The President of the main opposition party (FDC), Gen. Mugisha Muntu is in the spotlight for having made a decision for FDC MPs to take up the official position of opposition in Parliament. This comes at a time when the party and its flagbearer Dr. Kiiza Besigye are insisting that they won the February polls and can not be the opposition in parliament.
1. When Gen. Muntu contested against Dr. Besigye for the position of flag bearer in the February polls, they disagreed on strategy. Dr. Besigyye argued that he would win by defiance thus a mass uprising that would guard the vote and even overrun the Museveni regime in the event of rigging. Gen. Muntu who lost the contest had argued that with proper mobilisation and strong structures, the FDC could win the polls. In his acceptance of defeat speech, Gen Muntu warned that without a clear and strong organisational strategy, the so called defiance or mass uprising would be smashed by the regime. It is natural for anyone to wish seeing his prediction come true thus its wrong to expect Gen. Muntu to work towards the success of the defiance strategy.
2. The FDC campaign strategists knew very well that the only chance they had to directly reach out to the masses was during the countrywide campaigns. During that time they ought to have put in place a concrete countrywide structural network for mass protests. Moreover, they knew that at any cost Museveni’s Electoral Commission would not declare the FDC as the winners.
3. There is no doubt the FDC and Dr. Besigye won the February polls. His taking of oath of office at a private function was a wise move. It is unfortunate he was arrested before he could form and announce his government. The recently released not well thought out cabinet lineup that went viral lacked his wise input.
4. The museveni regime driven by guilty consciousness was more prepared for the countrywide mass protests than the advocates of the same.
5.. The masses were and still are ready for mass action but they continue to lack guidance and direction from the top advocates of the same. The strong security deployments would not make an significant impact if the masses had been organised for a massive action. Actually, you would witness security forces joking the people while isolating Museveni’s elite force under the command of his son.
6. Dr. Besigye’s repeated processions in the city without concrete and coordinated plan of action like taking over of a specific government installation, had the effect of putting his life and that of his supporters in potential danger.
7. When the regime’s security forces besieged and took over the FDC offices decreed that all the FDC activies had been banned, it implied that the FDC as a party had been banned thus sufficient ground for it to go underground. Did the regime lift the ban for the FDC to convene and select the official opposition in parliament???
8. Museveni’s illegal regime needed the opposition in Parliament more than does the FDC. By accepting to form the the official opposition in parliament, the FDC is reinforcing the Mbabazi court petition in legitimizing the regime. The decision undermines and contradicts FDC/Dr. Besigye’s persistent claim of victory in the February polls and the defiance campaign.
9. The international community is disappointed by lack of action by Ugandans and in particular by the compromises being made by the FDC.
10. Despite the few setbacks, the masses remain resentful and ready for action if well organised and guided. The cry and need for change in Uganda can only be halted but its unstoppable. There is a a high likelihood of an emergence of a stronger and radicalised pro-change movement. The regime is much aware of this possibility than does the proponents of change.
11. Its unfair to equate the current situation with the 1980s DP’s taking up the official opposition in parliament and UPM’s sole candidate, Dr. Kiyonga’s boycott of parliament. DP’s presence in parliament greatly supplemented the efforts of the armed fighting groups including Museveni’s NRA. Dr. Kiyonga boycotted because his presidential candidate Museveni had taken up arms to fight government. Dr. Kiyonga fled to exile leaving Dr. Besigye as the sole Doctor in the bush initially. Parliament during Obote’s time was not a business centre or cash machine for M.Ps as is the case now. Even if Gen. Muntu had not flagged off these M.Ps, they would have defiantly formed the opposition in parliament. Some of these MPs may even with time cross to the ruling party or accept Museveni’s cabinet positions. Gen. Muntu simply flagged off ready and willing MPs. However, assuming the defiance campaign had taken off and gained momentum by stopping the composition of Parliament and Museveni’s swearing in, the current FDC MPs saga wouldn’t be in place.
Therefore, the differing in opinion between Dr. Besigye and Gen. Muntu has been there only that this time around it has taken a different twist. The fertile grounds for dissent that have created the heroism in Dr. Besigye are still in place and continue to grow by every passing hour. Gen. Muntu, the over 30 FDC MPs and the pro-change Ugandans who are craving for change should share the blame for failing to play their part and instead solely relying on Dr. Besigye to perform miracles.
INFORMATION IS POWER…Change of Guards