“Let’s stop the dishonesty & work together” Muhimbise George writes to fellow opposition leaders

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Muhimbise George

OPINION– Following the launch of the People’s Front for Transition by a section of opposition groups led by Dr Besigye, there has been manifestation of disunity among opposition political groups.

This follows a number of parties like NUP, ANT, UPC and DP shunning the launch of the said platform.

Also in the social media, there has been fights amongst the opposition groups that started long before the just concluded general elections.

At the end of these elections it is alleged that NUP wrote to opposition parties seeking for an engagement and some parties including FDC didn’t respond to this call.

Reading from the envelope, it appears some opposition leaders or are comfortable in the opposition. There is a fight on who should dominate the opposition.

These petty fights are similar to struggling to become a leader of prisoners in luzira maximum prison instead of fighting to break the prison! 

If we are genuine in pursuit for change, and if we feel that change is urgently needed, why would it be hard for Hon Kyagulanyi, Dr Besigye, Gen Muntu, Patrick Amuriat or Nobert Mao to sit on a round table and discuss how to handle the struggle?

Why are some opposition leaders quick to meet Museveni in IPOD summits than meeting fellow opposition leaders?

If hotel owners, private school owners, factory owners etc who are competitors in business can form associations to champion their issues, if religious groups which have fundamentally different beliefs can have a joint body like inter religious council that brings them together, why would it be hard for opposition parties which purport to have a common enemy to have such a platform?

Are they waiting for donors to force them to work together? Can’t they work together on issues where they agree and work independently on issues where they disagree but in a co-ordinated manner?

I think Museveni has ruled this country for 36 years not necessarily because of his skills but because of the weaknesses in the opposition leadership. 

Most often we blame Museveni for stopping our meetings, tear gassing us, stealing our votes etc, that is understandable, but is he also responsible for our failure to come together? Is he responsible for the egos that opposition leaders have of wanting to turn themselves into big fish in small ponds?

Don’t we know that by fighting amongst ourselves like grasshoppers in a bottle we make it easy for Museveni to manipulate us?

I personally have reservations on Besigye’s platform, but my problem is the opposition leaders not even giving him an opportunity to discuss his idea hopefully to make it better! 

We need to recognize that sofar there is no proven method to remove Gen Museveni from power, all that we are doing are trials which might work or not & so any efforts should be supported. 

I saw yesterday Hon Joel Senyonyi saying that Ugandans have always been united for change irrespective of divisions in the opposition groups, ofcourse he was referring to the fact that they rallied behind Hon Kyagulanyi in the last elections despite having many candidates. The same narrative was traded by Dr Besigye when he was the main opposition figure, but time reached and Ugandans moved on to another leader. 

The opposition support to a given leader is not personal to holder, some people thought it was hard for any body to garner more support than Dr Besigye, they thought it was his personal support until a time when the support shifted to Hon Kyagulanyi.

Whereas Ugandans are united in pursuit for change, it’s a fact that they need leadership. However focused citizens might be, without leadership they can’t go far.

Many peoples’ revolutions have been hijacked by militaries as long as there is a leadership vacuum. It happened in Egypt and Sudan, it recently happened in Guniea and Chad.

Once the opposition forces fail to demonstrate leadership, once they fail to demonstrate political maturity, once they fail to guide the population on what direction to take they inevitably create a vacuum. And anyone who fills that vacuum becomes a savior to them.

Ugandans are tired of NRM, they are desperately willing to rally behind anyone who gives them hope. When Besigye failed to give them hope they all shifted to Bobi Wine, if Bobi Wine fails to do so, the population will shift to whoever gives them that hope.

So it’s important for opposition leaders, most importantly at the top level to stop the shallow thinking that they can work alone or the thinking that some one is overshadowing them. It’s also important to guide their members to stop unnecessary attacks against each other. 

There is no doubt that majority of Ugandans are ready for change, all that is lacking is the ability to organize them, that calls for a joint effort by our opposition leaders, if they can’t do that then they are not worthy being called leaders and they are responsible for Museveni’s over stay.

Muhimbise Georgemuhimbiseg@gmailm.com, 0787836515The author is a member of the Alliance for National Transformation