We profile Uganda’s long serving opposition leader Dr. Colonel retired Warren Kizza Besigye who was President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s personal doctor during the liberation war in Uganda.
Kizza Besigye has stood against his nemesis president Museveni four times in Uganda’s presidential elections losing in all occasions in 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016. Besigye in various interviews claimed he would not run for the 2016 presidential elections. He claimed that running against an election organized by president Museveni was futile.
However, Kizza Besigye changed his mind and run for the February 2016 presidential elections. His campaigns were characterized by large crowds handing him gifts contrary to the common practice where politicians hand out gifts to voters to buy their support. He was given gifts such as goats, chicken, bananas and money. He called his campaign a campaign of defiance.
Also read: Uganda’s Political History
He would eventually lose the elections whose results he disputed and claimed that the elections were rigged. He would be unable to challenge the election outcome as remained under house arrest at his Kasangati country home.
Kizza Besigye has been arrested countless times by the security forces and has been charged and acquitted numerous times by the courts of law in Uganda. In 2016, he is battling treason charges and was arrested and remanded at Uganda’s Luzira maximum prison. He was arrested because a video in which he swears himself in as president of Uganda surfaced on the internet.
Ugandan authorities claim Besigye is provoking them and have repeatedly arrested him and charged him with inciting violence. His home has continued to be closely watched and guarded by Uganda’s Police.
Kizza Besigye is married to Winnie Byanyima an aeronautic engineer now the executive director of OXFAM. They have a son called Anselm Besigye,.
Besigye was born in the western District of Rukungiri, the second child in a family of six and the son of a policeman.