FDC’s Col Dr Kizza Besigye; unwilling to give up his victory claim on the 2016 presidential election, on Thursday unveiled his ‘People’s Government’ cabinet and parliament.
The parallel cabinet includes; Kampala Lord mayor Erias Lukwago as Vice President, Hon Salaam Musumba as Prime Minister among many others.
However, the move was received with varying tones by political actors, with many laughing it off, including those from the leading opposition party.
Hon Angeline Osege, the Soroti Woman MP (FDC) labeled this maneuver as ‘‘comedy’’ saying that it has no bearing on the country’s political trajectory.
According to Osegge, Besigye’s purported cabinet inauguration only seeks to soothe the psychology of his inner circle members rather than causing the much needed change that has been preached over and over again.
“I don’t know what we are doing; is it just to sooth our psychology to make us comfortable or? I don’t know whether the desire to be in government is making us act comedy? Because what impact have we made since we swore in, since we declared that we are a government. I think we are wasting time on things that are not going to produce any result, not in drama like this”, she said.
Osege added that Besigye was in effect sending a confusing message to the voters in the run up to the next general elections, something which might cost the party irreversible damage.
“Instead of people preparing for elections you are going to keep them in that mood; in that utopia that there is going to be change. By the time you wake up, your opponent has already had enough time to prepare and when you get in there unprepared you start claiming that you have been cheated.”
James Waluswaka, the Bunyole West legislator (NRM) labeled the move as fake and a rebranding gimmick aimed at making Besigye relevant again after “ceding political ground to new kid on the block” Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu as well as Mugisha Muntu’s.
“He has lost ground; most of the youth he had Bobi Wine has taken them, senior leaders in FDC; Mugisha Muntu has taken them. He is left with nothing just to make fun”, Waluswaka analyses.
As such, he says the only way Besigye can recover his political strength is by making amends with President Yoweri Museveni and rejoining the NRM.
“Dr. Besigye he is a very good citizen; he should surrender and rejoin the NRM such that we can push.”
NRM’s John Baptist Nambeshe, (Manjiya County) said the move could in fact turn into a big thing depending on the players.
Nambeshe adds that Besigye could have taken this move after studying countries where it has significantly worked such as; Kenya and apparently Venezuela.
Nambeshe says that usurping power using civil measures is only practical in mature democracies and not possible in emerging or quasi-democracies like Uganda.
This is not the first time Besigye has declared himself President of Uganda.
The former presidential candidate, shortly after the 2016 election loss, held a mock swearing ceremony.
To date, he still faces treason charges relating to holding a parallel inauguration.
Whether or not Dr Besigye is tapping inspiration from Juan Guaido, who recently declared himself President of Venezuela and was quickly recognized by most western superpowers, he and his party still suffer insignificance in the national assembly.
In Venezuela’s case, the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) has 109 of the 164 seats in the national assembly with President Nicholas Maduro’s ruling Great Patriotic Pole retaining the rest.