Omoro County By-Election: The battle-lines is getting drawn ahead of the polls…

 

Since the late speaker Jacob Oulanyah died in Seattle, United States of America there has been a vacant seat in the 11th Parliament. When the news of his demise and death came to the forefront. There was not only a play for who would succeed him as the Speaker, but who would takeover his seat as well.

This is the first time in a while since a National Resistance Movement MP died in office. The last time there was an assassination of Ibrahim Abiriga in the 10th Parliament. That election became a violent and a horrid affair. The late speaker won the seat in 2006 and never looked back. He was the incumbent and it became his seat. Now, this will be opening up.

Here is the vital news from the candidacies in the race. While there is no news about the Independents that ran in the 2021 General Election who lost to Oulanyah. These have not returned for now. We have to wait who the Electoral Commission is putting on the ballots, but the parties are ushering in their candidates.

This is the reports for now and then two rumours in the end…

The DP:

The Democratic Party DP has pulled out of the Omoro County parliamentary by-election. The move came shortly after Godwin Okello a DP aspirant withdrew his candidature from the race on Tuesday. Okello was the only aspirant who publicly expressed interest to vie for the position under DP after the electoral commission announce a vacancy in the constituency last month” (Capital FM Uganda, 05.05.2022).

The FDC:

We unveil Mr Owani Denis Dickson as our flag bearer for Omoro county in the upcoming parliamentary by-election and Ms Ayo Mercy as our flag bearer -District Councilor for Lalogi/Lakwaya Subcounties Our structured campaign will be coordinated by Hon. O’Jara PP. Okin the Member of Parliament for Chua West” (Forum for Democratic Change, 29.04.2022).

The Justice Forum (JEEMA):

Mega’s CD Brian Alaka Comes Out To Take Contest For Late Jacob Oulanyah’s Omoro Parliamentary Seat as the days for nomination of candidates draw nearer. According to the Electoral Commission road map, the nomination of candidates will take place from May 12th to May 13, 2022, at Omoro District Council Hall. The campaigns will take place from May 16th 2022” (Luo Tunes, 01.05.2022).

The National Unity Platform:

Who is Toolit Simon Akecha , the NUP flag bearer For omoro County?

National Unity Platform (NUP) / People Power has fronted Former FDC Member Toolit Simon AKECHA as its flag-bearer in the upcoming Omoro County by-election. Toolit is the former Omoro County MP (FDC) who in 2016 narrowly lost the seat to Hon Jacob Oulanya with 11,044 votes against Toolit’s 9,088 votes. In that election, there were a record breaking 2,173 invalid votes recorded in the declaration form that Toolit claimed they were his and sued Oulanya and NRM for electoral fraud and massive rigging. He is poised to be the main challenger to NRM Candidate Andrew OJOK, a son to the late Jacob Oulanya” (Nile TV, 26.04.2022).

The NRM candidate – Andrew Ojok Oulanyah:

How easy was it to get all the other six NRM aspirants to step down for you? They only stepped down in solidarity with the family. Two weeks ago, before the party issued its official position, we were not sure whether we would undergo primary elections and who the candidate would be. I want to thank the NRM party chairman (President Museveni) who eventually gave me the flag” (Tobbias Jolly Owino – ‘I wake up every day knowing I have to finish my father’s task – Ojok Oulanyah’ 01.05.2022, Daily Monitor).

First Rumour:

This haven’t been verified but been spread online. That there was a supposed gathering/meeting between the Democratic Party (DP), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and the National Resistance Movement (NRM), which was to support the NRM candidate ahead of the polls. As the three parties was afraid to challenge NUP’s Toolit. That meeting was done in the middle-of-April this year and to ensure it.

In that regard, we know the DP dropped out and we have to see if the UPC will do the same. That will be striking and evidence of the possible secret agreement. However, unless the minutes and the signed agreement comes into the public sphere… until that happens this is just a rumour.

Second rumour:

That the Omoro RDC Ladit Onyuk Andrew is directly campaigning and using his office to campaign for the NRM candidate in the county. That is very evident by his Facebook profile and how his using his office for the bidding of Ajok Oulanyah. This is most likely true and has been reported on by the newspapers since mid-April as well. Therefore, this rumour is genuine.

This election going to be contested. Expect arrests, election-violence and insincere statements by the authorities. The By-Election going to be a proof of the foothold of the NRM in Omoro County. The machinery will camp in the Omoro County. To expect something else is foolish. As they want to settle and have the son of the speaker to get the seat in Parliament.

