Opinion: Besigye launches ‘Tubalemese Campaign’; What about those unfinished ones and will the public be behind him?
I am not a critic of Dr. Kizza Besigye, I am a supporter and a well-wisher of the cause of the man, who is one of the founding men behind, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and a hardliner against the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni regime. This should be well-known, so before you critique me over this, let it be known. I just want the best for the cause and for the total destruction of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government. That would be golden and the best. To destroy what is there and then rebuild. Since the Ugandan government is rotten to its core and its roots are rotten, because the President want to direct order everything from the State House.
In November 2015 before the General Election of 2016, the then newly elected Presidential Candidate for the FDC, Besigye launched the ‘Defiance Campaign’. A campaign that has been suspended by the authorities, have gotten him house-arrested and also gotten many of his allies detained. This campaign really showed the impunity of the state against the opposition. Also, how much the state uses their resources to take control, instead of actually having a real democracy. The Campaign of Defiance really undressed it once and for all. With all the roadblocks, the closed off stadiums and rallies, all the activity that has been stopped and the live-bullets together with tear-gas. The proof of the impunity can be traced to the Campaign of Defiance, combined with the swearing-in of Besigye as People’s President. As he was taken to Moroto and was charged with treason. A charge he still has to this day and a court case that is still not dismissed.
In May 2017, Besigye launched the ‘My Land My Country’ Campaign against the Constitutional Amendment that was pointed to make it easier for the government to expropriate land for public use or development. A Constitutional Amendment that the President has had a Radio Campaign for late last year, while Besigye himself was blocked from doing similar. This campaign has come on the back-burner as the other Constitutional Amendment and campaigning against that took the most of the energy of the opposition in November and December 2017.
So now in January 2018, the People’s President has launched another Campaign, the Tubalemese, which could be seen as inspiration from the National Super Alliance (NASA) campaigns after the turbulent days after the second presidential election in October 2017. The newly inspired campaign seems like and sounds like what the NASA is doing in Kenya. That meaning FDC is taking advice and following the Odinga paradigm. Since the Besigye plans and former campaigns has not made fruits or made the juice. It has not created a ripple effect. After a while it has died down and nothing sustainable gained.
We cannot see anything significant happen out of the defiance campaign, the momentum and the popularity of Besigye. Didn’t make changes or make it possible for a transition from Museveni. Since the fear of smearing and weapons of the President could hurt the ones who turns against him. Museveni is without mercy and without any of a rebellion. Therefore, as long as the campaigns have been made with half-heartly, he have let them happen and when they are spinning. He uses the police force and the courts to stifle them. That is why its sad to say, at the top of the Defiance campaign, the Besigye leadership and people around him didn’t push it further. They just stopped and let it go.
Besigye lost his traction, the My Land My Country, never really got anywhere and the campaigns haven’t made progress. There been more substance of the giving of foods to Isingiro and other districts, than what the campaign on land could ever gain. The FDC and the newly elected leadership should focus on one campaign, use the newly elected leadership on the front-line together Besigye. Not let him stand there alone in the darkest hour, but support him when the rain start to fall. They are there in the sunshine and when they need his popularity. However, when the darkest hour comes, they flee like insects to find either food or light.
Besigye deserves credit, he deserves support and his persistence and hard-work should be recognized. He has fought for the cause for so long and with such bravado. Not like he has given up or given in. However, Lukwago are there and uses his position. Certain others do to, but there should be more people around to show the respect for the cause. Besigye needs ground support and needs to see the public swing in his favor. The fear of repression has to stop at one point.
If this campaign is no more than a public display and a PR stunt. The public deserves better and Besigye deserves so as well. I want him to succeed. However, so many other campaigns has run into the sand. So much squabble and fighting that has not changed the system or taken away any power for the President.
But we do know if the President and his security agents feels the pressure, the opposition will be arrested on phony charges, his leaders around him too. They will not be allowed to breathe, the Kasangati home will he a prison and he cannot even go out an buy meat at the market. Besigye knows this and the public knows this too. However, if they want Besigye to succeed. They need to stand behind on the barricades, they need to walk with him. Not only in spirit, but in action. Peace.