition candidate said the government is desperate and will try to burden Mbabazi with "trumped up charges" including of embezzlement of public funds.

Gen. Yoweri Museveni, the Ugandan president who has been in power for 30 years is also set for nomination tomorrow as official candidate of his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.

However, Fred Muwema, one of Mbabazi's lawyers disclosed that he had written to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) warning about the timing of any prospective arrest.

Separately, a TDA official said some hotels were being intimidated into refusing to accomodate opposition party supporters coming from the rural areas to Kampala for tomorrow's nomination.

Until last year Mbabazi was prime minister and Secretary General of the NRM.

Mbabazi's supporters say they plan to rally two million people to accompany the candidate when he goes for the official nomination at Mandela Stadium.

Mbabazi and Dr. Kizza Besigye, president of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) met last week in London to broker a deal between their supporters so they could field a single candidate. The two also agreed to a government of national unity after the election early next year.

The meeting was organized by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and attended by other FDC officials, Mbabazi's supporters, and Olara Otunnu, president of Uganda People's Congress (UPC).

There has been pressure from both the U.K. and U.S. governments, major donors to the Ugandan regime, for the opposition to unite behind one candidate in order to unseat Gen. Museveni.

 

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