However, the battle of Toolit and Oulanyah will be a hectic one. Expect the rallies of the NUP to be tear-gassed and get into trouble. While the NRM will campaign everywhere and use vast funds on voter-tourism. That is what the NRM has done for over a decade now. They will come in with the army, the whole state machinery, use of buses and free food for the masses. Small tokens and gifts to SACCO’s too. That is what the state does to suddenly showering the locals. However, the state will not invest in the hospitals or the health care centres. No, that will not happen…

I wouldn’t expect anything else. This might be this terms Arua By-Election. The same sort of drive and possibilities are here. Because, the stakes are high and the will of the NRM to settle the score. The use of the authorities and the state resources will be shown. Nothing should shock you, but be aware. It might even look like a war-zone in the tiny window to the polls, as the state wants to signal that their candidate is the way out. Peace.

National Unity Platform (NUP): Statement on Propaganda about IPOD Funding (18.02.2022)

Opinion: Have the NRM amended article 29 of the 1995 Constitution? [Since Besigye is warned about demonstrating again!]

1995 Constitution states in Article 29 (1):

(1) Every person shall have the right to—

d) freedom to assemble and to demonstrate together with others peacefully and unarmed and to petition; and

(e) freedom of association which shall include the freedom to form and join associations or unions, including trade unions and political and other civic organisations” (Constitution, 1995).

You could think we are retuning back in time, but however… we are in 2022 and not in 2015 or 2016. Neither are we in the 2010 or 2011. The Public Order Management Act (POMA) is still enforced in combination with the Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) in consideration with the global coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Uganda Police Force (UPF) is directly warning Besigye in end of January 2022… is like a deja vu.

As reported earlier today:

Addressing journalists on Monday, Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said security has got intelligence information indicating that in order to pull off the planned protests, Dr.Besigye is planning to reawaken the Power 10, a structure formed towards the 2016 polls as FDC’s election mobilisation task force. “We have intelligence information that Dr. Besigye and other opposition activists intend to reactivate Power 10 to cause acts of disobedience and mayhem in the city. They have so far recruited five persons per village and cell but we know Dr. Besigye as a professional agitator for violence and warn him that the Public Order Management Act is still in place and they have to ask for permission from police before carrying out their activities,” Enanga said” (Kenneth Kazibwe – ‘Dont be tempted to organise protests- Police warn Besigye’ 31.01.2022, Nile Post).

We know that this time around that Dr. Kizza Besigye has his own pressure group and coalition, which is the People’s Front for Transition (PFT) and the Red Card Movement. It is clear that the state still fears for his reach and popularity. As they are warning him to not demonstrate or riot. Which is blocking the rights of any citizen and it’s stipulated in the 1995 Constitution in Article 29.

It is not new that the Anti-Besigye Act or the POMA act has been made to stifle and stop demonstrations, after the near successful Walk to Work demonstrations in 2011. The POMA is made in such a fashion, that anyone has to apply and fill certain criteria to be able to demonstrate or protest. Therefore, we know if Besigye or any allies applies to do so. It will be denied or not get allowed to do so, in regard to public safety. While the state can gather and show-up everywhere with the convoys, meetings and conferences for that matter.

The PFT and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) will not be able to show a public disdain. That is deliberate by the state and we know it. This have been done for years and is nothing new. However, the state and the NRM would be more sincere, if they just amended the Article 29 and took away the right to demonstrate. As it is near to impossible… and the ones who wishes to do so cannot really do it.

Besigye is only one who would get this warning. This could be equally be given to Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and his National Unity Platform (NUP) or the People Power Movement. As they would get under the same scrutiny or pressure from the state to cease these sorts of activities. Since, the state wouldn’t allow that to happen. Just like they haven’t allowed concerts or plenty of gatherings by the NUP in the recent years.

Therefore, Besigye is just having … the same problems as before… the FDC and PFT should anticipate this and it’s nothing new. The UPF and the NRM is just continuing their oppression and lack of tolerance towards dissidents. Peace.

Opinion: Todwong’s fool’s errand

The Interparty Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) is still engaging the National Unity Platform (NUP) so that it joins them. In a document released by the IPOD council chairperson who doubles as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) secretary general, Richard Todwong, he said as leaders of different political parties, they are still engaging NUP as to convince them to join IPOD. “We want them to work together towards finding solutions to the governance and political challenges we may experience as a country,” he said” (Simon Peter Tumwine – ‘We are still engaging NUP to join IPOD, says Todwong’ 04.01.2022, New Vision).

