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Museveni would lose only if left to run alone

President Museveni campaigning for an NRM candidate

President Museveni campaigning for an NRM candidate

During the #Togikwatako campaign, after Special Forces Command (SFC) soldiers had brutalized opposition legislators, Museveni realized he risked winning the vote against zero opposition. 

Victory against no opponent is meaningless. Opposition MPs had agreed to simply boycott parliament and allow the man have his way.  News in the corridors of power confirmed – there is never concrete evidence for stuff like this – that Museveni quickly entered a deal with opposition politicians to have them stay in parliament.

Instead of boycotting, they were being asked – contracted – to stay in, campaign and vote against the amendment. This way, Museveni’s pre-determined victory would actually claim the legitimacy of competition. The actual amount of “professional fees” disbursed to his clients [we need to keep a strictly business language here] remain unconfirmed: while some sources claim it was Shs 70m for each, others have indicated Shs 40m was the deal.

See, while the opposition would be victorious in boycotting, they would also have done their job – as opposition – if they stayed in parliament and opposed the amendment. There, voters would see them either way as doing their job.

But while boycotting would actually dent Museveni’s pre-determined victory, staying in parliament and simply opposing the amendment bolstered this victory.  That is why Museveni was paying for opposing – and not boycotting – the entire process. Our opposition politicians played ball.

Incumbent presidential candidate, Yoweri Museveni must be hurting from Besigye’s decision not to stand in the 2021 polls. 

See, Besigye offered him the best candidate, and stiff competition to “win” against. He was the standard pugilist in the other corner for a believable showdown. A well-educated, genuinely angry and articulate soldier, Besigye was the gold standard character for opposition drama. 

A tough-talking contender, with an unmistakable presence, gruff-voiced Besigye was a natural crowd puller necessary for display of power. Sometimes, when a low crowd turnout was anticipated, Museveni’s team, through especially Boda-Boda 2010, mobilized crowds for Kizza Besigye – most famously when former prime minister Amama Mbabazi joined the fray of opposition.

The election thus had “stiff competition” absolutely necessary for a national election – with pre-determined results.  It has to look like a real election.

That Besigye is out surely hurts the Museveni camp. A Museveni “victory” in the forthcoming election is surely guaranteed, but there needs to be a show of competition. The uncertainty – over enough competition – has surely thrown NRM into panic as they have to have a performatively real election with a strong challenger. 

And this is not to underestimate the place and stature of Bobi Wine as a challenger.  Rather, I am speaking to how Kyagulanyi is likely to be cast in some NRM pre-scripted drama.  Indeed, this essay seeks to celebrate the stature of Bobi Wine as the new kid on the block.

Although Bobi Wine does not offer a perfect replacement for Kizza Besigye as an electoral challenger, he will certainly give them a good show. Charismatic, musical, and creative, Bobi Wine has emerged as the candidate of choice especially in Kampala. If the double-standard nonsense of no open campaigns is not sustained, Bobi will surely pull large crowds.

Plus, with Abdallah Kitatta back in circulation, Bobi can be helped to give NRM good competition estimating or even more than Besigye.  In the end, Museveni will win a good win – with competition from a good candidate.

My contention is this: if the opposition wants Museveni to lose, they have to do what they failed or refused to do in during the #Togikwatako campaign: let Museveni run against himself.  The mantle falls on the main contender of the moment who happens to be candidate Robert Kyagulanyi. 

Mr Kyagulanyi has to follow Besigye’s example [it came late, I know], and boycott these uninteresting electoral Olympics. If boycotting were also embraced by Gen. Mugisha Muntu, Nobert Mao, Patrick Amuriat/Wasswa Birigwa, Museveni would be a dead man. 

They could argue that they are short on resources, and are instead using the little they have to build their parties. They could also claim Covid-19 is a real threat, and cannot risk the lives of Ugandans.  I cannot imagine the panic Museveni would be thrown into anticipating their next move.  

Opposition politicians have always wanted to unite, and the best unity under Uganda’s sophisticated autocracy, is unity in boycott.  And there is no better time to pull this off than under the madness of scientific election.  

Of course, there would be underlings claiming to fill the opposition void:  there would be a Gen. Henry Tumukunde, a Maureen Kyalya, and a Joseph Mabirizi. But these remain minions whose power is in running alongside others.  Boycott would signal to a rebirth of real, change-seeking opposition in Uganda.

yusufkajura@gmail.com

The author is a PhD fellow at Makerere Institute of Social Research.

