Today, Government Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo wrote an Op-ED that got published in Watchdog Uganda called ‘OFWONO OPONDO: Bobi Wine, People Power, NUP and the Poisonous Ends of Politics’. I will dissect his piece. Where I go through the most insincere paragraphs from his piece. As I will not go through it all. I will just show his sentiment and willing to distort the truth. In a manner, which isn’t right. It is not a new thing, but something that is done deliberately before.
So, before my introduction becomes to long. Here we go!
“There is evidently a disturbing sameness between Kyagulanyi and Besigye of old, seeking to exploit other people’s miseries like poverty and want for their poisonous ends. In political speak, Kyagulanyi now also calls President Museveni, ‘dictator’ and ‘corrupt’ which begs the question how toxic ideas and rogue language have found convergence allowing opportunists, demagogues, and potential fascists to gain entry and influence into mainstream politics” (OO, 09.02.2021).
It is very rich of OO calling the “usage” of poverty as an poisonous end. A government who has used poverty and the lack of funds as way of survival over the years. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have promised to enrich and secure the future since its inception. The NRM and the President have promised to be a fundamental change and secure the peasants, which it never did. So, the possible poison in the water is what the government does. Since, they can never achieve to bring wealth and secure livelihood.
Secondly, the political speak is really easy to debunk. The President call people insects, vermin and leeches. The President and states own actions deems him a dictator. When the state arrests people for their political affiliation. When the state abducts political candidates, activists and supporters. They even return dead. So, the government spokesperson should consider the acts of his peers before he name-calls the opposition. If the government was so holy, why are they targeting the opposition in this manner and what would OO call this?
“Exploiting economic hardships and unemployment especially among the youths, Kyagulangi and NUP has built networks of riff-raff vigilantes around the country mainly in urban and suburban centres to harass citizens with all sorts of malevolent tactics including physical assault, violent robbery, arson and destruction to property. If left to roam unchecked, these groups could even kill” (OO, 09.02.2021).
He continues to push the use of poverty. That is really insincere from this government. Who has used all sort of tricks and schemes to every election. The state is giving and bribing voters around every election. Not like they are not doling out small gifts, but never seen the rest of year. That he call them riff-raff, is name-calling and making his own citizens into dubious characters. However, the NRM is always proud of getting NUP cadres into its fold. Just like they are proud of getting former NUPer becoming Presidential Advisors. That says it all and the state is the ones coming with guns, violence and tear-gas. So, that appears when the state comes in and use its law enforcement. Therefore, this story is old and is a lie. The protesters are burning tires and blocking roads. They are not directly causing violence. It is the state that kills its citizens and blame the protesters.
“Kyagulanyi, initially taking advantage of his music pop stardom built a cult-like following into what the so-called ‘people power’ movement that has now morphed into a political party, the National Unity Platform (NUP), which while has a semblance of countrywide presence, in reality, the just concluded election showed it is a tribal sectarian outfit” (OO, 09.02.2021).
It is really strange when one party who can only have one sole-candidate and everyone have to follow his orders. Is saying another candidate is “cult” like. If there was a party who has built a cult it must be the Movement itself. Nobody can challenge or questions the decrees, orders and speeches of Museveni. So, to call Bobi Wine a cult like character is very dubious at best.
It has been proven that the NUP have a nationwide presence. They have been able to field candidates across all parts of the Republic. Even in the short time of inception. The NUP isn’t a Baganda outfit, even if the state tries to portray that. The NRM should be careful with this, as most of the high ranking official is Western and Ankole based. So, OO should not throw stones in a glass house. The Bizonto elite of NRM should be more silent here. They know perfectly well, that the NUP and FDC is a mixed group and collective of all tribes across the Republic.
“Like Besigye, NUP leaders tell their gullible worshippers that poverty, unemployment and corruption are creations of Museveni, and not widespread global problems including in wealthier and developed countries” (OO, 09.02.2021).
