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The TDA Imbroglio and the Smallness of Uganda’s Politics

The Secretary General of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, viagra http://caveat.co.za/components/com_k2/controllers/latest.php Justine Kasule Lumumba has praised opposition FDC for refusing to allow Hon Amama Mbabazi to carry The Democratic Alliance’s flag in the 2016 elections, click saying is a “traitor” and unreliable politician.

The opposition parties and pressure groups coalition (TDA) last night failed to agree on a single candidate in the upcoming presidential elections.

FDC National Chairman Wasswa Biriggwa told the nation that they rejected Mbabazi due to his past record associated with high profile corruption scandals.

“We as FDC wanted someone who represents rule of law and accountability but Mbabazi did not embody this,” said Biriggwa.

The TDA would later release a statement after the Wednesday meeting, saying parties had fallen short of reaching consensus.

“The Summit of TDA has not arrived at a consensus on a TDA Joint Presidential Candidate. We have not been able to build consensus on either Rt Hon. Amama Mbabazi or Col (Rtd) Dr. Kizza Besigye,” the statement read in part.

It emerged from the meeting that the FDC and the Conservative Party strongly rejected Mbabazi who was a darling to other parties mainly the Democratic Party under Norbert Mao who was earlier in the race but stood down in favor of the former Prime Minister.

Lumumba speaks out


In a phone interview with ChimpReports on Thursday morning, Lumumba said the FDC and CP were very right to reject Mbabazi.

“If he (Mbabazi) can betray a person like President Museveni who has been his friend for the last 43 years, how about those TDA he only got acquainted with after being dropped from government?” Lumumba wondered.

Mbabazi was considered the closest confidant of president Museveni until early 2014 when an intelligence report by State House indicated that the former who was also the NRM Secretary General was clandestinely using his positions to amass support to wrestle power from the latter.

The NRM leaders eventually met at Kyankwanzi where they agreed on a sole candidature of President Museveni.

Lumumba said she has since learnt how Mbabazi operates.

“He (Mbabazi) always wants to be master of clandestine methods. It is just good other parties realised it earlier and saved their little credibility by rejecting him,” Lumumba added.

Lukyamuzi expressed shock that Mbabazi thought he would secure the backing of the opposition yet his ‘Go Forward’ lacks a Constitution, a minimum requirement of a political group.

“We don’t know who vetted him to lead that amorphous group,” said Lukyamuzi.

TDA resolved that Dr Kizza Besigye and Mbabazi stand as presidential candidates.

It remains to be seen if a divided opposition can overwhelm the sitting ruling government.
Ugandan-born striker Peter Otema gave Musanze fc their first league victory as they defeated David Ndihabwe’s Gicumbi Fc  at home in the second matchday of the Rwanda premier league.

In the other match David Kasirye’s beautiful 88th minute strike was not enough to save Rayon Sports, cost http://charadas.org/wp-admin/includes/plugin-install.php falling 2-1 to AS Kigali at home in Muhanga. Kigali got their double through Midfielder Rodriguez Murengezi’s 39th and 74th minute goals.

Debutants Rwamagana fc capitalised on home advantage to edge struggling Enticelles side by 2-0 as Marines brushed off Sunrise by a solitary goal.

Current top scorers chart has Rodriguez Mugerenzi, pilule Peter Otema and David Kasirye all setting the pace with two goals in as many matches.

Actiom resumes on Friday with champions APR Fc travelling to Kicukiro stadium to take on Table leaders Police Fc.

Match Day Three Fixtures
Friday, 25-Sep-15
Bugesera FC vs Espoir FC (Nyamata)

Police FC vs APR FC (Kicukiro)

Saturday, 26-Sep-15
SC Kiyovu vs Amagaju FC (Mumena)

Mukura VS vs Rwamagana City FC (Muhanga)

Etincelles FC vs Rayon Sports FC (Tam Tam)

Sunday, 27-Sep-15
AS Muhanga vs Musanze FC (Muhanga)

Gicumbi Fc vs Marines (Gicumbi)

AS Kigali vs Sunrise FC (Mumena)
The Minister for Presidency, sick http://cinemalogue.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/3rd-party/bbpress.php Hon Frank Tumwebaze has slammed the opposition, saying their failure to field a joint candidate against President Museveni in the 2016 election exposes their greed for power and lack of a systematic plan to transform the country.