The National Resistance Movement Secretary General Richard Todwong and IPOD council chairman has work ahead of him. In the same article the National Unity Platform Secretary General David Lewis Rubongoya says at this point it’s not purposeful to join the IPOD. Where he stated the IPOD has to change and listen to the stipulations the NUP gave, which we know the NRM won’t do.

That is why we know the document and IPOD mission to get the NUP in the fold is a suicide mission. Unless, they are open for a revolution and total changes, as we know the IPOD haven’t dropped anything of sense in ages. The last big conferences or heads of parties has been a big presser and an envelope session.

So, I understand why NUP doesn’t see the relevance to be sitting around with Party Presidents and await for His Excellency to lecture everyone before dipping back to one of the State House’s or ranches. The NRM SG could be honest about it, but don’t expect it.

The IPOD didn’t help the parties in the manner of Public Order Management Act (POMA) and the other means of the state to oppress the opposition. This forum is a wasted forum and an organization who only buys the President time and make him see who he can compromise. The IPOD isn’t all that and I am glad that the NUP see this.

The NUP is just showing it has no intentional works in the future. They just wants everyone on the platform and at the venues when they are gathering. It looks better when all the major parties are at the event and conferences. Just like it looked bad the times Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) boycotted it. Clearly, that wasn’t enough and it wasn’t like that changed things either.

The NRM SG can make it believe that the IPOD has a mission and wants to achieve things. However, that is far and beyond at this point. The ones funding this should see it for themselves. Nevertheless, they are just the credit-card and the bank willing to fund this foolish enterprise, which leads to a road leading to nowhere. There is no end in sight and neither any objectives. It is just existing and become a pathetic organization.

Todwong can act like IPOD is relevant and has a place, but that doesn’t make it true. I cannot remember any achievements or any sort of “governance” changes coming out of IPOD. That is just the mere fact. The NRM Caucus and it’s documents has more value than any of these gatherings… and that says a lot. Even forgotten letters from the President has a significant possibility to change things. But… IPOD… who …. are …. we …. kidding?

Right?

Todwong stop this charade and get out of here. This is nonsense and you know it. Peace.

Justice Forum (JEEMA): JEEMA End of Year Press Briefing on Affairs of the Country (30.12.2021)

Opinion: The PFT of Besigye doesn’t seem well-planned…

It is not the first time that Dr. Kizza Besigye and his allies in the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) have worked alone and without much outside support. However, the establishment of the People’s Front for Transition (PFT) isn’t build on a strong foundation. At least not in concern with other opposition allies.

This week it is clear that Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and Democratic Party (DP) isn’t really involved as it was stated in the launch. Where some fractions of the parties was part of it. There was one piece of UPC members and the DP Block. Those have been dismissed by the parties itself.

As well, as the spats and dismissals from the National Unity Platform (NUP) which would be the most important ally at this stage and time. The NUP is the biggest opposition party and has a similar agenda, as the FDC. They are maybe different in the manner of which they operate. Still, the objective and the end-game is about the same. NUP and FDC both works for a peaceful transition from dictator Museveni.

That Besigye have the best intentions and will with the upstart of PFT. I have no doubt in my mind and with his experience of doing this. I know that he wants to succeed and wants to assemble a collective for change. He doesn’t want people to give up and stop the cause. A cause, which he has dedicated his whole career too.

The PFT has been painful from the start. There is usually growing pains of an organization, but this is just hectic from the early beginning. You can wonder how this was communicated and organized. Since everyone in and around is either distancing itself from it or they are minor fractions participating, except for the main party FDC.

This means that except for the FDC. Justice Forum (JEEMA), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and People’s Progressive Party (PPP). There isn’t much great support in the opposition for it. There is no joint effort here and there is nothing pushing it together. Because, the launch made it believe to be bigger.

The JEEMA, SDP and PPP isn’t parties of which has big significance. They are JEEMA and PPP have one MP each and that’s about it. The SDP was part of DP Block and seems like the Michael Mabikke’s briefcase party. Therefore, the strenght of the pressure group or coalition is on thin-ice.

It is not like it’s a big unite and brigade. Yes, they are collective, but not a sort of unifying you would need. The PFT is weak because of this. When the DP and UPC also reacts like they do. Then you know that the PFT wasn’t launched in order to have them sufficiently participating in it. Like there wasn’t meetings, consultations or even gatherings to make it happen. Therefore, it wasn’t only NUP who ditched out of it. Nearly nobody joined and the ones who did… well … they have to move mountains with their bare hands.

