Opinion: Besigye’s words of enlightenment cannot be forgotten

The struggle I know and understand is that we are looking for a country and first mission should be to recapture the country and then once we reclaim the country and have power over it, then we can choose and leaders and create rules how to choose leaders” (Dr. Kizza Besigye, 16.10.2019).

As time goes by and the dwindling efforts of previous leaders on the frontline. It is important to not forget them and what they stood for. Now, that the National Unity Platform and Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine is the main opposition party.

We cannot forget what Dr. Kizza Besigye Kifefe fought for and what he stood for. It wasn’t just defiance and public display of resilience. The founder of Reform Agenda and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) deserves credit for his work. He is still a vital voice of reason and shouldn’t be shunned.

Besigye will have a legacy worth remembering. Yes, he participated and at one point had faith in Museveni. He was appointed and took part in the early years of the regime. However, he saw what it turned into and shunned it. Because he made that decision… he has paid a hefty price. The countless arrests, days behind bars, house-arrests or charges on the man. No one in living memory has been politically targeted by the authorities like this man.

That’s why know he is the arch nemesis of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Besigye is the man that made Museveni boil and he ordered the state to go after him. That’s why Besigye has been charged with treason and whatever else they could find in the penal codes. The law-book has been used to maximum extent against him.

Besigye has fought for a peaceful transition. Where the grass-roots and the whole system has turned against the current regime. In a way where everyone is involved and weaken the centres of it. That is a revolution and a mass activism on a scale that haven’t been seen. Though he was close to managing that in 2011 with the “Walk to Work”. He was really getting the riots and demonstrations to a level. Where the authorities and state was on edge. If it had gotten further and run even more rampant. Than the centre might not have hold, but that is just theoretical assumption in 2021.

We know Besigye have the ambition and the means to govern. Besigye have the ability to organize and structure people around him. If he didn’t the FDC wouldn’t be as strong after all these years under the tyranny. The FDC wouldn’t have such a political body and measured policies ahead. They would have been a shell and a briefcase party, if others had run it. However, Besigye and his tireless work has paid off in this regard. He has been able to build a party like this and getting trusted individuals to carrying on his legacy. That says a lot about him and his drive.

Besigye deserves credit and people should study his lessons. Where he tells how to dismantle the regime and how to organize to ensure the end of Museveni. If there is anyone who has said what is needed and explained the necessities of a public uprising. Where everyone goes collectively together and forms entities to strengthen the cause. It is wise and adjusted.

What Besigye have proposed isn’t a cheap trick or a simple plan. No, it is what is needed to do, if you are not using weapons or a coup d’etat against a military dictatorship. He believes in the power of the people and what they can do, if they go together in doing it. Besigye could never do this alone and never did he say so. That is why the only way to aspire and wanting to fulfil his legacy. Would be to revolt, organize revolutionary groups and read upon his texts.

One that is forever relevant until it happens is this one:

The following needs to be done to terminate the Junta’s control of our country:

1) Intensify the “awakening campaign”, for most Ugandans to become active in the processes of achieving a transition. Everyone has a role to play in achieving this.

2) Forming activist networks to make it possible to act together and to be coordinated.

3)Everyone seeking a democratic transition should take deliberate actions, individually or in concert with others to disempower and break down the Junta. Each one’s actions, however small, contribute significantly towards the desired change.

4) Public servants, including those in the security and military are called upon to join the struggle for democratic transition.

5) In coordination with other political and civil society formations, we’ll soon start various activities that will disempower and bring the, now fragile, Junta to an end.

The transition:

A transition process will start when the Junta ceases the control of the state- either, through popular actions or a dialogue process.

The key activities of the transition period are:

1) Government of National Unity.

2) A comprehensive review of the Constitution.

3) Rebuilding State institutions to ensure transparency in recruitment and a national character, a high standard of performance and public accountability; non-partisan character; high standard of discipline and professionalism etc.

4) Truth telling, justice and reconciliation.

5) Free and Fair elections” (Dr. Kizza Besigye, 11.07.2017).

