Special Reports

Stella Nyanzi Tests Uganda’s Murky Political Waters with Call for Besigye, Bobi Wine Alliance

Controversial activist, Stella Nyanzi, has called for a united opposition front to oust President Museveni from power.

Nyanzi, who is eyeing the Kampala Woman MP seat in the 2021 polls, said she didn’t see any reason as to why Bobi Wine of People Power and FDCs Dr Kizza Besigye do not form an alliance to take on the incumbent.

“I know that my mentor knows that on his own, he cannot overthrow… Museveni. I know he believes in the strength of uniting with other diehard opposition factions such as the People Power movement,” said Nyanzi.

“And so I wonder why it is taking him long to negotiate a fair, just and equitable unity with Hon Robert Kyagulanyi. The two men have a recent history of friendship and comradeship. Each has supported the other during state-instigated torture and human rights violations. What is preventing the unity of the two opposition formations led by these leaders?” she wondered.

However, Nyanzi’s remarks were perceived as disrespectful towards Besigye who worked day and night to rescue her from Luzira Prison.

ChimpReports understands Nyanzi has for long been close to Dr Besigye.

When he visited Nyanzi at Luzira Prison, she kept telling him that he was the only one who could stand with her in all situations.

She said Besigye was like her father.

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Besigye always visited and comforted Nyanzi’s children when their mother was jailed at Luzira.

Besigye prayed with Nyanzi’s children in December 2019

Apparently, Nyanzi intends to stand on the People Power ticket for her MP bid.

However, relations between supporters of People Power and FDC are tense with many exchanging abuses on social media.

Samuel Makokha, an FDC fanatic, told ChimpReports that Nyanzi and her fans “think that Besigye’s supporters can automatically support Bobi Wine, this is impossible.”

Nevertheless, this is not the first time FDC is being urged to unite with other political forces to put a strong challenge against Museveni.

The TDA political vehicle aimed at rallying opposition forces together in the 2016 polls flopped with FDC saying they could hardly trust Amama Mbabazi to lead the joint force.

Former spy chief Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde also recently reiterated the need for a stronger and united opposition to force Museveni out of power.

“I would like to send a message to members of the opposition including those in the ruling party with alternative views that all we suffer can be ended through a united front to achieve change in this country,” said Tumukunde.

“I wish to remind you that we are six months away from scheduled general elections of 2021,” he added.

Opportunism?

Political analyst and researcher, Bernard Sabiiti described Nyanzi’s scheme as “pure political opportunism.”

Sabiiti said Nyanzi knows if FDC and People Power each fielded a candidate for Kampala Woman MP, a position she is already covertly campaigning for, she will be placed between a rock and hard place.

“Which flag does she seek nomination for? If she chooses FDC, People Power fanatics will be mad and field their own candidate. The split in that vote could all but ensure victory by an NRM flag-bearer,” said Sabiiti.

“So it is a case of damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t. Nyanzi’s chances of winning will be slim if she stands on either ticket and the other party also fields a candidate. This is her dilemma.”

Sabiiti emphasised that Nyanzi’s current crusade for Besigye and Bobi Wine unity is not just about opposition unity’s sake, but also the fact that Besigye and Bobi uniting benefits her political ambitions greatly.

“Nyanzi can claim neutrality as both sides will think she is well intentioned arbiter of unity between the two biggest opportunist groups in the country so she is able to have her cake and eat it too,” said Sabiiti.

Sabiiti said it won’t be too long in case Nyanzi mission fails and will have to pick one of the two hence being cooked.

Several observers said FDC remained selfish, leading to disjointed forces which the president continues to defeat in every election.

In response, Makokha told ChimpReports: “There has never been a disjointed effort as far as Ugandan voters are concerned. Uganda’s presidential race has always been a two-horse race.”

Towards the 2016 polls, MP Nabilah Naggayi attempted to run on Mbabazi’s ‘Go Forward’ ticket only to change her mind at the last minute.

It remains unclear why Nyanzi said Besigye, a former presidential candidate and opposition leader should “negotiate” unity with Bobi, a political amateur whose countrywide appeal is yet to be tested.

Sabiiti said Nyanzi is putting the onus on Besigye to be the one uniting with Bobi and not the other way round “because she has read the current political temperature in Kampala” and realizes that right now People Power is a bigger force in Kampala than FDC/Besigye.

“Were she to call on Bobi to join Besigye, she knows she would be in trouble as People Power diehards would roast her. Besigye being a more mature politician, will play it cool. He will ignore her but will not publicly express anger against her,” said Sabiiti.

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