Opinion | The Renegade View | A RUN For 2016 – Mbabazi and Bukenya, The Power Brokers?

Posted July 22, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Inside Politics ~ 2,953 views



The Renegade View — So, its true that after the Central Executive Committee meeting recently held in Entebbe the NRM big wigs resorted to negotiations with John Patrick Amama Mbabazi (JPAM) and Gilbert Bukenya whereas this is an interesting development, given the animosity that the two have endured by the establishment, it is not surprising to say the least.

ln my view these negotiations were long expected because like it or not the recent entry of JPAM the former Prime Minister into the 2016 presidential race is a game changer and here is why. No one knows the current establishment as well as he does, he comes from the western part of country just like the incumbent, has the money or access to it, considered the brains behind the NRM ideology and mark you has a covert following having placed or influenced many of the current appointments in various institutions of government. He has clout and a power-base, so to speak, and if he breaks ranks this has potential to destabilize an already vulnerable party .

On the other hand former VP – Gilbert Bukenya is another factor, albeit sometimes his involvement in this race is down played. Bukenya has part of the Baganda and Catholic vote, the general belief is that he was used and dumped, so he will also take a chunk of sympathy votes from the incumbent. The strength of Bukenya was also shown in attempts to defeat him in the by election held in his constituency of Busiiro North a move he believed was influenced by his rivals.

JPAM and Bukenya, certainly don’t have any chances of winning the NRM party Chairmanship, but they are contenders with power centers and if they throw their weight behind a strong opposition candidate that will emerge from the alliance, the outcome may send ripples across the country. JPAM and Bukenya have a new role in this race either as spoilers for the incumbent or Kingmakers for a strong opposition candidate, believe it or not they will divide the NRM vote significantly especially now that their backs are against the wall.

When you enter Besigye into the mix, who some believe won the 2006 elections and the most formidable opposition politician in our recent history then the chances for a rerun or outright upset are 90%, the opposition still have leadership squabbles amongst their ranks perhaps a sign that they are all trying to realign themselves, to field stronger candidates in their primaries and have a bigger stake in the alliance. The idea is to eventually coalesce behind one candidate, this in my view is why the Central Executive Committee of the NRM party — CEC is scampering to negotiate just like they are doing with the NRM rebel MPs to minimize damage.

However, the writing is on the wall that after nearly 30 years its now time for a peaceful transfer of power.   No doubt, President Museveni will be remembered as one of the greatest presidents Uganda has ever had, by sheer longevity and what has been achieved, in security of body and property and infrastructure development. The challenge like most authoritarian incumbents is not reading the signs of the times well enough to know when to throw in the towel, thereby risking to undo all the gains during their long tenure. I am still comfident His Excellency will do the right thing and settle the succession issue once and for all.

Be that as it may, am further encouraged by Internal Affairs Minister — General Aronda on the recent passing of DPCs and RPCs where he admonishes the police not to use force when dealing with unarmed civilians BUT to use caution as opposed to a partisan approach, as we shall soon see when heated moments of the 2016 campaigns get into high gear.

Instead of a militant approach to suppress freedom of speech and expression, l guess the powers that be are slowly waking to the realization that they need to change tactics or risk alienation by the voters who are still waiting for that fundamental change promised three decades back. How all this plays out will be interesting to watch. The proverbial cat is out of the bag, its now common talk that the people are tired, how will the incumbent respond to these forces of change only 2016 will tell?

The article was written by a member of the Diaspora Community.

About the Author

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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