This just proves what has to happen and Besigye has spoken these words out again and again. While it has not gotten into good soil. It is time for it bear fruits. Besigye might never get to the promised land himself. However, the Republic deserves it and Besigye should forever get credit for his work. Not that his done or a silent man. No, his still speaking his peace and hopefully reigniting new people along his way.

That is necessary… the FDC cannot do this alone and neither can Besigye. There is a need for a united front. Just like Besigye said in his text from 2017. It is also a need to not only remembering Besigye’s “lectures” but to be used as inspiration for a peaceful transition. These words and articles needs to spread again. So, that they get re-issued and re-distributed. As they can get people to organize and maybe act upon it. Not just in campaign season, but in ordinary days. As the regime isn’t slowing down with it’s oppression against it’s dissidents. That is as rampant and grave as always. Injustice which is served on a daily basis. Peace.

Defiant Independent candidates dismissed from the FDC

Opposition Forum for Democratic Change has expelled three of its prominent members including National Political Mobilizer Ingrid Turinawe, Darius Tweyambe and Winnie Babihuga after they stood as independents following their loss in the party primaries” (Voice of Kamwenge FM, 10.12.2020).

The Forum for Democratic of Change (FDC) has put their foot down towards three Independent candidates who lost in the internal party primaries earlier in the year. Ingrid Turinawe lost to Dr Warren Katoora Tumwine for the MP Rukingiri Municipality.

Another one of these three was Winne Babihuga who also lost in Rukungiri, as she was standing as the Woman MP. She lost to the incumbent Betty Muzanira.

While the final independent Darius Tweyambe lost his mayoral race in Rukungiri Municipality to the incumbent Charles Makuru.

What is unique is that two of them is close associates and been part of the People’s Government. Turinawe and Tweyambe have worked close to Besigye. These two are the ones who has worked for years together with him. Turinawe as a mobilizer and Tweyambe as the Chief Campaigner. Therefore, these two are “high ranking” though not in official capacity.

These have been in- and out of jail because of their consistent work for the party. Turinawe and Tweyambe knows how politics plays out. As they have been so involved. At one point Turinawe was house-arrested and had to barricade herself out of her own home. So, if someone knows the pain of association. These two knows it well.

This should affect them, but also the party. That other parties are throwing their arms around them wouldn’t be shocking either. As these are the stalwarts that is ready for the big-league. They have lingered close-by, but never gotten the titles. Yes, they are involved in the People’s Government. However, that doesn’t amount to much in the coming election.

These are the sort of hard-liners and opposition who are fierce and has ability to cause issues. I know I haven’t mentioned Babihuga, but there are not so much say there.

That these three would stand or other losing primaries as independents. Shouldn’t shock anyone. If these was NRM. They would seek refuge under the skirt of Museveni and find another shelter coming 2021. These candidates would have asked for an appointment and a plum-job. However, in the opposition its little to nothing to gain.

Turinawe and Tweyambe can now decide what they do. Most parties are already settled and the nomination period is over. Their allegiance after the elections is all up to them. That is if they want to return to the party or if they are over it. As they have gotten no favours, but lost their positions.

Yes, they are known characters and shown resilience. However, that isn’t enough and they could not spark popularity within their party in their own district. That is why they have lost. These are all from Rukungiri as well.

Defiance is apparently in them. The FDC have shown their hand. Though very late in concern with the campaigns and the polls. Also after the nominations and everything. It is a bit late, but it sends a signal. That the party doesn’t accept defiance within their own. Which is fine, as these folks didn’t honour the results of the primaries. However, choose go ahead and run against the same people again in the General Election. That says it all really. Peace.

Forum for Democratic Change (FDC): Dissmissal of Independent Candidates (07.12.2020)

Opinion: Barefooted or not, POA needs to run a marathon…

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is in a unusual space. The FDC isn’t the one causing the most havoc or being the apparent target of the authorities. Yes, the FDC still has issues with the Police Force. The authorities are still monitoring all their moves and acts with impunity. However, not to the extent,which they have done before and not in the manner we are accustomed too.

The FDC has a new Presidential Candidate, this being Party President Patrick Oboi Amuriat. A Besigye hard-liner and staunch supporter. POA has the drive and the resilience of the party. He has seen what the authorities and the state has done to the party. However, his able to build support within and collect added support outside.

