Museveni, Besigye exchange presidential handshakes
They are the worst political enemies but their almost two-decade political rivalry was for a short while rested as they met during this year’s Martyrs day celebrations at Namugongo.
President Yoweri Museveni and Dr Kizza Besigye became the highlight of the celebrations at the Anglican shrine at Nakiyanja – Namugongo when they shook hands to the excitement of onlookers.
Museveni last met Besigye, his former physician during the 2016 presidential campaigns.
They first met and shook hands at the Catholic Martyrs shrine in November 2015 during mass celebrated by Pope Francis.
They met again a few weeks to the February 18, 2016 elections when they turned up for the TV presidential debate.
Besigye lost the election for the fourth time to Museveni in an election that the opposition icon claims was massively rigged.
He went on to declare himself the “people’s president” which led his imprisonment in different facilities around the country and at his Kasangati home.
At Nakiyanja, Besigye sat among the VIPs and it was inevitable that he would skip Museveni’s handshake when the president went around greeting the VIPs.
Besigye smiled as he extended his hand for Museveni’s handshake, surprising many who expect him to have deep rooted hatred for Museveni.
The FDC strongman had earlier on exchanged pleasantries with Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda and former presidential candidates Amama Mbabazi.
Addressing the congregation, Museveni pledged to work with the Church of Uganda leadership to save the Church House on Kampala Road from being attached over debts.
From the Anglican shrine, Museveni joined prayers at the Catholic shrine where he thanked the church for embracing his anti-poverty campaign.
The president spoke of the Shs 5bn partnership he entered into with the Inter Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) that gives religious leaders an upper role in the mobilisation of communities against poverty.