For the fourth consecutive time since multi party politics were re-introduced, Ugandans shall yet again choose among the ten or so aspirants who will steer the country for the next five years.
The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) will be relishing an opportunity to oust President Yoweri Museveni, a man whom they have recurrently accused of ‘robbing’ their electoral victories and ruling the country with an ‘iron fist’.
However, political pundits have pointed out that unlike previous attempts, this time round they stand no chance owing to the migraine caused by virtual campaigns in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
About three months ago, on FaceBook, seasoned political commentator Mwambutsya Ndebesa almost spilled cold water over this new development, stopping short of saying it is not tenable in an agricultural society.
“The scientific campaign is elitist and betrays the democratic value of popular masses and democracy that the NRM purports to believe in. In short, the norm behind the scientific campaign is elitism,” Ndebesa reasoned.
Whereas Uganda boasts of 200 radio stations according to a 2018 BBC report, this does not count in a country where everything is politicized.
At numerous press conferences, Party Spokesperson Ibrahim Semujju Nganda has openly admitted that they are ‘dumbfounded on how to campaign when they are not allowed to campaign’.
Others argue that FDC is a spent force after the exit of its crème de la crème including former Party President Gen. Mugisha Muntu, Vice President Alice Alaso and Former Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza among many others.
It is understood that after disastrous internal polls which took place in 2017, the cohort proceeded to form the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT).
Yesterday at the Presidential Flag bearer elections in Najjanankumbi, Patrick Amuriat Oboi let the secret out of the window but said this had nothing to do with his leadership style.
“It’s true that a number of comrades have left. But they have left not because of POA’s (Patrick Oboi Amuriat) own making but on their own,” Amuriat admitted.
With about four months left to the 2021 general elections, this website has learnt that FDC has yet again devised some board room strategies on how to win the 15 million votes at stake.
Top of the bucket list is ridding party ranks of undecided cadres or ‘moles’, something that Amuriat glossed over yesterday.
“Hajji Hakim (Chairperson), you know that somewhere in Arua, you have got moles and need to clean up,” he warned.
Rising on this yesterday, Toterebuka Bamwenda, the Party’s EC Boss hinted that anyone who fraternizes with another political formation will have become a ‘hostile’ member quoting the FDC constitution.
According to section 12 of the 2015 constitution, one’s membership can cease in case he or she dies, officially resigns, is dismissed, joins another political party/stands as an independent or becomes hostile to the party.
Deducting from previous occurrences, top leaders argue that such unity will be necessary to not only ensure that they win but also protect their victory in the event that EC flimflams them.
That said, it is also understood that they intend to capitalize on upheavals within the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) following the hotly contested Parliamentary Primaries.
One of the areas FDC is keenly watching is Rushenyi, following a chaotic contest between Minister of Labour Mwesigwa Rukutana and Naome Kabasharira which ripped the NRM Camp apart.
Cognizant of this glaring disunity, FDCs Ntungamo Vice Chairperson Peterson Musinguzi intimated that they intend to buttress support for their candidate Dr Benjamin Bimanywaruhanga while exploiting local NRM alliances.
“As far as being many is concerned, NRM giants are going to share the votes and those who are already disgruntled are going to vote FDC. Because this giant who has used money and guns and whatever, they actually fear him,” Musinguzi explained in detail.
“They are looking for an alternative of going back to Naome and being beaten again or voting the opposition,” he further stated.
After Rukutana’s last gasp triumph with 25,310 votes against Kabasharira’s 25,290 votes, it is understood that his opponents have split into clusters to overwhelm him.
Perhaps this explains the covert role of some FDC leaders, for instance; 2016 Rushenyi constituency flag bearer Dan Rweiburingi who was reportedly injured in the midst of NRM campaigns.
Musinguzi explained that while Rweiburingi was not representing party interests, he, like many other upcoming politicians, was trying to stop a man who has been at the helm of Rushenyi since 1998.
“He has been taking himself as someone who is a giant, as someone who has money who can bull doze everybody,” he expounded.
“It was a concerted effort for actually all those who had stood before in Rushenyi. We joined together to get rid of that roadblock so that even others can get a way,” Musinguzi added.
Taking nothing for granted, yesterday, shortly after the conclusion of FDCs Presidential Flag Bearer process, a hasty meeting was called by the Party’s Western Region Vice Chairperson Roland Kaginda Mugume.
Much as Officials at Najjanankumbi are mum about what transpired, an anonymous source intimated that it was about re-assessing the party’s performance.
Also, the party intends to resurrect its Power Ten (P-10) vote protection teams and also support Dr Kizza Besigye’s defiance campaign christened ‘Plan B’ in order to stretch the regime.
“They are in for a rude shock from the FDC. Mr. Museveni should know that the election of 2021 is not going to be the same cup of tea,” Amuriat roared.
It remains to be seen whether FDC shall end NRMs 35 year dominance of national politics having suffered three thunderous defeats.