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HomeOPINIONS AND COLUMNSODEKE BAZEL: Why United Forces of Change Is Still a Barking Dog

ODEKE BAZEL: Why United Forces of Change Is Still a Barking Dog

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By Odeke Bazel
After he took over power in 1986, the then 44 year-old President Kaguta Museveni said, “this isn’t a mere change of guard, this is fundamental change in the politics of our country” Indeed, It’s nearly 40 years, he is still the serving president. Whether his leadership has been commendable or tainted depends on which position, capacity and circumstance your trying to assess. Of course, the disciples of the regime, will choose it over and over due to the benefits attached and therefore, seem to enjoy ‘fundamental change’.
To the democrats, patriots, opposition cadres, who, since then, have fallen apart with the regime, due to numerous atrocities, that have been executed in the name of clinging on power – abrogation of the Constitution, violation of human rights, corruption, mention them, have clearly lost hope in the regime, hence compelling them to look for a premium strategy of dislodging the regime, which, surprisingly remain a dream despite the number of years.
It’s worthy noting that, every ploy to oust NRM out of power has always ended up becoming a boomerang to the proponents. The regime, in many occasions, has orchestrated; divide, confuse, conquer, arrest, intimidate, as a weapon of destroying the opposition, and the juicy one, through appointment.
In a letter to the Speaker dated 5th January 2024, President Museveni reappointed Byabakama and Hajat Aiisha Lubega to another seven-year term in office, together with other new entrants, I guess you know what that mean! This move has not settled well with opposition members, who since then, have been trying to advocate for reforms, owing to the fact that, engaging in an election without reforms is a clear victory to the regime, in other words, it’s fighting already won battle!
To this effect, several meetings have been held(in opposition camp), which saw the declaration of United Forces of Change(UFC), an umbrella that is envisioned to bring opposition political parties “together”, the notable ones being; NUP, FDC Katanga, DP and UPC remnants. To them, UFC, will cause an impact, What a strategy so far!
Notably, it’s not the first time such a move has been championed, to cripple Mr. Museveni’s regime. Guess what, such a move has always remained on paper than reality, as members opt to pursue divergent agenda. With that said, what makes opposition think, it will work this time around?
In my view, it’s more hypocritical to even imagine of the union, if the factors that made the union a back-wrong-horse in the first place haven’t been addressed. Mathew 7:5 asserts, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”. Opposition leaders, need, not just a union but a deeper introspection into more pertinent and appealing issues.
Much as they(opposition )seem to be okay with the strategy, to some gurus, the union conveys a resemblance to other unions before, and therefore, bound to suffer the same, if not worst, ramifications
Firstly, the individual approach and strategy held by the henchmen, seem to differ, Dr. Kizza for example, in 2011 referred elections as ‘useless’, and since then advocated for boycotting of elections, the idea that wasn’t welcomed even within his cycle, since the approach requires maximum mobilization country-wide, and whether the majority of Ugandans accept it is another question. Further, whether the veteran politician accepts to abandon his strategy for the good of the union, is another issue.
On the other hand, Mr. Kyagulanyi( Bobi Wine), a musician turned politician, seem to pursue a radical approach, characterized by defiance, strikes and demonstrations, the recent being “banana farming” However, such approach requires a lot of cross tabulation, since, most Ugandans seem not to kowtow due it’s direct negative impacts. The approach therefore, requires proper assessment, and whether Ugandans accept it is also another question!
On contrary, Mr. Muntu on the other hand seem to pursue a more diplomatic approach, which entails building of structures right from the grass level in order to counter react and dislodge NRM. Much as this approach may have well intentions(positive), we are talking about a country that’s counting almost 40years of single leadership, so, to some people, patience might be too far from reality.
As if that’s not enough, internal conflicts have been very central, a definite characteristic to opposition political parties, resulting to break off. The recent being FDC and DP. This alone, has affected and damaged the image of opposition before the masses since, they(opposition)seem to be seeking individual interests rather than National course. No wonder, prominent leaders keep somersaulting from one block to another, dancing along lines of opportunism!
Owing to the above, it’s imperative that opposition leaders conduct self introspection, clear public mistrust that, they have built over the years, pay allegiance to a single strategy, other than unions and lengthy speeches that have no resultant impact to the liberation they seem to agitate for. If you can’t unite for a common course, then it’s obvious, you will remain a barking dog.
The Author is a Researcher, Political Commentator And Social Worker Based In Pallisa
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