I still don’t see how POA is going to galvanise and extort big-man-ship ahead of 2021. The man doesn’t extend the hand or the words to address the concerns. His the sort of technical politician. The man knows his game and is a perfect technocrat, but he hasn’t the charisma or the edge to gain major popularity.

POA can build on Besigye’s Plan B with his Barefoot campaign, but he will always be in his shadow. That is an impossible task and a race he cannot win. POA can be genuine and show mercy towards people. However, he will not bring the masses to the streets.

POA and the FDC is weaker with him running. They shown maturity as a party to not have a sole candidate. The FDC has shown character and shown to have a machinery. The same organization that brought fear and got intimidated on a daily basis, because of the defiance campaign. However, this barefoot strategy will spearhead the supporters who are there. Nevertheless not bring so many new people to the fold.

The opposition is divided. There are already to moderate candidates, Muntu and Mao. POA is fighting in the same space as Bobi Wine. They are two different breeds and it shows. POA doesn’t have the same reach or scope as Bobi Wine. Even if they are fighting for the same cause and wanting the same change. These two are still not at the same levels.

POA is the poor-mans Bobi Wine. That is sad to say. Besigye would the one that resembles Bobi Wine the most. POA is like knock-off version who aspire to be there, but falls flat. The man means well and shows his character again and again. He proves that he can stand under storms, but he will not be able to sort everything out to get to port. Not by his own self and not by his leadership as a captain. The man always needs to bend on the previous leader.

The Barefoot campaign can be a wise move, but compared to Bobi Wine whose spearheading a revolution. Those two are two different animals. The revolution of Bobi Wine is more like the Defiance. Therefore, POA should use the Plan B and make it his. Do it even together with Besigye and be a duo to the public.

We knows this man wants to do well and make a difference. However, his means and the way he moves doesn’t scare the government as much as it used too. Even if the FDC is blocked and has issues to campaign. Still, it isn’t on the same levels and it is visible.

POA cannot just walk barefooted, he needs to run a marathon. He needs to run circles around the authorities and the state itself to even have a chance. However, by the way his conducting himself. I cannot see it. This is why he needs the old brigade to bring him a structure and a edge. Peace.

Opinion: Sorry POA, but your not cutting it…

It is official, the Presidential Flag-Bearer of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is the Party President, Patrick Amuriat Oboi (POA). I have nothing against the man. He can stand on his own and on his own merit. However, the harsh reality needs to be told.

POA cannot galvanize or energize the masses. The man isn’t that great. The FDC has the wrong sort of Presidential Flag-Bearer now. Yes, the FDC has now another leader and candidate than Besigye. That shows the party is mature and isn’t a sole candidate enterprise. Which is all good in itself. However, that is not enough at this point.

POA has less of a presence than what Amama Mbabazi had before the 2016 elections. This man is as inspiring as a serious Elton Joseph Mabirizi. One that should feel hurt and feel betrayed is Mugisha Muntu. Who had to leave the party and create his own to do this. If Mugisha just had waited a few months. He could have run as a Presidential Contender in a party he has invested so much time in. Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) has actually a better Flag-Bearer, than the FDC. Who knew that would be the deal in 2020?

The FDC sending and nominating Amuriat Oboi is a sign of weakness. A sign that the FDC is now internally locked and not looking out for a broader candidate for the highest office. Yes, the FDC is free to pick whoever they deem fit. To go after Dr. Kizza Besigye will trying for anyone. POA has to achieve the likeability and popularity of the stratosphere. That is something he will never reach. Yes, he was able beat Muntu and Birigwa, but be up against the other Flag-Bearers. I doubt he has the character to do so.

Seemingly, POA doesn’t have the flair, the flex or the public persona, which is needed to get there. Unless, he wants to be the educated guess like Professor Venansius Baryamureeba, but with defiance in his veins.

POA really have to prove his worth. The man has to walk to the mountains and get Ten Commandments before returning back to the public. The FDC needs to reassure, needs to back him, but also build him as public figure. Because, the man has the ability to bottle it or make things worse. POA can be self-inflicting pain, instead of boosting confidence.

