Elections | Besigye’s party denies copying Tory election manifesto

Posted January 15, 2011 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Featured ~ 4,256 views


By Mike Pflanz, Nairobi | Daily Telegraph | Uganda’s main opposition leader has denied copying swathes of the British Conservative Party’s 2010 manifesto as he attempts to win power in elections next month.

A spokesman for Kizza Besigye said instead the words simply indicated “great minds think alike”.
The opening statement in Mr Besigye’s Forum for Democratic Change manifesto is almost word-for-word identical to David Cameron’s, written ahead of last year’s election.

“A country is at its best when the leadership cares about its people and when the national purpose and vision is clear,” wrote Mr Besigye.

Mr Cameron’s version was, “A country is at its best when the bonds between people are strong and the sense of national purpose is clear”.

Mr Besigye continued, “The current government says: ‘give us your vote and we will make all of you rich’. We say: real change does not come from government alone, real change comes when the people are mobilised, and inspired to play a part in the nation’s future”.

Mr Cameron wrote, “Some politicians say: ‘give us your vote and we will sort out all your problems’. We say real change comes not from government alone. Real change comes when the people are inspired and mobilised, when millions of us are fired up to play a part in the nation’s future”.

Much of the rest of the introductions is almost identical.

The 44-page Ugandan manifesto’s chapter headings also exactly match those in the Conservatives’ document.

Salaamu Musumba, vice president of the Forum for Democratic Change, denied that the manifesto had been copied, saying “it’s not plagiarism”.

“If great minds think alike, then that is good for us,” she told The Daily Telegraph.

The FDC and the Conservative Party want to do the same thing, we want to change politics, change society, we live at the same political address.”

David Cameron’s party has regularly consulted with Uganda’s opposition parties, Mrs Musumba said, and they had “a long relationship and partnership stretching back many years”.

February’s elections will see again Mr Besigye challenge Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s president. He lost the 2006 polls after being accused of treason and rape in what was later proven to be a faked show trial.

Mr Museveni has been in power for more than a quarter of a century and changed the constitution to scrap term limits in 2005. Britain gave almost £70 million of bilateral aid to Uganda last year.

A spokesman for the Conservative Party said: “The Conservative Party works closely with a number of political parties around the world who share our values, including the Forum for Democratic Change.”

Article Source: Daily Telegraph

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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