Comments

-1 #131 Esibo 2020-09-22 10:01
Mr Remazi is a state agent. His work here is to confuse opposition as NRM routes itself.

If you boycott, Museveni will be announced winner, period. Better to participate in the sham elections and get a strong reason for Plan B. Stop your amateurish confusion and spinning.
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+1 #132 PrinceM 2020-09-22 10:35
Remase, I had promised to end this debate with you but since you are almost cornered by Wooden K, I can't resist the temptation. Due to your propensity to ignore certain aspects of our debate I think its best to ask you short direct questions so here I go

Did Museveni rig votes in Kampala in the 2016 election? If yes, why did he lose miserably with only 31% and Besigye win with 66%?
If your answer is no he did not rig in Kampala why is this so?

No more debating with you until you satisfactorily answer those questions. Im tired of your selective responses
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0 #133 Remase 2020-09-22 11:15
PrinceM, I have answered you, it's irrelevant whether M7 wins in rural areas or loses in Kampala, the bottom line is, M7 rigs his bogus organized elections.

Period. So, you got it right, I'm not only a staunch supporter of Besigye but ardently subscribe to his political ideology.

Yes, he made a mistake 4 times by participating in the bogus elections organized by M7, however, it's never too late. He realized his mistake and I agree with Yusuf that we should boycott the bogus elections organized by M7.

I shall continue to urge everyone I know to do the same. I effusively thank you all for such a contentious debate. It's clear that we are divided and we have all dug in our respective beliefs.

Let those who believe in bogus elections organized by M7 keep doing the same thing over and over but expect different results, and those of us who believes in braking that vicious cycle make certain that we boycott the bogus meaningless elections organized by M7. God bless Uganda.
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0 #134 Wooden K. 2020-09-22 11:29
Oh Remase , Remase , Remase , what should I do with you my boy !!!

You have more problems than I though .

You lie . Remase is not your real name

Contextuality is not a concept you are familia with.

You look at English words literally . That is why you get stuck on simple words such as "abnormal " Unsual" , .For you it is crisis if somes uses a word "love" instead of "like.

You forget the context in which such words come into play.
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0 #135 Wooden K. 2020-09-22 11:42
You say things like that I must have twisted YUSUF`s words or quoted him out of context , even when you know that YUSUF is the one who wrote this article and can defend or explain himself.

After sending more than repetative 50 comments , you suddenly remember to suggest what you will do after boycotting :"DO EACH and EVERYTHING to make sure that Museveni is ejected from power "

Really , that is your plan !!!

What does "each and everything " mean ?

We all know that Museveni has rigged out Besigye twice .

Why the hell haven`t you done these "each and everythings" to eject Museveni ?
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-3 #136 Remase 2020-09-22 11:43
Esibo, it's clear that you are of those and/or the person who multiply names and haul insults. Your insulting name calling clearly comes from a known person who keeps changing names.

The good thing is, the observer readers are so sharp. They have recognized that. Yes you use fake names to hide your identity, however what comes out of you reflects of who you are.

A person who is a conman and who is hell bent on selling what you have called "shall elections."
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-2 #137 Remase 2020-09-22 12:40
Esibo, your derogatory name calling depicts and/or bore a striking similarity to the person who is on record for hauling insults and deceit as a way of winning an argument.

That's common in a person who is selling a "sham elections.' Because you know that what you are selling is bogus, a sham and not genuine and people are not buying it, you continue hauling insults and deceit.
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0 #138 Wooden K. 2020-09-22 15:42
Remase , I am very happy to see that you have finally decided to agree that it is not abnormal to live and let live (comment #133 )

Go ahead and boycott . It is your right .

While at it , pay a vist to Uganda Bookshop and buy a small book called " Snake Farmers " by one Yusuf Sserunkuma Kajura ( why Kajura ? )

Read the book mpola mpola ( what is mpola in your language ? ) .

Please don`t make your habitual mistake of taking whatever you read in there literally . The content is meant to be cynical --- just as the Headline you mistook for a strategy.

This is my last one under this article .
cheers !
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-1 #139 Remase 2020-09-22 19:02
Wooden K, once a fox always a fox. Because you are deceitful and use a Fugazi name you want people to believe that I do the same.

You have blown your cover. You know exactly who I'm, what is my name if I'm not Remase? It's the only one of the kind, there is no other. Once you nation it, it has to be me.
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