Opinion: Democratic Party and Uganda People’s Congress turns more and more into NRM-Lite!
“Power is a curious thing. Who lives, Who dies. Power resides where men believe it resides. It is a trick, A shadow on the wall.” ― Lord Varys (Game of Thrones).
“Adjective: Denoting a low-fat or low-sugar version of a manufactured food or drink product” (…) “Origin: 1950s: a commercial respelling of light, light” (Oxford Dictionary – Lite).
This here isn’t something based on evidence, but more a genuine feeling I have is not only one I share, but many others. There is something at stake and someone who has agreed the negotiations so these so-called opposition parties isn’t really so. That is why the Uganda People Congress has some MPs in the Cabinet and the same with Democratic Party. The same can be said that both of these parties, still have slots or parts of the delegations to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in Arusha.
What we do know is that James Akena, the newly concurred leader of UPC could easily do some trade-off with NRM in 2015. That isn’t just mere speculation as his party did decent and there haven’t been any controversy or lashing out from NRM MPs towards the UPC in ages. Secondly, the DP has become the good DPs and the ones that even are parts of NRM Celebrations. There is something up with these two parties, just like Uganda Federal Alliance and Beti Kamya all of a sudden is a bigger support of the NRM government than the former NRM historical’s and the NRM hardliners.
The President and his NRM CEC must see their State House visits as a blessed and ease ways of figuring out how to undress the opposition and how to deal with them. All needs a meal-ticket, the question is who will give in to the regime and at what cost. Therefore, the arrangement and the deals behind the close doors show the conning way of the illegitimate regime who uses all sorts of methods to undermine the opposition. The FDC has clearly given in too, in my book, with even becoming the shadow-government in Parliament. Something the FDC NEC shouldn’t have considered and agreed upon, because when NRM together with the President agreed to get a UPC minister and DP minister, it would be hard to have shadow-government with members from these parties. That would be rare and weird to explain.
We can even wonder if Norbert Mao even cared of losing his slot as Member of Parliament in the 10th Parliament, as the DP was behind Amama Mbabazi Presidential Candidate through the The Democratic Alliance (TDA). Why I say that now? Since he is snickering and defending the NRM on NBSFrontline, attacking Lord Mayor Lukwago and the FDC when he can, just as we would expect Akena, since he has been bought sometime during the 2015. The price and the value of the UPC is for him and his closest allies to know.
DP’s Mao on the other hand is worrying, that Fred Mukasa Mbidde went so easily and elected into the EALA, also how little care the DP has given to the DP Cabinet Member Florence Nakiwala. Who could have thought the party would trade these folks that easily? That without any worry and without care has let it go, that they have set the standard of being a mediocre party who has no courage and no fighting spirit.
Maybe, Mao has gotten tired of fighting as the campaign he himself has a Presidential Candidate was sour, it wasn’t a joyful journey as the promises and the ride against the police force wasn’t ideal. Therefore, the battle even for his own MPs place got lost and as a leader who isn’t in Parliament, while the ones in Parliament are getting cosy with the NRM. That might be why Mao is complied with the forged friendships and trading in Parliament, to make sure they can gain the most. Still, the value and integrity of DP is dwindling, with every forged agreement with NRM makes them more and more alike, less different.
The NRM regime and NRM caucus in Parliament is adding DP and UPC, they are just turning into branches of the regime instead of being rooted on their own and on their own framework. It is just like Mao and Akena, just shift-bosses instead of being their own factory leaders. They work less for their own product and delivery, more and more to please the Executive through agreements and negotiations.
That is why the NRM has swallowed their paths and the lacking spine of DP and UPC has given way for this. Therefore, the current affairs and state makes them like a light version of the NRM. For this reason DP = NRM Lite and UPC = NRM Lite. Both parties are old and have a long history; they were established long before NRM, still the abolishment from Obote, made the other obsolete. So Museveni’s trick of being in the shadows of these parties before and after the parties, this is essentially killing of the multi-party system. That the NRM are tarnishing the DP and UPC to becoming NRM knocks-offs.
All of this is mere speculation, but still, there aren’t any official agreements in public between UPC and DP towards to the NRM, but their friendliness and co-operations are evident of certain negotiated deals. You will not hear Akena or the UPC complain about the NRM, just like Mao suddenly defends on national TV their position towards NRM and attacks Lukwago. There is just some uncertainty of how and what they have done behind closed doors. Beyond a shadow of a doubt some worrying signs that can and should be questioned, especially not accept as the acceptance of these parties to the NRM gives way to establish deep concerns of the value of opposition at all in Uganda. Since the DP and UPC have been thresholds for such, now it is FDC, even with a FDC NEC who doesn’t concern their legitimising the Parliament.
We all should ask and question the recent efforts from DP and UPC as legitimate opposition, even as parties without connections or how possibly they have accepted agreements with Movement. This surpass the judgement and the recognition of their existence, it is more the mere fact of lacking attention to transparency and accountability, as they are giving way to a regime who certainly does not care about procedures or acts or rule of law. The parties are therefore giving the Movement acceptance and are silently supporting their rule with these sorts of acts. Certainly, something the founders of these parties would turn in their graves and wanted to resurrect to adjust the malfunctions of these parties. Peace.