Opinion: I expect Gen. Mugisha Muntu to start his own Political Party tomorrow!
Well, it has come to this, not this is wished upon as Retired General Mugisha Muntu has supporters all over for his moderate and strong belief in peaceful transformation of the Republic. Still, it is has not grasped enough and gotten traded in well within the Forum for Democratic Change own delegates before the recent internal elections.
Its been interesting in the aftermath of the recent internal elections, that the National Resistance Movement and their supporters has spread messages of fear and of dismay of the result. Like it where their own elections. Maybe, because there is only sole-candidacy and handpicked candidates that are getting chosen inside the NRM. Therefore, the FDC delegation and conference this recent week proven their democratic display. Not the result that Muntu or his allies wanted, but it showed that he still carries a big delegation and a loyal base. Even if Patrick Oboi Amuriat won over him.
Therefore, the change of Party President shouldn’t bring him down, but it is humiliating to lose. Still, Nathan Nandala-Mafabi did the same in the last time around and he is still a viable figure inside the Party. It is not like it is a death sentence to lose the Presidency. The first Party President was Dr. Kizza Besigye and he is still significant. Some says it his own making that Muntu has lost his place. That Besigye is all behind POA. That POA is no-one without Besigye. Besigye and POA are might both part of the same fraction of the party. Since they want the party to be more spirited with the Defiance and less of the Muntu spirited compliance.
That is also maybe reason why Muntu lost, Muntu is brave, but also shielded from a lot in the recent year. While other of the Defiance fraction has been detained and legal trouble. Muntu and friends has skated off into the sunset. This and his decisions to actually accept that the FDC are the leading opposition party in the Parliament. Which means they also formed a Shadow Government, as if they weeks and days before was saying was illegitimate. Therefore, Muntu have mad the bed himself and now has to sleep in it.
Muntu knew and knows what is brewing inside a party, who should be tired by the little movement and the stalemate. The Stalemate that is lasting now for two decades against the NRM. That Besigye, Muntu and all other in the leadership hasn’t been able at this point to have peaceful transition from the NRM. Since Museveni and his party of sole candidacy is staying either by the rigged ballots or by the guns.
“Fellow Ugandans, I would like to thank all of you for the great show of support for the pursuit of democracy as well as our concerted and continuing struggle for a better Uganda. I will be holding a press conference tomorrow at 10am at Hotel Africana. God bless you all” (Mugisha Muntu, 28.11.2017).
That is why this significant message from Muntu is telling. Since he as the former Party President should know the stakes ahead inside the FDC. It isn’t that Besigye kicked him out and got in a puppet as the Party President. But, that the moderate and careful working Muntu wasn’t proactive enough or even professing to the needed changes within the FDC.
That is why I expect him to start a new Political Party, as he will not be leader under POA or try to contest Besigye again for the Presidential Race. He rather run on his own and try to create his own party. He might bring with him many of the Shadow Government MPs and others. Muntu might bring a big group from the FDC. While FDC becoming more revolutionary and more in the spirit of defiance against the resistance.
What that will say about his, it might be a fluke or hot air like Go-Forward of Amama Mbabazi. It might be a party of the size of Conservative Party, Democratic Party or Uganda People’s Congress. But it might not have the role that FDC has and the FDC will find new leaders for the ones who left. There are lots inside the structure and the years on the sideline of the NRM.
It will not be easy for Muntu to be another one who works for himself. He has to challenge both FDC, but NRM. As well as all the rest of the Opposition parties. If that will be easy in this political climate, as the police are shutting down and silencing their consultations/meetings. That will happen with Muntu if he tries to be someone and somebody. He will not be in peace, unless he does like Beti Kamya and Uganda Federal Alliance, which is now a loyal stooge of the NRM.
We can just await and see what happens tomorrow. If he will roll out a new party, if he has plans inside the FDC or if he goes independent. There are rumors and speculations of several opposition MPs to be part of the press conference at Hotel Africana. That might happen tomorrow. We don’t know at this point, what we do know is that he has these options.
We can assume certain movement from him because he stated this after losing on the 25th November:
“I want to operate in an environment where I feel I am trusted by those that I am working with. So colleagues, I don’t want to be unfair to you nor do I want to say that you are being unfair to me. Therefore, at a personal level, there are decisions I will have to make in the coming days and weeks. I ask for your patience and prayers. We need to bear with each other even as we ponder on the decision that we will have to make. We do our part as human beings and the rest we leave it to God” (Mugisha Muntu, 25.11.2017).
So, we know he feels disgruntled, because people are unhappy with some of his actions and of some of his decisions after the General Election in 2016. It is because of that, people has lost it and he also lost vital supports inside the party. Still, Muntu will get backers from the FDC if he shifts. That will be over the Defiance, but also because of his compliance.
We will see what happens. But will Muntu do like Mbabazi and try it all on his own? Nevertheless, his party would have longer time before the next election, than what Go-Forward had before the 2016 election. Peace.