The PFT needs a boost and Besigye needs to consult with the others. That is if it has a mission and goal to be strong functioning unit of the opposition. Clearly, there has been an aftermath that the PFT didn’t want. This is just jaded and not how it supposed to look. Peace.

Opinion: FDC always wants to be United on its own terms…

Well, I never wanted to do this, but the way Patrick Oboi Amuriat and other FDC leaders have acted lately. It is time to challenge the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and their manners. This isn’t anything new… just like after the recent elections, the FDC and the leadership went on a rampage against National Unity Platform (NUP). Even after the NUP asked for meeting and coordination with the other opposition parties.

Now, this week the FDC has launched a new opposition coalition in the People’s Front for Transition (PFT). Nothing wrong in doing that, but they didn’t do in a way, which the NUP felt at home there. Neither has the FDC or NUP resolved the previous coalition of United Forces for Change (UFC) which was founded in 2020 ahead of the polls. So, it is really questionable to start a fresh one this quick.

The FDC wasn’t that diplomatic or helpful with all parties in the 2011 Inter-Party Cooperation. A coalition where the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and Democratic Party (DP) didn’t participate in. As they felt the way it was launched and created was to benefit FDC and their flagbearers. That’s why dropped out of it.

In 2016, there was another coalition made ahead of the polls. The Democratic Alliance (TDA) of which the FDC dropped out. Since, they didn’t get the flagbearer and they we’re afraid to support other parties within the coalition. As, the FDC was seen as the biggest party and they felt betrayed that they wouldn’t have the Presidential Candidate. The TDA eventually went for Amama Mbabazi, as he was independent candidate for a pressure group at that time.

Now, in 2021 after the polls and with an unsuccessful stint with the UFC. Dr. Kizza Besigye is again launching a new coalition. It is filled with fractions of the DP and UPC party. Also with Conservative Party, JEEMA, People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), and others too. However, it does not have the biggest opposition party the NUP. That means it isn’t a totally united force. Neither, does it have the main fractions of the DP & UPC. Which renders the question of the power and ability to widen the objectives of coalition in question.

In this way, it seems like again the other parties have to accept the FDC terms and perspective join forces. Not that the FDC have to meet and greet the others. They just have to follow the suit and the ideals of what the FDC or Besigye is saying. Besigye means well and the ideals his committed too. We can all agree upon, but this haven’t been well coordinated or successful. When only these are showing up and showing intent.

Maybe, the likes of the NUP feels betrayed themselves and humiliated by the way the FDC answered the callings earlier in the year. When the FDC wanted to even revoke or relinquish the membership of the FDC MPs who joined the Shadow Government. Heck, the FDC leadership went high and mighty against the NUP. Therefore, the FDC haven’t been forthcoming or concerning the NUP. Until, the the launch of PFT this week.

It seems like the FDC needs to reconsider their movements sometimes. Especially, when people are supposed forget how they acted just a few months ago. When the NUP even tried to show an olive-branch and that got dismissed. Why should the NUP jump on the bandwagon without hesitation? Because, the FDC is so unique. That everyone is supposed to follow it blindly?

No, that isn’t fair to the NUP. Neither would the FDC accept that. That is why they would have felt betrayed, if they were automatically part of the TDA without a shadow of a doubt. This is how it looks like and it’s not cool.

The FDC should know better. I don’t know if it’s entitlement after years as the upper-dog in the opposition. They have fought and can be an inspiration for the next generation. The FDC isn’t dead, but isn’t as viable and strong as it was. Besigye has still power and ability to sway opinion. However, FDC better act more cordial and be more sincere. They cannot bushwhack others to submission. That is not how things works.

The NUP is free to join or not. Just like it didn’t IPOD either. They are finding their own path and that should be respected at this point. The NUP tried with the FDC in the UFC, which was useless. So, why should they trust in the PFT? Peace.

Opinion: Another year, another coaltion created by Besigye – Is this enough?

From the launch last year in 2020

Dr. Kizza Besigye have together with allies created “People’s Front for Transition” (PFT) recently with the slogan “Twetaase” which means “Let Us Save Ourselves”. The National Unity Platform (NUP) have declined to join the PFT. Therefore, the coalition or pressure group doesn’t have the biggest opposition party behind it.

Besigye isn’t alone, but it is lonely place in some regard. Since, there are long-term allies who joins him no matter what he does. He has held several of campaigns and ran with new slogans. That is something he has done with a steady pace. It is not long ago on the 15th June 2020 Besigye and Bobi Wine announced the United Forces of Change (UFC). They would start with their joint campaign “No Nedda”.

