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Besigye: Elections are utterly useless if people do not have power

By Rawlings Otieno | Published Tue, July 17th 2018 at 00:00, Updated July 16th 2018 at 23:44 GMT +3
John Oyando (left), author of The failed quest for electoral justice and Uganda opposition leader Kizza Besigye (right) display the book during the launch of a book on July 16, 2018 at Intercontinental Hotel. [Edward Kiplimo/Standard]

Voters as captives of a few elites who conspire to determine who leads them at every election, Uganda’s opposition chief Kizza Besigye said yesterday.

He regretted that an election never counts in East Africa and challenged Kenyans to fight for electoral justice.

“Elections are utterly useless if people do not have power. The masses are captives of a few individuals that results in the powerlessness of the population,” said Dr Besigye.

He continued: “If we are to succeed, we must have the people’s power to break the captors.”

He spoke when he presided over the launch of a book on the 2017 general elections, titled Kenya: The Failed Quest for Electoral Justice. The book is authored by journalist John Onyando.

Besigye urged Kenyans to look out for elite conspiracies that help undeserving people ascend to power.

He praised the progress made towards freedom of expression and access to information in Kenya, but said the real emancipation would be when each vote cast counts.

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Besigye, who narrated his ordeal in the quest for electoral justice in Uganda, was categorical that unless the masses have power, they cannot control wealth, decision making and the implementation of the decisions made.

He called for the formation of strong political parties that stand for sound ideologies.

“Struggle for justice will only be won if the population realise that they have the power to change the governance system and that they are the captors and not the captives,” said Besigye.

Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said the vacuum that has been left by Opposition leader Raila Odinga should be filled and if not, he will resume the position.

“Raila has vacated the official position as an opposition leader. Unless this vacuum is filled soon, I can assure you he will take it back. Raila is the most astute politician I have ever worked with,” said Dr Mutunga.

Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua and Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo said a majority of people like democracy but few can stand by it.

“Everybody wants to be associated with democracy and they speak about it but few can stand by it. In Kenya political convenience supersedes democratic practice,” said Amollo who was also a counsel during the Presidential Petition last year.


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