Besigye Criticized for Exploiting Grief-Stricken Relatives of the Late Eperu for Political Relevance

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Rtd. Col. Kizza Besigye, former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Party President, has been criticized by the family members and village mates of the late Sarah Eperu for taking advantage of her death, exploiting her brother during his grief, and manipulating him with a bribe of Ugx5 million in order to allow his Katonga faction to lead the funeral preparations of his departed sister.

According to a brother of the late Eperu, only identified as Ben, and other family members, instead of showing empathy and solidarity, Besigye chose to take advantage of him to gain cheap popularity when he was at his lowest point and grief-stricken.

β€œDuring my sister’s funeral, Besigye manipulated me at my weakest moments and gave me Ugx 5 million to allow him to handle the burial arrangements for my sister. I accepted, thinking they were taking off the load of burial arrangements from the family, only for them to turn into a political battleground and messing up her peaceful send-off. He behaved in the manner unfit of a man of his status,” Ben lamented.

Ben revealed that he was shocked after witnessing Besigye and his team exhibit character that lacked sensitivity by exchanging words with other politicians without considering the grieving family, other mourners present, or a peaceful send-off for Eperu.

β€˜I am sorry for allowing such insensitive people like Besigye and his camp with personal and selfish motives to ruin the peaceful sendoff of my sister. I apologize to religious leaders, my family members, and all other mourners who had come to bury my sister in peace for allowing Besigye and his team to manipulate me at my weakest moment, β€œsaid Ben.

 

Religious leaders, locals, and relatives of the late Eperu have come out to state that politicians like Besigye, instead of offering genuine condolences and support to those affected by tragedies, instead seek to use these sad situations to further their political agendas, adding that it has become a common trend among most opposition politicians.

β€œThe insensitivity and exploitation character of politicians in times of grief has become common, especially among our opposition politicians, but it is damaging their reputation and credibility among the people they seek to lead. This business of making public appearances, giving speeches, or engaging in political attention during times of grief should stop. These politicians exploit the emotions of the public for their own benefit, like they did with our son Ben,” one of the relatives said.

Parish Priest Rev. Father John Eriau condemned the act, stating that instead of encouraging forgiveness and oneness, politicians like Besigye have promoted political strife and division, which has led to the downfall of society.

Sarah Eperu, from Koloin parish, Ngora district, served as a press secretary for the FDC and was a political activist before the party split. She was serving as the FDC party chairman of Kapir constituency, Ngora district, at the time of her death.

The alleged bribery has drawn criticism from various locals, with many questioning the integrity and motives of Besigye and the Katonga faction. The incident has also shed light on influential individuals who use their resources to manipulate and control sensitive matters for their own interests. Some are calling for a reevaluation of the traditional practices surrounding funeral arrangements to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.

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