This is why this is a loosing game. POA now has to battle Muntu again. To prove his worth not only against him, but Museveni and Bobi Wine. The FDC Flag-Bearer now has to rise to the occasion and prove his worth. I doubt he has it in him. He has to create a trustworthy character and be sell-able across the vast public. In a manner, which this man never been sold. People have to buy his ideas and believe that he can carry it.

POA doesn’t ooze greatness. That is not his fault, but his handling of things post-Muntu haven’t been great. Neither, has the party made him look to great either. That is because of the deflections and the struggles to find a space post-Besigye too. This seems to make it harder for POA.

POA needs to navigate the folks following Besigye and the ones following the party. The FDC needs to make more than Facebook posts and posters. They need to re-think his methods and his mannerisms. POA might mean well and has honest intentions behind his drive as a Party President. However, it isn’t always coming across.

He needs a team behind him. The FDC needs to rejuvenate Amuriat Oboi candidacy, unless they want him to fall flat. I don’t see him as big-man or viable Flag-Bearer outside the internal party of the FDC. That is just what I see, but maybe others has another perspective.

Wish him well, but his road ahead is not easy. POA will struggle and feel the struggle. Just like has done as Party President. The FDC knows this and has to support him now. Also, make him viable and accessible outside the FDC. That is the first component the party has to fix and then make him ooze confidence with a plan for a peaceful transition of power. Peace.

Opinion: FDC has no ammunition [now that Besigye is on the sideline]

We can easily see that the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is challenged by National Unity Platform (NUP). That is why the FDC is attacking the means and the ways the NUP operates. The FDC without Dr. Kizza Besigye is lacking its edge. It is a blessing for the NUP.

Yes, using Besigye for the firth time as a Presidential Candidate would make him a automatically a “sole candidate” and make him no different then the President himself. If he he did stand, he would be in the same light and have same sort of actions. Therefore, him bowing to the side showed maturity and I admire that.

However, Besigye on the sideline with his ‘Plan B’ has shown that the FDC lacks certain fire-power. The FDC needs the like him to boost public confidence. Wassawa Birigwa and Patrick Oboi Amuriat doesn’t have the swagger. Neither does Nathan Nandala-Mafabi or Ibrahim Semujju Naganda. They are all honourable gentlemen in their ways, but cannot muster a revolution.

This is why the FDC looks weak. Not that they are missing the ones who has gone to the NUP or Alliance for National Transformation (ANT). Yes, the FDC is firing back at the ones who has left. Just like Winnie Kiiza who went after the FDC herself. Because, it is so easy to go after the former party. Than, seeing what you didn’t yourself to bolster the party you left behind.

The FDC has internal party functions, they have their meetings for the two presidential candidates. Alas, it doesn’t go outside the already admires and members. The FDC doesn’t go to a broader spectrum of the electorate at this point. That is shown by how the campaign is going within the FDC. It is not like they are rocking the boat or making significant change.

Besigye shows why he was vital by stepping aside. The FDC lacks the tenacity and the candidates to excel this time around. FDC have been the place, been the party of opposition and has a unique position in the Republic. Now, they are really challenged. The NUP is taking over the slot. In a manner that Go Forward and others never were able to do.

FDC is showing weakness, which we haven’t seen before. That is not because the ones who left to Muntu’s ANT. No, its because of NUP and their role within the opposition. They are maybe the baby of the Opposition. However, the baby is growing up so fast. That it might be in it’s teenage phase by the polls.

The FDC better reflect on its role and be statesmen like. The way Nandala-Mafabi acted yesterday on NBS TV showed their weakness. Instead of being up and fighting the struggle. They we’re busy flexing on NUP and not configuring ways to expose the NRM. That shows the lack of mentality to actually following the words of Besigye.

The FDC should follow up on the ‘Plan B’ of Besigye. They should work tirelessly to dismantle, destroy and cause issues for the General Election. Instead, it is working to be a blunt opposition party. Besgiye didn’t start Walk to Work and Defiance to be kind, but to challenge the authorities. The current FDC leadership and campaign is just peaceful and to subtle to care about.

The FDC has proven in the past that they had the courage and character to finesse in the midst of adversity. Now, they are going into the 2021 elections with a softball approach. This because, Besigye is on the sideline and not in the scope of the polls.

