Opposition heavyweight Col Kizza Besigye couldn’t resist his emotions on Monday morning as he broke down in tears before cameras at Kotonga Road while responding to “worthless” FDC special elders committee report.
The committee chaired by Dr Frank Nabwiso was constituted to investigate Besigye’s claims of dirt money in the party received by FDC secretary general Hon Nandala Mafabi.
On July 28, the committee presented its findings through a 19-page report which Besigye has watered down as “worthless” because it didn’t address nor tackle the issue at hand which was “dirty money” and how it came into the party but rather recommended for a reconciliation. The FDC founding leader maintained that until when he learnt of this dirty money, he never had any issues with Hon Nandala Mafabi.
He said how then would he accept the money from Mafabi if the two were not seeing eye to eye.
In his response to the report, Besigye relayed a chronology of how he came to learn of this money, how much he received, who delivered the money, where he kept it and how he established with facts that money came from President Yoweri Museveni.
Amid his submission at a news conference at his parallel office at Katonga Road in Kampala, Besigye broke down.
He justified the moment saying it is emotional to explain how his colleagues are receiving money from a man who has tormented them for over 20 years.
Besigye said many FDC members have sacrificed a lot for the struggle, some lost lives, others imprisoned, and shockingly senior officials are hobnobbing with “the same problem we are fight to remove from power.”
Besigye, a former bush war hero that has braved State persecution for over 2 decades broke down.
Besigye for the first time spoke about how much he received and when.
He said, he received shs 300 million in September 2020, four months before general elections. The money was delivered to his home by Hon Mafabi’s driver at 10pm during Covid-19 lockdown.
Besigye denied that the money was meant to facilitate polling agents as Mafabi said earlier.
“It is a lie that money was extended to me to keep for party agents,” Besigye said.
He added: “My first concern came with the arrival of the money. The money arrived at my home at 10 pm. Hon. Nandala rang me saying that the other thing we talked about is about to arrive. I asked him where the money was passing because there was a curfew at the time and people were not allowed to move. He told me not to worry and before long his driver alone handed me a big box of money.”
“After failing to make progress with this UGX 300 million and after consulting with my colleagues on the problematic money, we had taken the decision to return it. However, there was the hullabaloo of elections going on.
And indeed in 2021 Besigye received Mafabi’s phone call demanding for the 300 million.
“I am in Rukungiri and I receive a call from Hon. Nandala that he wants the money to use for agents. That was the first time I heard of the story of the agents. Since I was away I told him that I could put it at my petrol station in,” Besigye said.
Besigye said his efforts to inquire about the source of the money had failed when he met four FDC officials who are believed to have initiated the idea of getting funds from Museveni.
The four according to Besigye are: Jack Sabiiti, Geoffrey Ekanya, Nandala Mafabi and Patrick Oboi Amuriat.
Besigye narrated how Sabiiti openly told him that he (Besigye) was driven by hatred he has for his arch-rival Museveni.
In his conclusion Besigye has rallied all FDC supporters to resist Mafabi and his group of “eaters” from selling FDC to Museveni.
“The owners must reclaim their party,” he said, adding that there will be countrywide activities during this process.