Who is gullible OO? The ones still believing the NRM saving them after 35 years? The NRM have come with the same recycled promises and still haven’t delivered. That isn’t a global problem, but a self-inflicted and self-destructive economic policies. The state is running on deficits and grants, but not on domestic revenue. That is not the poor peasants fault, but the state who haven’t made it possible to get out of it. The state is the one putting policies and financial stimulus to ensure safety for the citizens. It is where the NRM have failed and haven’t delivered.
Calling NUP out like this only shows the fault-lines and where the NRM failed. It is not an indication of wrong-doing of the opposition. That is not taking into account the years of misrule of Museveni.
“The hyped claim that FDC and NUP are the people’s popular choices has been thoroughly disproved by their performance in the just concluded election, and although failure to sell as national brands is evident, FDC and NUP leaders won’t publicly admit, hence them resorting to political slander and smear” (OO, 09.02.2021).
This here is false statement. If rigged elections are indications of NRM popularity. I would say that pre-ticked ballots and ghosts are the greatest constituencies of the Movement. Both in 2016 and 2021 the rise of the opposition was evident. The same was also shown in 2011. So, it is not like the NRM have been as popular as it was in the mid-80s and early 90s.
The NUP and FDC have proven it, but the announced results always turn in favour. Even when the tallies doesn’t make sense and the Electoral Commission have to botch the numbers. The FDC and NUP amount of MPs in comparison shows how big they become. As the state are stopping them from working as parties and get a greater presence in the Republic. It is just like the NRM are never blocked or stopped. However, the NUP and FDC have a hurdle to do basic party works. That is really important to remember. It is just like we supposed to forget the tear-gas, arbitrary arrests and blocking of venues to campaign. If that had happened to the NRM itself, which is so “popular”.
“When reality strikes back as loud noise is not turned into votes, they cry about vote fraud and rigging but will never explain to the public as to why some MPs, LC5 chairpersons and thousands of councilors are returned unopposed on NRM tickets. The presidential election petition is now being used more for publicity stunt, soliciting public empathy and foreign funding than to seek legitimate justice” (OO, 09.02.2021).
The Empire strikes back at every election. Just like previously stated, the pre-ticked ballots and ghosts are always appearing in election time. The NRM couldn’t survive the elections without disqualifying and blocking opposition from attending on a grand scale. The NRM does what the UPC did in 1980s election, every single time. That is why they are fielding candidates everywhere, while the opposition isn’t able, because the state is blocking and ensuring the opposition from getting candidates.
To credit unopposed in the gerrymandering, the vindictive system and use of state machinery to get elected officials. That OO calls it a political stunt shows the disrespect of the opposition. However, his whole piece has been that. The NRM wouldn’t be alive without foreign funding and Museveni was a donor darling. So, the NRM cannot attack the Opposition for foreign funding. When it has been so vital … for the Movement itself.
“Anyone who can see the potential dangers these groups pose to Uganda’s politics ought to take a stand so that resurgent fascists are defeated at their nascent stage, otherwise the overlap between legitimate politics and criminality could engulf the fabric of our public life” (OO, 09.02.2021).
This is the last paragraph of his piece and he has already shown his character here. It is all opposition who is in the wrong. Not that the NRM and Museveni. No, it is Besigye and Bobi Wine. They are the bastards and the villains of the political sphere. It maybe feels like that for the NRM and Museveni, as they want to be praised and loved. However, it is hard to love someone who abduct your loved ones. The ones who Court Martial your campaign team and keep them behind bars without proving evidence. Therefore, if you speak of criminality. To use the state for political prosecutions, that is a violation of their rights to assemble, gather and organize itself. Nevertheless, that is never an issue for the NRM. So, to call out criminal activity, they can never state what it was, but they still behind bars. That is the self-reflection of the wrong-doings of the state, which OO defends on the regular.
This here was a despicable piece and deserve to dishonoured. OO should consider the words his using, as it can be easily mirrored back in his face. Which I did already. Peace.