In the last few weeks, our political space is simply polluted by a lackadaisical analysis of politics.
Andrew Mwenda’s cruel targeting of Dr Kizza Besigye as the problem in our politics is disingenuous. FDC MPs such as Nabillah Nagayi and Abdul Katuntu appear off-balance and pessimistic in clamoring to ‘work with’ NRM.
I recently saw MP Paul Kasana Luttamaguzi calling for opposition leaders to set aside their egos to form a united front for them to move beyond the dead-end zone.
I disagree with all these individual analyses and conceptualization of the political space dynamics. The prevailing political impasse is, as it is, by a matter of historical design, and not of individual making. Blaming KB for the mess evokes a question of moral trepidation.
It would be prudent for scholars to study the impact of the ban on political parties right from the issuance of the Legal Notice #1 in 1986 to the subsequent enactment of Articles 269 and 270 of the 1995 Constitution (as amended). As you recall, political party activities were restricted to party headquarters in Kampala for about 20 years.
Another venture is to study the impact of the forceful conscription of Ugandans into NRM and to what extent this benefitted the political fortunes of the ruling party.
Second, and most importantly, evidence from previous elections demonstrates that a united opposition front is stale and would allow Museveni a landslide in 2021. In 1996, Dr Kawanga Ssemogerere allied with the opposition as a sole candidate. The NRM won, albeit with much rigging and with a solid army behind the status quo.
In 2016, Amama Mbabazi assembled all the traditional political parties under his TDA banner, and look how they collapsed!
In contrast, when Dr Kizza Besigye emerged in 1996 to this date, he has proven the political Achilles heel in the NRM-dominated political landscape. These developments are important because Uganda’s opposition have never ran short of candidates for Mwenda to think it is Besigye blocking the emergence of new political forces.
When united, they torpedo wholesome. Mwenda should obsess himself with studying that dilemma instead. Another factor we cannot undermine is the economy and its unequal distribution. Traditionally, poor people never vote for poor persons. Now, we have a poor opposition seeking votes from impoverished voters, which complicates the vote equation.
Political power aligns with economic interests and vice versa. We can ascertain that the centre of power is firmly rooted in western Uganda where the money and the guns also reside.
Notwithstanding the history of war and propaganda mounted by the NRM to alienate the North and East, these regions have produced competitive candidates. I am sure that if Hon Norbert Mao, Abed Bwanika and Joseph Mabirizi were rich, they would be voted.
Register locals whose land has been occupied by refugees
The settlement of South Sudanese refugees in West Nile is impacting negatively on the natives. A fortnight ago, I went to Yumbe, my home district, to make bricks to construct a house for my parents.
However, I found out that our land has been taken away by government for refugee settlement, much to my disappointment. I tried to look for a solution, but couldn’t find any as I went to the refugee registrar and launched a complaint about the anomaly.
About 80 per cent of Yumbe residents are peasants, surviving on farming. And giving away their land is simply sentencing them to unprecedented suffering.
I would like to inquire from officials whether it isn’t advisable to register those whose land has been occupied as refugees. Already, there are worrying conflicts between the natives and refugees over other related aspects such as water points, health facilities, etc.
If not addressed, these could degenerate in bloodshed. Having once taken refuge in their country over similar circumstances, there is need to treat South Sudanese refugees with dignity.
However, what we are witnessing on the ground is annoying; the locals are no longer benefiting from the government programmes as they used to before because attention has been shifted to the refugees. We need harmony in this area.
Museveni right on violence
Recently, the ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development launched the national policy on elimination of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Uganda.
GBV is real in Uganda as it manifests in various forms including rape, physical violence sexual assault, female genital mutilation and early child forced marriages and human trafficking.
President Museveni made my day at the lauch of the report when he advocated economic empowerment of the girl child through programmes such as operation wealth creation and dedicating more money into women funds.
He also cautioned some urban parents who allow their children to spend most time watching fictional cartoons instead of asking them to help in home chores.
Onyango has set the standard
Denis Onyango is the African footballer of the year based in Africa. Dreams surely come true! Onyango has become a shining pearl in Africa, just like the name of his motherland, Uganda. Ugandans are really proud of him.
The entire East African region should be happy that we are also taking centre stage in football. President Museveni’s massive contribution cannot go unnoticed; he has always been there to help the Cranes. On Museveni’s Facebook page dated January 6, 2017, he congratulated Onyango and Uganda Cranes for winning the national team of the year.
We must also thank telecommunication company Airtel for sponsoring The Cranes. Airtel ran an advert on TV with the theme: ‘Uganda Cranes recharged for Comoros,’ whereby the national team players are showing determination to progress. Ugandans are behind you Cranes.