Log in
Free: The Observer Mobile App - Exclusive Content and Services

Why a confused opposition is a real threat to Museveni

will not be surprised if President Museveni summoned all opposition politicians to a grand conference with the offer to help them come together and mount a united bid against him in the forthcoming election. 

[I want to assume he is not already meeting them clandestinely]. By the way, this is not a page out of Animal Farm. It is easy to graft this meeting under the Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue wagon. During this meeting, in typical Musevenorian  fashion,  he will offer them bags of cash and instruct them to unite – on the promise of more cash [and assistance in constituencies for the lowly ones].

This might actually portray Mr Museveni as a true democrat promoting oppositional politics under a multiparty constitution.  And many will believe him.  In truth, however, like a professional boxer who insists on staging a fight in his home town, Museveni will be luring his challengers to a familiar turf – an election – where he is assured of beating them hands down.

I will repeat for the umpteenth time, Mr Museveni is a vintage elite autocrat. Unlike their unsophisticated predecessors, such as Mobutu Sese Seko, Idi Amin or Siad Barre, who declared life presidency and governed by decree, elite autocrats organise elections. 

But as long  as their names are on the ballot, that is victory. The year 2017 showed us how much Museveni coveted the presidency. Aware that the only way he could have a legitimate claim to the seat again would be through changing the constitution, he did not only pay dearly, but also risked a dent on his democratic credentials when he rolled soldiers into parliament. 

He would learn quickly that bribing the opposition was easier than clobbering them with iron sticks. He bought them as well. The beginning of 2019 has showed his unwavering  intent further. 

Two years early, to avoid any drama and anxiety within own ranks, he is the official sole candidate. Surely then, after hustling this far, it would be idiocy to countenance the idea that Museveni will then surrender the presidency via a mere election! This is nonsense.

If these were the 1960s  or 1980s, surely there would be armed groups fighting Mr Museveni. But the times changed. Presently, even if any groups wanted and did so successfully, they would not govern.

The international community, which is the benefactors of  Third World economies like Uganda, will never allow. The World Bank only lends money to governments with the mandate of the people.  But the 21st century is an era of urban protests. 

Under the language of human rights, and freedoms, street protests remain the only legitimate way through which governments fall – and many have fallen.  Sitting presidents have to be simply stampeded out of office.

Strangely, some of our opposition junkies are genuinely united in their blindness to this rather simple analysis of contemporary history.  Others – by far the majority – are content with the status quo. 

Dragging their innocent compatriots along, they are now busy fighting each other in a silly pursuit of a united opposition.  If they were to unite and front a single candidate, the winner would still be the incumbent. Thus, it makes a great deal of sense for Mr Museveni to mediate and finance a united opposition against him. This, however, will not only be too expensive to pull off, but also difficult to technically manage.

To this end, the ongoing confusion in the opposition surely bothers him.  His victory is guaranteed if the opposition united so quickly – on their own resources – and challenge him in an election. 

But besides the financial trauma of buying off  a united opposition (which is easy but expensive), Uganda’s  opposition politicians have done a great job numbing the riotous spirits of the masses. 

By looking up to them, Ugandans masses have become passive onlookers awaiting the opposition to deliver them to the promised land. [This is why Bobi Wine’s campaign to have Ugandans pick their IDs – which, by extension, invites them to actively participate in their politics – ironically, bothers the state].

There are two ways of thinking about this: one, the more disorganised the opposition continues, the more the masses will be reminded of their own initiative, and power in their hands.  Second, if opposition parties conflicted and started fighting violently within the streets, it is difficult to predict their end. 

A mild scuffle at the compound of CBS radio in Mengo might turn violent and end as a major protest on the streets of Kampala and finally knock on the gates of Nakasero State Lodge.

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

Comments

+2 #1 Omuzira Ente 2019-03-07 13:38
President Museveni will leave power at any one time but who is to blame

1. In Uganda all educated people leave politics to the jobless who certificates failed to grant them a white color job.

2. The unemployed politicians hide under the president to continue eating

3. Many unemployed youth in the opposition are being used to fight the very change they strive to see because of money

4. very job Gen. Mugisha Muntu is trying to do.

5.Its high time for Press conference politicians like Dr.Abedi Bwanika, Hon Mabike, Hon Mao, Mr.Sadam Gayira and non-Constituency DPs find their our constituencies in preparation of 2021 other than issuing press statement of which party should be in which area.

6. The foundation of People power is the 150MPs who voted NO to constitutional change some are NRM, DP, FDC and Independents this is the group that Dr. Besigye and Hon Kyagulanyi are preparing to sell to the people in a fight to win all other NRM constituencies
Report to administrator
+1 #2 Wooden K. 2019-03-07 17:26
Yeah , this may not be a page from Animal Farm , but it surely is animal science.

Lions are clever viciuos preditors ; but their success to catch antelops is not so great.

The antelops learnt a long time ago that lions lock into one prey and chase it down . So , when antelops detect a lion , they first jump up and down to show that they are tick ; and when the chase is on , they scatter and run into very many directions.

The lion is fooled into thinking that they are scared and disorganised . Lion gets confused ; "locking system" is not activated as a result.

Musanvu is a cunning locker . The opposition must borrow and apply antelop science .

Adeke , the bird said this : if men have learnt to shoot without missing their mark , we have to learn how to fly without pearching .
Things Fall Appart .
Report to administrator
+6 #3 ejakait engoraton 2019-03-08 15:07
YUSUF, you have really decided or have a bone to pick with politicians, and y so doing, and making people think that the problem lies solely with the politicians, I think inadvertently or by design, you are playing in to M 7s hands.

The problem we have in Uganda is multifaceted and all of us have had a part to play; politicians, the clergy, you the journalist or the so called fourth estate or whatever you want to call yourselves, the business people, the local citizens; all of us to a lesser or greater degree.

We have first to admit that we are dealing with, maybe not very clever in the conventional way, but a very cunning, ruthless and evil entity.

One who has all the means at their disposal , the army, police, security organs(coercion), the money(persuasion), as well as bribery, blackmail and a lot worse..

It will take someone or something with a far greater advantage or luck or just force majeure for us to overcome this sad situation.
SAY A PRAYER
Report to administrator
0 #4 Akot 2019-03-09 01:01
Wooden K., thanks.

The more confused, divided Ugandans are, the more stronger Museveni gets because he too, does not know what next to do, but is on top & has all the means needed to just go on, even when he does NOTHING, but destroy Uganda & it's lost, confused people without leadership for change!

Algerians don't have the leadership it takes, yet they are UNITED, as all those who really need change of ruler do.

Ugandans behave as if the country formed by tribal lands started existing with Museveni & will be no more without him, so they do everything to ensure the demon just goes on & what better means for the demon but the tribalistic system & divided opposition dividing an already divided people!

It as if opposition are asking Museveni to help them out!
Report to administrator
0 #5 Akot 2019-03-09 01:09
ejakait engoraton, thanks.

Every section of Ugandan society is helping Museveni just go on & opposition parties are doing it with perfection!

But then again, change of ruler is brought about by: the poor, oppressed, illiterate, those who want education/healthcare, help to subsidise & modernise agriculture, the educated who want good governance to ensure the future of their own children & that of the country...

Ugandans have become experts in figfhting themselves, being used by Museveni against one another & change of ruler is not on their agenda!

Even without the so needed National leadership to UNITE Ugandans, tribal leaders could just form Independent Tribal States & Museveni would be clocked out of every tribal land!

But Ugandans can't live without Museveni & are ensuring he goies no where!
Report to administrator

Comments are now closed for this entry