There are just some days, the true colors of some people appear, the real reason and the double-edged sword comes into play. There are times when the grandeur of support dwindles away like a dot-com bubble. It is this time and this sort of attacks within own party shouldn’t exist. Apparently it do, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), has been a party where the different leaders has discussed matters and followed protocol. Also, ever since Reform Agenda of early 2000s the leadership has changed and other deserters from National Resistance Movement has come into the fold.
It has been the strongest opposition party because of how the internal party organization has been built, the trust between the aides of leaders and the members. This has been an element of a party structure that has been done with grass-root work and steady campaigning. The proof of being different and also wanting a possible peaceful change from the Museveni era. That has not happen, because of the oppression and the constant rigging. Also, the control of the army. Therefore, you can wonder why Besigye who was part of the foundation and creator of FDC are no under-fire from his own. That also sounding like Mwenda, who has become the giant commentator who really despises him. I wouldn’t expect this sort of words form someone in the FDC NEC, but everything is allowed in politics, I guess.
Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju on the 16th August 2017:
“That is how many FDCs, including sophisticated ones like Musumba, viewed anyone who dared contest against Besigye. This is because Besigye is the most charismatic and selfless leader that the FDC either has inherited or produced. He is nearly more popular than the party. Contesting against him is almost criminal, punishable by isolation and other social boycotts. Yet that is exactly what motivated Muntu. I remember interviewing him while still working with The Observer and he feared FDC was making the same mistake senior leaders in the NRM made – not contesting against Museveni. Today, we still have people in FDC who think Col Besigye’s word is law and opposing it is a crime. Unfortunately, some of them are senior leaders. When you win over state power with that sort of mentality, I am sure you will be another criminal gang. Because Besigye’s mobilization and presidential campaign catchword was ‘defiance’, even those who have never chased a caterpillar in their lives are dismissing the rest of the party members as being “compliant”. Therefore, to them, this campaign for the FDC presidency is between defiance and compliance. The truth of the matter is that this campaign is between blind loyalists and those opposed to the idea” (Ssemujju, 2017).
Andrew Mwenda on the 7th January 2017:
“Dr. Kizza Besigye is totally convinced that he has a large number of extremely loyal supporters armed with fanatical zeal to die for him. Besigye supporters are equally convinced that they have a leader willing to die for their cause. Both sides are involved in a game of deceit and deception and here is how. Besigye die hards are either cowards or hypocrites or both. While they make the loudest noise on how they are ready to die for him, they have done nothing (except for insulting critics on social media) to prove they are worthy of their claims. Each time Besigye goes to town, Kale Kayihura sends only eight (8) police men who pick Besigye like chicken, bundle him over a pickup truck and take him to police as these “ready-die-for-our-man” fanatics watch helplessly. For many months after the elections in February 2016, Kayihura kept a small police contingent at Besigye’s home of not more than 20 police officers. This “large mass” of “ready-to-die-for-our-man” people couldn’t pass this small poorly equipped force to rescue their hero. What kind of loyalty is this? Besigye is deluded to believe in his fanatics” (Andrew Mwenda, 07.01.2017).
Why did I take a Facebook article from Mwenda and this week attack piece from Ssemujju, it is because they use same sort of form to attack Besigye. It is special and unique. I never thought Ssemujju would use the same of tricks of the trade to address greatest Museveni nemesis Besigye. This is just weird. Because, Ssemujju has often been a man of reason, a man of sound judgment, but this time, I beg to differ.
Mwenda wrote this: “Dr. Kizza Besigye is totally convinced that he has a large number of extremely loyal supporters armed with fanatical zeal to die for him. Besigye supporters are equally convinced that they have a leader willing to die for their cause”. We can easily detect that anyone supporting Besigye has to be a die-hard supporter and dying for his cause. Because the support of Besigye has to be this hard, then seeing Ssemujju: “Today, we still have people in FDC who think Col Besigye’s word is law and opposing it is a crime. Unfortunately, some of them are senior leaders. When you win over state power with that sort of mentality, I am sure you will be another criminal gang. Because Besigye’s mobilization and presidential campaign catchword was ‘defiance’, even those who have never chased a caterpillar in their lives are dismissing the rest of the party members as being “compliant””. You can see that Ssemujju also calls Besigye radicals, as it is criminal not supporting him inside the FDC. That is the coded language used for, that the ones standing against Besigye is a “criminal gang”. This sort of addressing it, shows how he tries to make the decisions of Besigye into attack on the FDC Organization. That since Besigye has and wanted to be different than the NRM and the government itself. Since, if they gave way to the government, then there was no difference. If Besigye supporters really did boycott and stopped being part of state, the FDC would be legitimate opposition party. What is worrying is how he uses the same sort of words to address Besigye.
I would not expect that Ssemujju would write in a manner of Mwenda, but he did. It is right, Besigye is not perfect, but he has given way to other parts of the party, that has opened windows of more than just “hard-liners”. If it wasn’t so, the FDC NEC wouldn’t have the power and the ability to become a Shadow Government with Shadow Cabinet. Something Gen. Mugisha Muntu and Party President was voting for, while Besigye was in house-arrest and detained. If Ssemujju feared the prison and the oppression to the levels of Besigye, he might have turned a bit more radical himself. But safety of Parliament salaries and remuneration must surely put the ideology on the side.
It is a sad sight seeing Ssemujju turning this way, instead of actually being honest, being up-front for why he uses Besigye, who is not standing for the FDC Presidency and that Gen. Muntu is also an incumbent. Another “No-Change”. Since Gen. Muntu has been the Party President since 2012 after Besigye stepped down after being elected in 2005. So it is not like Besigye acts like he is bigger than FDC. That is lie, if it was so he would be like Museveni who is the Party President and the President of the Republic. Its a big difference there. So the rants against Besigye and his supporters should be futile. If not it is the Muntu fraction that fears the Besigye supporters will be behind his aide Byamugisha.
But it is with sadness, that a bright mind like Ssemujju are using rhetoric and tricks of Mwenda’s playbook. Sorry brother, you should know better and should also be wiser. You are FDC leader, not a NRM Stooge, right? You give respect to Besigye, but same time slams him. What are you trying to say, only the ones supporting Muntu and his side of the Party are the ones justified? Since Besigye garn different kind of support, but you will quickly embrace the man, when you need votes?
Is that your game as well, we have seen similar acts of late, when the chips are down the people leave the fold, but when the tide is rising the people come running back. Peace.
Ssemujju, Ibrahim Nganda – ‘Why I am for Gen Muntu this time’ (16.08.2017) link: http://observer.ug/viewpoint/54408-why-i-am-for-gen-muntu-this-time.html