The Observer | Besigye, Amama – Friendly fire kills! By Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda

Posted September 30, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Opinion ~ 3,331 views


Semujju Nganda

Political formations are taking shape as nominations for the 2016 presidential elections draw nearer. It is now official that the opposition will field two high-profile personalities – Col Kizza Besigye and Mr John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, who goes by JPAM initials.

Fielding two presidential candidates is not what the mainstream opposition desired or worked for. In fact, the building of The Democratic Alliance (TDA) electoral outfit was meant to avoid this situation. Yet despite all efforts, this couldn’t be. This is the situation that we find ourselves in.

There are people such as Maj Gen Gregory Mugisha Muntu who believed in this situation as a tactic. Even in our internal FDC consultations, Muntu pushed for two candidates as a tactic. To him, there are citizens who won’t vote for Col Besigye or Amama Mbabazi. You attract all of them by widening the menu.

Many in FDC, including yours truly, didn’t believe in this approach. But this is what we have ended up with. The trouble is that there were more politicians and fewer strategists at the TDA roundtable. As a result, what should have been announced as a strategy was announced as a failure.

The preamble to announcements like this one usually starts with words like, “knowing the monster that we face and its trickery, knowing its viciousness, we have zeroed in on two candidates as a strategy.” Then you go on explaining why it is important to revise the protocol to accommodate the two-candidate strategy.

If such an announcement had been made, we wouldn’t be hurling insults at each other. But now that this didn’t happen, the opposition must do the following:

Bishop Zac Niringiye, one of the midwives who painstakingly worked to deliver the one-candidate strategy, said: “We need to manage it.”

And managing the situation, as it has unfolded, is what strategists should help the opposition achieve. So far, we have failed; but there is still time. There are people who have made it a habit to attack Besigye, and when you do, certainly you will attract our wrath.

Some of us who have seen Besigye suffer, almost being murdered fighting for our rights, will stand with him no matter what. Besigye has almost singlehandedly kept the struggle alive in the last difficult five years.

Let civil society and all the elites know that our struggle will not or may not end in February next year. Campaigning and voting is a process that ends in February. In fact, the real struggle may kick off after the elections. That is why we must stand with Besigye.

This column is not about Besigye but about how we have conducted ourselves since the collapse of the joint-candidate project.

The media is enjoying itself!

Besigye, Amama and all of us are now celebrating defections from our own ranks. Defections from FDC to DP, Go Forward or UPC are no defections and only a poor strategist can celebrate them.

In fact, the real reason we rolled the opposition red carpet for Amama was simply because we expected him to cause defections from NRM. That is what we prepared ourselves to celebrate. That is what was going to define the political landscape of the 2016 elections.

For us in FDC, we even served Aruu county MP Samuel Odonga Otto with a warning letter for leading a demonstration against Amama in northern Uganda. We believed and still believe that undermining one of the pillars of our struggle was a betrayal.

We didn’t know that Amama would at any one moment turn the guns against us. Now one of his key campaigners, Hope Mwesigye, is celebrating what she calls “FDC disintegration.” And that is where the real danger is.

The truth is that FDC is not disintegrating. What if causing its disintegration becomes a JPAM project like it has been for President Museveni? Such disintegration won’t happen without a fight.

I have always said that even an own goal is counted in football. Maybe today I should hasten to add that friendly fire kills. And that is what we are involved in now, unfortunately.

I was shocked to see DP president Norbert Mao declaring Amama the TDA candidate and the latter accepting the “nomination” with a broad false smile. Both these men know that TDA failed to arrive at a consensus for a joint presidential candidate.

What followed that false declaration was a smear media campaign to isolate Besigye. We have all forgotten about President Museveni who is ruining our and our children’s lives.

The economy is at the brink of collapse because of corruption and delivery of social services is about to grind to a halt. Money meant for salaries is now openly used to bribe voters. And another five years of Museveni represent total darkness!

The author is Kyadondo East MP.

Source — The Observer

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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