He also described the collapse of The Democratic Alliance as an “added advantage to the NRM.”

The Alliance on Wednesday said they had fallen short of reaching consensus with FDC accusing Mbabazi of having a record tainted with corruption scandals.

“It is clear the opposition has never had a cause; it is simply anti-Museveni,” said Tumwebaze.

“The little anti-Museveni bloc is even now going to be shared among the groups which cannot even agree among themselves,” the Minister told ChimpReports in an interview on Thursday morning.

“They have exposed to the nation their equal power angry instincts and obsession that drive them but not the heart to make Uganda consolidate what has been achieved so far and the vision for greater strides.”

At the beginning of TDA in April this year, Hon Tumwebaze said the group lacked a transformative ideology, adding its evolution rotated around personal hate of President Museveni.

However, TDA spokesman, Hon Wafula Oguttu who is also the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, said the two candidates will give Museveni a run for his money.

“Now there is big possibility for the opposition to defeat Museveni in 2016, in a well-coordinated joint strategy whereby Go Forward Pro Change Movement will concentrate on reducing his NRM votes while opposition Parties will consolidate their traditional votes as both groups woo the 42 percent of voters who stayed away in 2011,” said Oguttu.
By Moses Kyeiswa

The Kibaale District Secretary for Finance, store http://cizgisactasarim.com/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/includes/functions.php Planning and Administration Ramuel Betonda was admitted at St. Ambroze Health center in Kagadi Town Council and later transferred to Mengo Hospital in Kampala, http://coastalsignsinc.com/components/com_k2/sef_ext/com_k2.php after he was attacked and assaulted by unidentified thugs.

Betonda, who is also the incumbent District Councilor for Kyakabadima Sub-county was on Tuesday night at around 9pm attacked by the group of thugs who beat and critically injured him.

He managed to escape and hide inside a nearby Supermarket from where he was rescued by Kagadi police.

He says he had gone to withdraw money from a Mobile Money agent to purchase food when the gang pounced on him and started beating him up.

Betonda told our reporter that he saw two vehicles parked nearby Star Light fuel station where  Peter Amara, the aspiring candidate for LCV seat Kibaale District and his political assistant Yosia B. Ndibwami the District Councilor for Rugashali sub-county were standing.

He alleges that the duo could have sent the hooligans to beat him until he fell in a trench and made an alarm that attracted Kagadi residents, giving him an opportunity to run into the supermarket.

The victim alleges that the duo accuses him of supporting his brother Benon Kasigazi, who is also eying the L.C. V seat for Kibaale District.

Speaking to Chimpreports on Tuesday while still at St.Ambroze Health Center IV, Betonda revealed that he felt a lot of back and chest pain.

By publication, efforts to get a comment from Peter Amara and his political assistant Ndibwami were still fruitless as their known mobile telephone numbers were off.

Joseph Ayesiga the officer in Charge Kagadi Police station who reached at the scene in the night said investigations into the matter are ongoing.
Following a 2-week-long process aimed at finding a joint flag-bearer who would lock horns with President Yoweri Museveni in the forthcoming elections, visit this site http://crazytour.am/wp-includes/class-wp-customize-nav-menus.php opposition coalition, ask http://conceive.ca/wp-content/cache/wp-cache-8259066f7608b35644caf7dc13182c65.php The Democratic Alliance on Wednesday night failed to reach consensus thus rolling out two candidates.

At around 10:00pm, ambulance http://constinta.com.br/v1/templates/yoo_venture/warp/config/layouts/config.php the TDA summit members started moving out of the 8 hour-meeting but none was willing to clearly indicate they had failed to reach a consensus on the coalition flag-bearer.

They referred to their spokesperson Hon Wafula Oguttu as the only authorized person to comment on the outcome of the meeting.

However, at midnight, Oguttu together with party representatives emerged from the meeting room ready to address journalists who had camped at the TDA headquarters since morning.

“I am going to read the press release we have prepared before the party representatives briefly add their comments,” Oguttu said.

“The summit of the TDA has not arrived at a consensus on a joint presidential candidate. The summit has not been able to build consensus on either Amama Mbabazi or Dr. Kizza Besigye and its therefore  clear that membership of alliance will take different paths in respect to the matter of presidential candidates,” the Leader of Opposition in Parliament announced.

Oguttu told journalists that political parties including Democratic Party, Go Forward Pro-Change, People’s Progressive Party, Uganda Federal Alliance and UPC had rallied behind former NRM Secretary General Amama Mbabazi while Ken Lukyamuzi’s Conservative Party and FDC had rallied behind Dr. Kizza Besigye.

Alliance Still Strong

Speaking to journalists in the same briefing, UPC president Olara Otunnu said they had chosen to follow different paths but the end result would be ousting President Museveni’s government which he said was their common enemy.

“We have agreed to disagree but in doing so we will explore all ways to remain focused on our goal,” Otunnu said.

Democratic Party President Norbert Mao said they had risen to their responsibility of being accountable to the public, noting that though they did not reach a consensus, their aim remained the same and that this would soon be realized.

FDC President Gen. Mugisha Muntu said the aspirations that have held them together as members of opposition would still be followed and eventually their goal would be realized.

“We had hoped that we would have one candidate but that did not happen. The beauty is we remained committed in moving on with the struggle,” Gen. Muntu said.

According to the opposition coalition, the summit is set to convene at a later date in a bid to consider other aspects and continue to explore unity and cooperation among members.

Inside the Last Meeting

The 8-hour meeting at the TDA headquarters at Naguru on Wednesday was never going to end as members were involved in a stalemate on who to become the opposition coalition flag-bearer.

According to a source inside the meeting, some members expressed concern over fronting Mbabazi to lead them as they face President Museveni in the forthcoming elections arguing that they were not sure of his loyalty as far as his long time close friend (Museveni) was concerned.

“We were skeptic about Mbabazi who has never denounced being an NRM member. We feared betrayal. We expressed fear he was not the right man to lead the opposition team against President Museveni,” the source said.

This was confirmed by FDC Chairman Wasswa Biriggwa and CP President Ken Lukyamuzi who had during the summit meeting rallied behind Dr Besigye.

“The majority of the members had preferred Mbabazi but we never reached a consensus. He did not represent things like rule of law and a corrupt free country as provided in the TDA compact. The opposition has for a long time stood for these values,” Biriggwa told journalists shortly after the meeting.

For Lukyamuzi, the opposition could not rely on someone who was not well known to them considering the way he joined the coalition.

He insisted that FDC’s Dr Besigye was the right man to lead them against President Museveni in the forthcoming elections.

“He has no party structures and his group is amorphous. Mbabazi has one leg in the NRM whereas the other is here (TDA) yet we are not sure who vetted him before joining us. We cannot allow him lead the coalition because we own it,” the Lubaga legislator told journalists.

However, for those who rallied behind Mbabazi led by DP’s Norbert Mao argued he was the right man after FDC’s Besigye had lost thrice to president Museveni and that people could no longer trust him with their votes.

“Mbabazi can lead our team against Museveni well and the onus is on us to sell him to the public,” Mao told the summit.

The summit however failed to reach a consensus and decided that they front two candidates to stand against President Museveni in the forthcoming elections.

How the TDA Events Unfolded

The Democratic Alliance had set 10th September as the last date for Presidential aspirants to return nomination forms for the opposition coalition flag bearer and by this date only 4 people including Mao, Dr Besigye (FDC), Pressure for National Unity’s Prof. Gilbert Bukenya and CP’s Ssemusu Mugobansoga had returned the forms.

Meanwhile, Mbabazi was also expected to return forms but was nowhere to be seen as the deadline was soon passing.

He was engaged in consultative meetings in the Eastern parts of Mbale, Kapchorwa, Soroti and finally Jinja.

When asked whether he was not late for picking and returning forms to stand as a TDA flag bearer, Mbabazi told journalists he had asked for  more time to complete the meetings.

“I am still busy with my consultative meetings but I have asked them for more time and I hope they will do that,” Mbabazi told journalists at Mt. Elgon Hotel in Mbale on Thursday September 10.

This was followed by a letter from his lawyers led by Severino Twinobusingye to TDA requesting for an extension.

The deadline was then pushed to the next day at mid-day but Mbabazi only showed up a few minutes to 2:00pm before holding a closed-door meeting with TDA officials.

Mbabazi left the Naguru based headquarters only to return in the night.

He held meetings with TDA officials including Livingstone Okello Okello, Wasswa Biriggwa, Asuman Basalirwa, Bishop Zac Niringiye and Godber Tumushabe.

Mbabazi later signed the TDA protocol before returning the nomination forms and was fully admitted to the opposition coalition.

Officials Accused of Bending Rules for Mbabazi

However, some members expressed concern over what they termed as bending the rules to favour some members especially the former Prime Minister.

This later culminated into an attack on FDC chairman Wasswa Biriggwa as irate youths almost lynched him at the party headquarters over allegations of backing Mbabazi.

The youth later petitioned FDC NEC, demanding that it pulls out of the TDA.

The party’s top organs resolved to stay in the opposition coalition.

Meanwhile, the TDA summoned what was termed as a conclave at Royal Suites hotel in Bugolobi at the end of which they expected to announce the opposition coalition flag bearer.

The meeting was later stormed by FDC supporters led by Odonga Otto, dragging their party representative out of the meeting.

The summit decided that the four remaining candidates choose amongst themselves who they wished to be the flag-bearer.

They were then separated from other members of the summit.

At the end of the conclave, no decision had been reached.

This compelled the Summit to decide on who should carry their flag in the 2016 but could not reach consensus.

By Bernard Sabiiti

Today we start in Sri Lanka.

Mr. Maithripala Sirisena was a long term member of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ruling Freedom party.

He had served in many government roles; as ruling party secretary general, look http://conforms.com/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce/includes/wc-notice-functions.php Defense Minister, nurse http://cdkstone.com.au/wp-content/plugins/ubermenu/pro/diagnostics/diagnostics.php Health Minister, and many other portfolios.

He was one of the most powerful men in the government and a close ally of the president.

Overtime, however, Sirisena later would reveal, he became disillusioned with what he thought were increasingly authoritarian tendencies of his boss, president Rajapaksa.

He however kept his disillusionment to himself and continued serving. It appears though that most Sri Lankans shared his view.

Many had come to view the president as becoming too corrupt, and his scotched earth policy against the Tamil Tiger rebels alienated most ethnic Tamils that supported that movement

At first, President Rajapaksa was admired by a vast majority of Sri Lankans. He had ended the 25 years of conflict between the country’s minority Hindu ethnic Tamils and the majority, largely Budhist Sinhalese.

The civil war had claimed between 60,000-100,000 lives from 1983-2009. Later However, Rajapaksa became a ‘strongman’ and was increasingly becoming authoritarian and corrupt.

He employed his relatives in powerful and sensitive positions, including his two brothers and son. This corruption and nepotism had made most Sri Lankans, including vast majorities of Sinhalese, Mr. Rajapaksa’s tribe, very bitter against his rule. Due to his grip on power however, his control and intimidation of the media, the people had no way of expressing their bitterness towards him.


In late 2014, Rajapksa was running for a third term and as usual, he was headed for victory in the January 2015 election because the country’s usual pitiful opposition appeared to be in an even more confused maze of disarray than before.

He had jailed most of them and bought off others. That’s when the ruling party’s Secretary General and Health Minister, Sirisena made his move.

Unknown to the president and his hangers on, Sirisena had secretly been talking to the opposition and the coalition was lying in wait for him to take over their flag and challenge Rajapaksa as the joint opposition candidate.

And so with only a month left to the election, Sirisena defected from the ruling party and announced his intention to contest against his boss.

The news hit Rajapaksa and his hangers on like a tonne of bricks. There was confusion, panic and fury in the ruling party.

“Traitor”, shouted the most loyal of the president’s allies. Poor Rajapaksa resorted to cheap, ‘village-level’ insults against his former ally. He endlessly told a story of how, the day before Sirisena’s announcement had had shared with him a meal of popular Sri Lankan food called “hoppers” which is rice pancakes, and bitterly said Sirisena had “eaten hoppers with me in the night and stabbed me in the back in the morning”.

Many Rajapaksa Hangers-on were immediately aware of the danger posed by Sirisena, who had not defected alone but had taken along with him a large number of ruling party figures.

The long suffering opposition that had toiled and suffered for years under Rajapaksa’s regime proudly unveiled their man at a mammoth rally in the capital. Some of them had been tortured and harassed for years by the regime but sensing that the only chance they had lay with Sirisena, they easily coalesced around him without any hustle.

The need to do away with the dictator trumped whatever personal ambitions they had. When the election was held in January, Sirisena won with 51.2 percent of the vote while the incumbent took 47.5 percent of the vote.

Many ethnic Tamils, irrespective of the fact that their insurgency had been crushed when Sirisena was defense minister, voted for him overwhelmingly after he aggressively courted them and acknowledged their legitimate grievances as well as apologizing for some of the carnage the government’s tactics had caused to their communities.

They were happy to get rid of Rajapaksa whose open nepotism and corruption meant that very few if any Tamils got a job in the government and had ignored their region for years.

Similarly, a majority of Sinhalese abandoned Rajapaksa and voted for Sirisena (who was also from that tribe).


This now brings me to the fiasco that has been Uganda’s opposition, The Democratic Alliance (TDA) process of choosing a joint presidential candidate to face NRM’s Yoweri Museveni in next year’s elections.

Three weeks ago I was in Tanzania for work when ChimpReports’ Giles Muhame asked me, for a story he was writing on TDA, my views on the coalition.

“Why do you think Mbabazi has not signed the TDA protocol? What could he be up to?” the double barrelled question went. He followed up with a series of other questions including;

What are your thoughts on Mbabazi joing the TDA anyway?

Does he stand a chance against Besigye?

Do you think he looks at TDA as a vehicle for change in the status quo?

I will simply reproduce here the answer I gave to Giles.

“Mbabazi could be trying to pull a Lowassa in Uganda but with the election of Kizza Besigye as the FDC flag-bearer a few days ago, I don’t think that is Possible”. I went ahead to explain what “pulling a Lowassa” means, in case he wasn’t following Tanzania’s own Politics.

Edward Lowassa, former Prime Minister in the CCM government defected from the ruling party when the strange process that is the process of selecting Tanzania’s ruling party presidential candidate ensured he wasn’t even among the top tier candidates under consideration to the surprise of many who thought he was the ‘natural fit’ to succeed President Kikwete.

CCM’s politburo instead chose Magufuli. Lowassa then ran to Chadema, the biggest opposition party in Tanzania which largely embraced him, and together with other parties fronted him as their joint candidate under their Ukawa coalition (their version of TDA).

Even though there were a few dissenters like the long suffering Chadema Secretary General Dr. Edward Slaa who ‘rightly’ thought the opposition flag was owed to him after fighting CCM for years (like Besigye), the majority of Tanzania’s opposition has coalesced behind Lowassa, a filthy rich, charismatic figure who they think has the best shot at uprooting CCM.

Even though I don’t believe CCM will be defeated due to its grip on power over the last 50 years and especially the party’s entrenchment in rural Tanzania, the party has been forced to promise to fix Tanzania’s problems of poverty, education, health, etc, with specifics never heard of before.

Magufuli is working the campaign trail like his life depends on it, and many observers believe the result will be the closest the opposition ever came to beat CCM.

The latest poll however gives Lowassa 25 percent to CCM’s 65-70 pc, so maybe Magufuli is saving CCM’s fortunes with his aggressive campaigning.

I also told Giles that I believed that most opposition supporters in Uganda consider Dr. Besigye the bonafide leader of the opposition in the country, who they think has paid his dues to deserve that honour, in terms of the persecution he has endured and so will not easily let Mbabazi be TDA flag bearer.

Prophecy comes to pass

It turns out this is what exactly has happened. There is no clear indication, for now, to believe that had TDA coalesced around Mbabazi he would defeat Museveni next year.

But the pettiness and selfishness shown by the different party leaders throughout the botched TDA process should worry those who think Uganda would change for the better if these guys took over. It looks to me that Besigye too can easily be corrupted by power were he to be entrusted with it.

For the start, those who think the “FDC youth” storming those TDA meetings “to pull Besigye out” was just an act of those youth are stupid.

Besigye himself engineered all those stunts so he could find an ‘honourable’ way of pulling out once he realized most TDA members were leaning on Mbabazi.

