By Odaka Asuman
There is a renewed excitements in some sections of the media and population about alleged ongoing talks between #PeoplePower group led Hon. Kyagulanyi and the #PeoplesGovernment group ( not FDC) led by Dr. Kizza Besigye to agree on joint candidate(s) towards 2021 presidential contests .
I have also been hearing many people especially the pretentious political elites and self proclaimed political pundits urging the opposition in Uganda to unite into one front against the NRM candidate (s). They give various reasons for this and advantages with examples of how the same stratagy brought in regime change to some like Kenya, etc.
They, nonetheless do this without contextualizing the entire circumstances in those countries, without profiling the principles and interests, without analyzing the character both of the incumbent and the persons in the opposition, or even the structure of state especially the partiality of the coercive institutions and the level of interests of the neocolonialists.
Am previlaged to have been among those who have been in the forefront of leading opposition activities, negotiations and matters of inter party relationship thanks to JEEMA and Mr Mayanja Kibirige that gave me the opportunity to learn and experience.
Regarding the said talks, my impression and personal recommendations is that the effort is useless, its fruitless and not advisable not just to unite but even devoting any efforts, resources and time because it will be fruitless both as a process and as a result.
Therefore, where both the means and the end will predictably not achieve anything, even mere attempt towards it becomes a project that can only be taken by either people of less intellectual analytical capacity or by people who intend only to waste others time and inteligently diverting people from concentrating and or discussing the real issue that would result into the desired results..
To begin with, there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the opposition parties in Uganda want to unite against Mr.Museveni and his NRM. In fact there is not even an iota of evidence to suggest that they want to remove Mr. Museveni from power. True, there are many leaders in the opposition who are genuinely want Museveni out but majority of their support structures and individuals especially those making loudest noise, are simply struggling to get to those small position like being MPs, councilors so that they can also have their turn to “eat”. Others thinking that their noise will increase their price in the political supermarket yet others are actually operatives and moles of the state agencies doing political work for the NRM.
Even at the level of institutions, parties are only struggling to increase on their numbers in elective positions such as in parliament for their pride and increasing funding amount of money especially provided by government and IPOD. That is why the negotiations are not between parties but individuals. And worse still most of these parties and their factionaries are struggling to identify themselves with these “powerful” individuals instead of those individuals identifying with the parties.
In regard to the process, there seems to be no way any of the two leading presidential contenders in alleged negotiation will make way for another. I see no will at all from the individuals themselves. Worse still , from their radicals followers behind each of them.
One may need to remember how some radical FDC literally went and pulled Dr. Besigye out of the negotiation room during the TDA processes. In fact its believed that FDC can never allow their candidate to be subjected to another process outside of their own. And this has a history to it. The failure of joint candidates during the IPC at other levels than at the presidency was as result of the unwillingness of the radicals to give way.
Even Erias Lukwago who was the most popular for the position ( although Mike Mabike was supposed to be the IPC official candidate going by the provision of the protocol) had to face off with Lwamiti who had been fronted by some FDC radicals before they fully trusted Lukwago. All other levels failed to achieve the intention of the protocol. The supposed success at presidential level was because Kyanjo willingly stepped down for Dr. Kizza Besigye.
D.P’s reason for pulling out of the IPC were two; they protested against IPC cooperating with the D.P suubi group and the refusal to recognise JEEMA as being at the same footing with it. The president general of D.P. had to wonder how D.P. would be at the same footing with JEEMA that failed to garner more than 2% of total voter cast in the previous elections when Muhammad Kibirige Mayanja contested. Of course the reality of the significance of 2% confronted hon. Mao when he contested the presidential race in 2011.
In 2016, the TDA was a complete disaster. You would find more than 10 candidates in a single electoral position/ area all claiming to be candidates of the same coalition. Those and others not mentioned here are justifications that the negotiations are a waste of time and serious media channels should not even waste their energy reporting it because it could be intended to occupy the minds and energy that would be dedicated towards others serious issues of liberation.
In the unlikely event that the process achieves some success, my opinion is that is it won’t serve the purpose and its equally not a strategic stage in this struggle.
On the question of the neccesity of unity, both Dr. Besigye and #HEBobiWine represent completely different constituencies and inspire different interests.
Its very unlikely that a person who is a die-hard supporter of Hon. Kyagulanyi would voter Dr. Besigye merely because they allied and vice versa. This is partly because the minority of voters in Uganda are not inspired by issues, manifesto or policy but by personality.
The people who despise Bobi Wine are the elites who dont even vote. Their work is to analyse, criticize and prescribe wrong remedies to the political question while leaving the issue of confronting the regime to the very section of the people they spend time on radio and TV calling hooligans. These are the armed chair politicians and some of which have arrogated themselves as political analysts.
Does anyone expect the two groups that spend most of the urn time abusing the other/side on social media to turn and praise each other merely because then two principles have agreed to work together?
Again am previlaged to have been close to both principles and I know which kind of people drive them.
On both sides there are people who would rather give their votes to Mr. Museveni than giving the principles under discussions. And mind you these are at/leadership level, why do you want to think its not the case at the levels of the followers.
My advise would be be that rather than spent their energy negotiating for unity, they would rather agree to have more joint press conferences which would pacify the relationships between their supporters.
The writer is an aspiring MP candidate, Tororo Municipality 2021
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