There was once upon a time the Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC) for the 2011. This was a coalition of six parties, while three parties later had a fall out with it and its choices. Therefore, the Democratic Party (DP), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) both went out and ran on their own. DP and UPC wanted to run their own Presidential Candidates, while SDP was furious that the mayoral choice for Kampala. We know that this didn’t work at this General Election. The coalition in the end was a mix of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Conservative Party and Justice Forum (JEEMA).
For the 2016 General Election there was another Opposition Coalition in play. This was the Democratic Alliance (TDA), which consisted of various of opposition parties too. However, here the parties that pulled out of it was the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) to field their own Presidential Candidate. The ones remaining was the pressure group Go Forward (Amama Mbabazi), Pressure for National Unity (PNU) Gilbert Bukenya, Democratic Party (DP), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and Justice Forum (JEEMA). We see here that DP and UPC didn’t ditch it, as Norbert Mao couldn’t run and James Akena didn’t run for the Presidency this time. Because these parties challenged with Mao (DP) in 2011 and Olara Otunnu (UPC), but this round they couldn’t or wasn’t fit. That is why they supported the candidacy of Amama Mbabazi (Go Forward). We know that Amama and the TDA flame fizzled out quickly.
So, when I heard today that the Pressure Group People’s Power Movement (PPM), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Justice Forum (JEEMA), Truth and Justice (TJ), Conservative Party (CP), Democratic Party (DP) and Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) are all involved in the United Forces for Change (UFC) for the 2021 General Elections.
The main leaders this time is Dr. Kizza Besigye (FDC) and Robert Kyagulanyi (PPM). Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) Mugisha Muntu has opted out and at this time his right not to join. His reasons are clear, but it’s a bit funny. Because he had no issues with joining the Special Utility Vehicle (SUV) of the Democratic Party (DP) and the union of similar parties. So, in this regard it might be spite, because he would still be in the shadow of former leader and party president of the FDC. That is just how it looks from the outside looking in. When leaders from all the other opposition parties are joining. Not that its shocking, but don’t expect everyone to join the ride.
Expect the DP to fall out, as Mao has grudges with Besigye. JEEMA, TJ and CP will be on the ride the whole time. They only gain positives by it and have a bigger platform during the election cycle. However, with the past history. The grinding questions of how close the UPC is to the NRM. There will only be fringes of the party to join the UFC. Akena will not ditch the money train of the NRM Alliance to be part of UFC. Also with all the things Mao has done behind the scenes, I don’t expect him to run behind Besigye and Bobi Wine. His already a bit mad at Besigye for some unfortunate reason. So, we can only imagine that he will ditch out here for the DP Block and whatever he calls it. So, I anticipate the UPC and DP to tell its members to come home. If they don’t than they are betraying their parties. That is why Lukwago is a TJ and not a DP anymore.
Let me clear after all that said: Yes, I want change, but if you cannot see a pattern here. These platforms, these coalitions aren’t making it. There is a reason there is a need for many challengers. The strength, their vision and their manifestos comes out and can change things up. To beat the NRM by the polls, by an election is futile. That has been proven since 1986. Not because of lack of trying. Not because there haven’t candidates suitable or popular to beat Museveni. No, because there haven’t been the will to give way for a peaceful transition. Museveni will not loose now either. He will rig the election into oblivion. No matter what the opposition throws at it, the results will be about the same. Just different faces, unless they want to show civil disobedience and actually attack the heart of the government. Break it down to its knees and ensure its downfall. That will cost, but through the polls. I can assure you, nothing will happen. The status quo continues and the same party reign supreme. They got the guns and the authorities to send the others packing.
The UFC will have the same fate as IPC and TDA. Maybe more finesse behind Bobi Wine than a insider and friendly NRMer in Amama. Still, the UFC will only have a fools hope. Just like Frodo in the Lord of the Rings. As Gandalf said in ‘The Return of the King’:
“‘Tell me,’ he said, ‘is there any hope? For Frodo, I mean; or at least mostly for Frodo.’ Gandalf put his hand on Pippin’s head. ‘There never was much hope,’ he answered. ‘Just a fool’s hope, as I have been told. And when I heard of Cirith Ungol–‘ He broke off and strode to the window, as if his eyes could pierce the night in the East. ‘Cirith Ungol!’ he muttered. ‘Why that way, I wonder?’ He turned. ‘Just now, Pippin, my heart almost failed me, hearing that name. And yet in truth I believe that the news that Faramir brings has some hope in it. For it seems clear that the Enemy has opened his war at last and made the first move when Frodo was still free. So now for many days he will have his eye turned this way and that, away from his own land. And yet, Pippin, I feel from afar his haste and fear. He has begun sooner than he would. Something has happened to stir him.”- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
In the same way I look at this UFC. Not because I don’t want the junta, the militarized government and the oppressors out the Republic and into a proper civilian government. I want all of that to happen. The injustice has been going on for far too long. However, using similar tricks to beat the same dragon. I doubt it will have affect. Even if it has a new potential leader and could be the Frodo who gets the ring to Mount Doom to change history of Middle Earth to break the power of Sauron and Mordor. Still, that is a fools errand to believe that, even if the hope is there. Just like it was plenty of times with Besigye.
We need the hope and have fate that someone will bring the ring to Mount Doom. However, is this the team and the pacifier to stop the NRM? I don’t have the answer… I really don’t, but I just want them to challenge the authorities head-on and not play games that has been fought before. The names changes, but the end game stays the same.
Bobi Wine is maybe Frodo here, but that is only a lucky guess. Then Besigye is his Samwise Gamgee. But we don’t know that and Sauron continues to deploy his troops and ensure that no one gets unscratched by his army of Orcs. Right? You get the drill?
I don’t have the answers, but I just feel we are repeating history without crossing the authorities with enough power and finesse. We are doing the same old thing and getting nowhere. Stalling awaiting for the lucky brother to find the Ring in the river and get turned into Gollum. Instead of being a Frodo going into a journey, which will change everything, but will also cost. Peace.