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Museveni not keen to meet Besigye

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni says he is not interested in ironing out differences between him and opposition leader Kizza Besigye.

Mr Museveni who was last week sworn in for a fourth term told K24\’s Capital Talk host Jeff Koinange that Dr Besigye had snubbed an invitation for an inter-parties dialogue meeting.

"I am not bothered either way, but I can meet anybody – any Ugandan who wants to talk to me. The issue is that he (Besigye) must stop making trouble for Uganda," he said.

Dr Besigye was Mr Museveni\’s closest challenger in the February elections but he has rejected the outcome and alleged that there were massive irregularities in favour of the incumbent.

Last month, Dr Besigye led a number of walk-to-work protests against rising costs of living, leading to direct clashes with authorities.

The Ugandan President further said if Dr Besigye continued to hold illegal demonstrations, he would go on to face charges in court for breaking the law.

Mr Museveni also declared his intention to push for amendments to Uganda\’s Constitution to enhance stiffer punishments for specific offences including habitual illegal demonstrations which disturb peace.

"…but he wants to sabotage our programmes.. it won\’t work. We will arrest this man (and) take him to court.  If the court releases him, he makes another mistake we will take him back or we shall get other charges which we shall put on him, because the more he goes on the more he makes more mistakes," he said.

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Dr Besigye is facing various court cases after he organised several walk-to-work demonstrations in Kampala to protest the high cost of living, and was occasionally assaulted by security agencies, prompting him to seek treatment in Kenya.

President Museveni also downplayed the issue of Dr Besigye being beaten by police as he clarified that he was breaking the law. He maintained that he won the polls legitimately and anyone depicting otherwise was just being unfair.

The president who will be Uganda\’s president for 25 years said he has big plans of boosting his country\’s economy in his fourth term.

He singled out the discovery of oil in Uganda as a key resource that he will manage properly to ensure the country gets more revenue. He said to create jobs and develop his country the oil would be refined in Uganda.

"Now with oil we will have more money, why should this harm anybody who is looking for his own legitimate interests? We should be happy because if we have more money we shall buy more Japanese cars, we shall buy more machines from Europe, why should they be unhappy?" he questioned.

Infrastructure and electricity were other main areas he said will be harnessed to develop the country.

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