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Thursday, November 30, 2023

OpEd: My Skepticism On The Success of Opposition Coalition

Somebody asked my thoughts about the recent political coalition between people power pressure group and people’s government led by Robert Kyagulanyi and Colonel Besigye respectively and here is my take;

For any political coalition to succeed, the two parties must all accept that they are individually weak to take on the ruling party, the coalition is supposed to reinforce the weaknesses of the other while each of them consolidates their strength, where one party feels more superior than the other in terms of numbers of followers, it’s bound to collapse.The two parties must share an Ideological convergence on key issues of governance for instance on the economic system, education, Security and

Defence, foreign policy, health care system among others, it looks to me that people power and people’s government only point of convergence is in their own words,to dismantle Museveni’s military dictatorship and gamble their way to the throne.they have not ably explained to us what else they share in common save their lust for power.At the DP re- Union last year, Kyagulanyi stated he believes Museveni can be overwhelmed in an election and publically lambasted Besigye why he participates in elections he doesn’t believe in, Besigye on the other hand believes that elections organised by the M7 regime can never deliver Uganda to it’s full democratic paths for the electoral commission lacks Independence,

Already we see a point of contradiction from the two presidential hopefuls.Besigye has over time explained that during elections,it’s the only time they pass over the message of change to the masses unhampered by the state security apparatus,and by this,his support has been increasing since 2001 to 3.5M in 2016 if E.C results are to go by, Last year,the democratic party itself announced it’s grand coalition that brought Social democratic party, People’s development party and T.J solida  and they formed what they called the DP Bloc, but the Achilles heel in the opposition politics among these coalitions will be who will carry the presidential flag bearer.i don’t think Besigye can accept any Coalition where he’s not the flag bearer, he’s yet to prove me wrong.Away from this,we must give it a historical perspective of how political coalitions have fared in contemporary Uganda since Independence and their weaknesses stemming from divergence in ideological convictions beginning with the UPC/KY alliance in 1962 whose only center of interest was to deny DP political power by merging their numbers.

UPC was socialist and had a more National outlook than  Kabaka Yekka whose interest was to protect privileges of the ruling oligarchy Mengo, after acquiring state power, their sharp differences raised their ugly head,and by 1966, the once close allies were sworn enemies resulting into the 1966 and it’s disastrous effects on Uganda.We look at the Uganda National Liberation Front in 1979 that had converged in Moshi Tanzania to provide political leadership after the overthrow of Idi Amin. It’s clear that what only United kikosi Malum,Save uganda movement and FRONASA of Yoweri  Museveni and all other small groups was to kick out Amin, they all had their own ideological beliefs and political programs.their differences soon emerged when they took up state power with internal power struggles.Yusuf kironde LuLe  was removed after two months, replaced  Binaisa, shortly removed by the military commission led by Paul muwanga all the political turmoil that come with it until Obote assumed the presidency again after the disputed December 1980 elections.

We look at the political coalitions formed to unseat the NRM since 1986 beginning with the IPFC(interparty forces cooperation) of 1996 that brought DP’s  Kawanga semwogerere who was defeated by the incumbent,2001 elections that brought Besigye as a coalition candidate under Reform agenda, he had quit NRM in 1999 after writing his famous article “An insider’s view on how the NRM lost the broad base” he was quickly embraced by the opposition hoping to tap into his knowledge of the inner workings of NRM,we go to the preparation for the 2011 elections that saw opposition forming IPC(Inter party be cooperation) which collapsed over …

Disagreements of who was going to be the presidential flag bearer, each party decided to go it alone with Olara Otunnu,the UPC candidate choosing to boycott.we head to the run up towards the 2016 elections where NGOs engineered the TDA(The democratic alliance) that saw it embrace Amama Mbabazi,the once powerful prime minister and secretary general of NRM who had formed a pressure group,Go forward to propel him to the presidency, political interests over who was to be the official flag bearer arose that saw a group of FDC youths activists led by Odonga Otto  pull out Besigye from the group leaving other groups to rally behind Mbabazi, in a nutshell, as seen by this historical piece, political Coalitions have not delivered us to peaceful transfer of power that we desperately need in our quest for a full democratic paths for Uganda.

I personally see that a post Museveni govt will be a negotiated settlement not election rituals, for the opposition have not understood that to dismantle a well entrenched regime fused with the state, you begin by creating grass root structures at the village level to the top. Gen.Muntu shared with me how FDC couldn’t account for 9000 DR forms in 2016 elections because of non existent grass root structures , reason he’s building ANT based on this philosophy,None the less, I wish the United forces of Change of people power and people’s government the best!

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