With that in mind and it’s October 2021. The UFC didn’t do anything. The FDC went their own way and the NUP did the same. In this new organization of PFT there are fraction from the UPC and DP. People’s Progressive Party (PPP), JEEMA and the Conservative Party is part of it. The FDC is the main party when both Patrick Oboi Amuriat and Erias Lukwago was participating in the launch.

This time Besigye is trying to hard. He should have tried to work on the agreement, which was already done with UFC. A coalition that hasn’t delivered or done anything. That is very clear, as the UFC was invisible and non-active during the campaigns. Therefore, Besigye should have alerted and made it relevant for Bobi Wine to use during his campaign trail. Alas, that wasn’t the case and it ended up being an photo-op.

Some might say… NUP is ditching out and not using their means to properly participate here. However, there is no binding or expectations of them to do so. This is a initiative and there is nothing in the cards that says they should join either. Because, the merits of the previous one amounted to nothing.

Who thinks the PFT will be more successful than the UFC? Or is this another IPC?

I know that Besigye means well and wants to succeed. He has had this ambition and drive for a peaceful transition most of his career. Besigye should also question himself… why is he starting yet another one?

Is he gaining anything out of this. Except having several of outfits as his start-ups. It is time to deliver results and add pressure to the regime. Yes, plenty of the opposition parties wants the regime gone. However, should Besigye negotiate more and find more allies before launching anything?

He is not the “sole” leader. Yes, Besigye is inspirational and has told the stories on how to dismantle the current leadership. Alas, people haven’t listened or gained enough attention to follow him. There is hope that one day they would. However, he needs Bobi Wine at this current time. The NUP is a growing power and they needs to be in sync.

Has Besigye outplayed himself here? Should he have moved more smart and tried to work with the NUP more closely before launching?

Or did Besigye give up on UFC? Since he maybe felt like everyone else… that this was a useless coalition. So, why expect the NUP to join another one? Peace.

Opinion: IPOD is officially dead

The Interparty Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) was rejected by the largest opposition party the National Unity Platform (NUP). The IPOD was just set-up in 2010 even if it felt like it has been there forever.

IPOD haven’t lived up to its potential and neither is the organization at any use at this stage. Unless, the President and his regime wants positive publicity. If not he tries to intervene and participate to get his will. He has also used to seek opposition and undermine their efforts as well. Where he has tried to find the “Good DP” and the “Good FDC” as well. That is what he does and the manner of which this works is futile now.

That’s why its healthy that NUP isn’t becoming a member of IPOD or participate in the Summits/Councils, which isn’t delivering anything worthwhile. Not at this point in time and been nothing substantial to show for either.

We know Museveni is hurt that the party of Bobi Wine and with a massive mandate in the Parliament isn’t showing up. He is playing with the older parties and the ones who doesn’t have the same relevance as before. This is showing that the IPOD is fading…

IPOD haven’t been a tangible asset or a enterprise for good dialogue either. The President has shown up late and the Summits hasn’t showed any progress. The last thing that happened was that the President promised billions of shillings to party coffers and nothing else.

The IPOD haven’t been used for electoral legislation or reform. Neither has it been used to ensure a level playing-field for campaigns or party work. No, it is only used for a decoy and buying the President time. For some strange reason the Dutch is willing to pay for the parties and meetings. They hopefully enjoy the empty slogans and statements, because it hasn’t paid-off.

The time of the IPOD is over. The IPOD is overrated and it isn’t working. So the Dutch should stop wasting their time and money. The IPOD is just a tool to legitimize the President and his regime. It can look like he has dialogue and a drive for “multi-party” democracy. When in reality he would crash and destroy them at any given moment.

Therefore, someone should do the IPOD a favour and hold a final ceremony. Now that the NUP isn’t part of it. The signal of it’s death bed is final. It should have been the times when FDC in the past boycotted it. However, they always returned …

IPOD should be buried and the casket of IPOD should be held in the halls of Parliament for a week to mourn the deceased. Nevertheless, there shouldn’t be any sorrow or pain in it’s demise. The IPOD never served it’s purpose or objective. It became a wastage of time and funds. This is why the burial would be a nice ending to a tragic story of a futile organization. Peace.

National Unity Platform (NUP) letter to Interparty Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) – National Unity Platform Eligibility to Join IPOD (02.09.2021)

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