The FDC needs Besigye more then they would like to show. They need the firebrand personality, they need his flex and his force. Because, he doesn’t care about the repercussions and the costs. He will fire on all cylinders and battle the law enforcement with everything he has. While, I am only seeing mediocre statements and posts.

Yes, the FDC are more than Besigye and its trying to prove itself. However, it shows that they need to learn from him. If they want to create a space and make a difference. At this very moment. They are neither slick nor moving in the right direction. They should go to Kasangati and get advice on how to move forward. This is not cutting it.

FDC had firepower and was feeling powerful ahead of 2016. Now in the 2020, they could just be another DP or UPC. They are bigger and has more known characters nationwide, but they are not frightening for the authorities. That is why the two Presidential Candidates can walk-around. As the President and NRM isn’t afraid of POA.

BTW: Besigye did the right thing not standing and showing true statesmanship. However, he needs to hold some private lessons with the FDC leadership to give them the edge that they are missing at the moment. Peace.

 

A look into three of the Presidential Nominees from the FDC…

Wasswa Birigwa, Patrick Oboi Amuriat and Moses Byamugisha is people within the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) who are vying for the highest position in the Republic. They are picking nomination forms and running for the Presidency.

Ambassador Wasswa Birigwa, the Party Chairman only turned to the FDC in 2015. So, its not like the man his been a long term ally of the party. He has been close to the President and his team. That’s why his appointed and had roles in the National Resistance Movement (NRM). It is not like the man has a been there long to show his credentials as a man for the FDC.

Patrick Oboi Amuriat (POA) has been the Party President since late 2017. Before that been the MP between 2001 to 2016. Been the part of the National Campaign Team in 2016 and believed in the Defiance campaign. A man of loyalty to Besigye and the cause of FDC.

Moses Byamugisha have been a Besigye aide and youth mobilizers in the party. His been consistent with his views and perspectives. The one that aimed first of the three. The others have waited to the last minute. Moses is clear about his vision and is using his youth teams to build a campaign ahead. It seems like his thinking ahead, as he is even going after the signatures to stand as “independent”.

We can also wonder if Nathan Nandala-Mafabi would stand as well? He would also be a man for the job. The experience in Parliament and knows how to express his vision to the public. Mafabi has it in him, but wonder if the party would take a man like that.

The FDC men of these are POA, Byamugisha and Mafabi. Birigwa haven’t been there that logn and should rest with his role as a Chairman. Harold Kaija would have more of a standing in comparison to Birigwa. Therefore, for me his a non-starter and someone who isn’t it in for the cause.

POA could become the Presidential Candidate. However, that will marginalize the party. The man has wishes and outbursts, that isn’t always that candid or calculated. He knows how to gain attention, but not always in the positive manner.

Byamugisha have another sort of way. His more of a young Muntu. Still, his defiant and a man for the cause. His not a softie, but a slow builder. Very direct and knows how to push. His the man whose been on the front-line and taken care of the ones arrested. Been a voice for the youths and the activists. A man who knows the party and support party objectives. That is why his a hopeful and a man who shouldn’t be neglected.

Mafabi haven’t taken the nomination forms. He hasn’t even said he wants it. Even as there been voices for him and his candidacy. His a man of the party. Mafabi is vocal and can conduct his affairs. There is really nothing ill to say about him. However, hard to know if he can be easily a man for full front mobilization. As his a sort of moderate, but still shows his capacities with all the years in politics.

The FDC has people who has abilities and capacities to be a Presidential nominee. They have the characters and the ones who knows the cost of doing so. They have also followed on the trial of Beisgye and know how things goes. They have been in the trenches and seen the reality of the battleground ahead of the polls. These people knows this…

I rather want to see Moses than POA. Rather see Mafabi than POA. POA can gain attention, but his personality would be harsh for plenty. POA has the right mind, but his way of expressing it is so unpolished. You need some filters before speaking. That does the other fellas have. Though I don’t trust Birigwa at all. That is however how I look at it. Maybe, someone else would look differently and maybe he would even prove it too me.

Nevertheless, want to wish the all the best. A luta continua. