The signed and sealed cooperation pact between Norbert Mao, the President General of the Democratic Party and President Yoweri Museveni, might have been a long accident-in-waiting, it’s timing has jolted the Ugandan Opposition side beyond description.
So much that the Opposition has at long lanst decided to close ranks. The opposition has woken up from the deep and long slumber and organized themselves into an outfit they say is going to make election thuggery in Uganda, history.
Among the notable opposition gurus who put pen to paper for their version of cooperation, include the usual suspects in Dr. Warren Kizza Besigye, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, JEEMA President Asuman Basalirwa, PPP’s Sadam Gayira and the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpuuga.
But this is not the first time such alliances have been formed among the Opposition grouping in Uganda.
The notable and striking feature which has been shared by all those alliances is that they have all ended up falling flat on their faces.
This has been the reality since the days of Kabaka Yekka and UPC to the very last one styled as Transformation for Democratic Alliance (TDA).
The key causes for the fall-outs have been personal egos, intrigue, self-interest, love for material things and superiority differences without discounting the lack of clarity of ideology shared between the cooperators.
Such has been the level of disappointments which the past alliances have delivered to Ugandans that majority of Wanainchi currently lack any more appetite for them.
The Alliance of King Edward Fredrick Luwangula Muteesa 11 and Dr. Apollo Milton Obote Opeto ended up in the worst of tears that Ugandans had ever witnessed.
Historians and political scholars trace all the political chicanery and bloodshed which Ugandans have been witnessing to the present day, to this alliance built around political expediency of the time and sealed by Muteesa and Obote.
The million dollar question consequently being asked is; Will the fragile young alliance between the opposition parties survive and thrive!
At the risk of being called a pessimist, I respectfully don’t think with all my heart and honesty, that that is likely going to happen.
Fairly put, the alliance deserves all the benefit of doubt and best of luck under the sun and from all of us all. It’s a very nice idea which no one of good heart would want to pass on.
The same is a necessary initiative for the sake of pluralism and democracy. No question it is. These two have been missing in town for scandalously far too long.
Yet, the same are the bedrock upon which good life is supposed to be embedded in order to endure and thrive for long.
But, and I repeat but, I strongly feel that the fresh alliance in town is anchored on foundations of convenience, panic, emotion, mistrust, suspicion, ego and anger.
Expressed the other way, it’s grounded on shaky grounds and not properly thought through.
Bobi, Besigye issues
Bobi and Besigye, though good friends, have not been united before as far as using peaceful protests to force government to do something about the prices of essential commodities currently touching the sky.
Bobi and his National Unity Platform (NUP) didn’t also practically express any enthusiasm when Besigye launched the Red Card Campaign which was as it sounds, a strategy created to use all peaceful means to bring down the regime of Museveni before the end of its current term.
Bobi, much as he was the immediate beneficiary of the campaign whose presidential victory having been supposedly looted by Museveni, suspected Besigye to have conjured up the Red Card Campaign to remove the juice out of him and NUP who were trending politically at the expense of FDC and Besigye himself.
What Bobi and NUP did is possibly on all fours to what Dr Paulo Kawanga Semogerere and DP did in 1980. Semogerere much as he had been supposedly looted of victory by Dr Apollo Milton Obote in 1980 elections, refused to join Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in the bush to reclaim his victory.
That difference in approach to solving the problem at hand was a marked ideological difference that separated Ssemogerere and Museveni when it comes to solving problems in future.
And which ultimately led to the cooperation between them even after the two were sharing power after the war, to fall flat on it’s face. And as they say, the rest is history.
Overly, the present alliance formed around the need to fight vote looting, as it was the case in case of NRA after Obote looted Ssemogerere’s victory, incidentally, is likely not to flourish well just as the previous ones before it, because of the highly toxic environment which has been deliberately put in place, incidentally still, by those in power today.
Our leaders abhor unity for a purpose. They thrive and prosper well politically, on the Machiavellian doctrine of divide and rule. As the same is known for especially by the students of political science.
Any grouping of politicians around must be crashed and buried. And, if necessary, bought off one by one. And alternatively infiltrated, whatever is practically feasible. As the same is currently the case at the DP’s Balintuma road address.
Meeting at Hotel Africana in Kampala, the cooperators vowed to employ all the peaceful means available to them to get power and then painstakingly work to put in place the legal, political, social regimes every Ugandan longs for.
However, they put a caveat to the desired change, saying each and every Ugandans and from all walks of life and gender must sign up to engage in pursuing the change they desire without necessarily leaving the burden to the politicians alone.
While the Opposition cite the Soroti East City, Kayunga and Omoro jambled up by-elections as the basis for their resolve to finally unite against vote rigging, Mao’s switch of allegiance to Museveni, can’t be wholly dismissed as one of the factors which informed their such decision.
At least, the close proximity in time between the switch by Mao to Museveni’s camp and that of the formation of a joint force among the Opposition, is too compelling a case to ignore.
It would be a fat lie for anyone to be seen and heard as stating that the opposition had after all lost any interest in the juiceless Mao.
Take away the fact that he is no longer as vibrant and sparkling as he was during his student days at Makerere university and as a Parliamentarian, then give it to the sleeping giant whose power of speech can carry any trophy anywhere, any day and even at short notice.
Such is the political weight possessed by the sleeping giant that the Democratic Party (DP) officials have been heard and seen lamenting how they are going to miss Mao’s leadership and wit despite his ‘prostitution’ tendencies.
Now that he has crossed over to the rival camp, the Opposition is going to suffer sleepless nights. Mao is privy to quite many of the secrets of the Opposition side plus their strength and weaknesses.
Since Mao knows too much of their secrets, those in the Opposition must be worried and irritated at the same time whilst wondering if the defector isn’t going to sell those secrets to the opponent’s camp.
Museveni and Mao pulled off a huge surprise when they stepped out to proudly showed off their official marriage certificate.
Everyone was left puzzled and asking how and when Mao and Museveni had held meetings and where, sent out invitations and to who, before finally pulling off such a cool wedding.
Haters accusingly said this and that. They threw this and that tantrum. They made this and that threat. They tabled this and that data. To indicate that the marriage was dead on arrival.
Some talked of going to court. They are taking this option, since Mao is purportedly officially married to DP already. And so, they argue, the second marriage to Sevo, before the resolution of the earlier one, boarders on bigamy.
Other jealous suitors who have been eyeing Sevo from within his NRM kraal, led by Godfrey Kiwanda, threatened to report Sevo to the NRM’s Central Executive Committee(CEC).
They were ranting how they had terribly suffered with Sevo for donkey’s years. That it was therefore an act of absolute betrayal for Sevo to hook himself a suitor outside the NRM kraal.
In particular, Kiwanda said, Museveni was wrong to marry from Acholi. Yet, his in-laws in Buganda suffered so much with him whilst he was a nobody and even fought hard to help him grab the throne from the Acholis.
But, Museveni and his newfound partner, Mao, insulated their ears against such noise. Museveni went on and even gifted Mao with an after-wedding mouth-watering gift of a cabinet docket.
More and more gifts awaits for Mao for ditching the Opposition for the loaded Sevo. Mao also pledges to move in tandem with Sevo come the deepest of valleys or highest mountains.
Yet, Mao has been quite simply a beneficiary of the circumstances of the prevailing politics of the day.
Buganda voted overwhelmingly for Bobi and NUP during the 2021 polls and rejected Museveni and his NRM party.
On the contrary, Acholi and the Greater North ditched Bobi and the Opposition and voted for Museveni and the ruling NRM party.
The two contrasting voting patterns had never, ever been heard of and seen during Museveni’s time as President of Uganda.
Accordingly, Museveni, following his usual poll victory, this time round packed up the top government positions with people from the Greater North and, for our interest, Acholiland.
This is how Jacob Oulanyah, who incidentally ditched UPC for NRM and is an Acholi like Mao, ended up getting himself a good serving of the number 3 fat job of the Speaker of parliament.
It is also how another Alphonse Owinyi Dollo, who incidentally is Museveni’s former lawyer who had helped to defend his victory in court and saved it later on as a judge, was served with another fat job of the Chief Justice.
But fate knows no political scheming. Oulanyah barely a year into his fat job, pass.