He wanted to save face by saying it’s his party in general that is not in agreement with TDA actions and not him, which really is absurd. The truth is he wanted to eat his cake and have it and some of us on the outside saw through his shenanigans.

As for Norbert Mao who, it appears, had appointed himself the spokesperson of TDA, his seemingly eloquent missives on the process also were totally selfish. Mao would have been the biggest beneficiary of a successful TDA flag bearer process. His DP is in disarray, he barely won 3 percent of the vote in 2011, and he knows that as his critics say, his DP is the Dead Party just like the UPC.

Mao therefore, who I doubt even has the money to pay to be nominated, later alone vast resources to run a credible national race would have been rescued had he been counted in the coalition with one candidate.

The success of such a candidate would also radiate on him and he would have a say in a possible government he knows he did nothing to bring to power, possibly even becoming a Prime Minister. All these guys are thinking about themselves, not Uganda’s future or its peoples’.


Having said that, I actually think the TDA process was botched from the start. It appears the architects were naïve amateurs who knew nothing about Uganda’s politics or have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing from just five years ago with what happened to the Inter-Party Coalition (IPC).

Most Ugandan politicians including opposition ones practice what I call small politics. They see politics as careers and jobs to improve their personal lot and that of their relatives.

It appears that Besigye, however unbelievable this may sound, also thinks more of the glory that would come to him were he to win the presidency than national salvation.

That’s could be why he is so die hard that he can’t compromise. Surely he should know that politics, successful politicking, is about compromises and being pragmatic.


It also appears foreign donors who were behind this whole thing and bankrolled it are even more naive. Donors are notorious at not understanding a country’s unique socioeconomic, cultural and political context. I would have expected them to at least learn from what has happened in this country since 1962.

The public galore in which the TDA process played out was shameful. As you can see from the Sri Lanka case study I shared above, secrecy, especially when dealing with such a paranoid and sensitive man when it comes to losing his power like Museveni is, was of paramount importance.

Instead the Maos, desperate to ensure the process succeeds but not for nationalistic reasons as I explained above, were broadcasting to the public whatever was happening inside TDA deliberations.

My view all along in fact has been that TDA was never a good idea in the first place. Mr. Mbabazi, his initial unbelievable dithering on whether to run at all aside, would have maintained his “disgruntled-but-still-NRM-member” status, who was rigged out of the presidential primary by the sole candidature melee.

He would have had many sympathizers within the NRM, who, for obvious reasons would not openly route for him but would do so clandestinely and vote for him.

A sure-to-be-botched NRM primary season that is just beginning will have many disgruntled losers who would naturally flock to his camp.

Given the latest Research World International poll that puts Museveni at 55 percent, there was a real chance that the combined opposition vote total would at least deny Museveni a first round victory.

A 3-horse race therefore would work for the opposition. It would actually still be a TDA without having to openly engineer it. It appears it is still going to be a 3-horse race as both Mbabazi and Besigye are still going to run but now the results may be different as the TDA imbroglio has exposed the selfish interests of all the protagonists in this process.

The opposition leaders especially in the FDC who are now claiming the running the two men was the result of the TDA negations are lying. The TDA process fell apart.

Mr. Museveni is now fully aware of what their plot is and come rain or high water will reach for the heavens to ensure that he wins in the first round.

The first thing he will do is to tie Mbabazi to Besigye and call them one and the same. He might succeed convincing Mbabazi’s NRM sympathizers that he too is selfish and want to take over by any means necessary including aligning with Besigye.

Surely, after this, Mbabazi cannot continue to credibly claim to still be NRM.

And so there you have it. An opposition that can’t elevate national interests above its personal, selfish ends, and a regime whose predatory hierarchy will gladly continue to milk to death its pitch-poor citizenry.

What remains is a wretched country with no salvation in sight. The biggest looser becomes an ordinary Ugandan citizen, who, from the way the opposition is behaving, is right to be tired of the regime but also uncertain of whether or not the opposition, were it to take power would be worse.

And so I understand if the citizen rather goes with the proverbial “devil you know…” resignation. As for yours truly, all is not lost. At least I can write about it.

Bernard Sabiti is a researcher and political analyst.

Contact: bernardsabiti@gmail.com

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