Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)’s national mobilizer Ingrid Turinawe has said People Power will soon be history if they do not create a mechanism to identify wrong characters within their group, and be respectful of other leaders in the opposition.
Ingrid Turinawe made the remarks during an interactive discussion on Nation television (NTV) on Thursday evening program “On the Spot” alongside People Power spokesperson Joel Senyonyi. The show is moderated by Patrick Kamara.
Ingrid Turinawe was reacting to events that happened in a recent by-election in Hoima District when supporters donning People Power colors blocked FDC leaders from accessing a campaign rally organized by FDC’s Asinansi Nyakato.
Ingrid attributed the incident to absence of structures within the People Power leadership, to track bad characters within their supporters in order to facilitate control and command. She also condemned the behavior of People Power supporters who use social media to abuse and humiliate FDC leaders.
“We have been in this struggle for all these years, if we had operated the way we see People Power operating, we wouldn’t be here today…I said it and I repeat it; the fights, the blackmail that is going on must stop…wherever it is coming from, the leaders must take responsibility and stop it” Ingrid fumed.
She said without structures, People Power is susceptible to bad characters and agents of NRM who want to maintain the “regime” into power. She said FDC and its leaders have managed to recruit, mobilize and survive for all this long due to their organized structures that help weed out bad elements and avoid infiltration by bad elements.
She claimed there is a well-facilitated and structured propaganda machinery against the ‘struggle’ saying the ‘struggle’ has been high-jacked by ‘political hawkers.’
Senyonyi admitted that indeed People Power could have been infiltrated by bad elements presumably from NRM who want to tarnish its name but noted that infiltration and distractions have happened in every party/group, orchestrated by NRM agents who want to create rivalry within opposition ranks.
Senyonyi claimed that being a movement for all change-minded politicians, People Power might not be able to sieve and weed out bad characters. He however said the leadership of People Power is aware of such, and they have always moved to eliminate such characters.
“It will be naïve to imagine that People Power; the force to reckon with, can be ignored by the state; they will obviously try to infiltrate us; but we keep identifying them, and its normal even in your party” Senyonyi told Ingrid.
Ingrid however disputed Senyonyi’s assertion that People Power has become NRM’s legitimate target, and it has earned respect from NRM owing to the support and momentum it has gathered ever since it emerged.
“Disrespect, disorganization and disorder cannot come with respect.. you must put up a mechanism of knowing your people especially those coming closer to you! Otherwise you will find yourselves in danger; even on your own lives” Ingrid warned.
She said the opposition never agreed to have Asinansi Nyakato as a joint candidate for opposition in Hoima but it was disturbing for FDC to find Bobi Wine campaigning and expressing his presidential candidature as well as distributing posters expressing his aspirations for 2021.
Ingrid noted that the opposition in Hoima did not agree on modalities of the campaign which created confusion within “forces of change.” She said there was no procedure the opposition agreed upon regarding Asinansi Nyakato’s candidature as a joint opposition candidate, but they were shocked to see Hon. Kyagulanyi campaigning as a presidential candidate alongside an FDC candidate.
Joel Senyonyi admitted that indeed Kyagulanyi had posters expressing his candidature for presidency during the Hoima by-election.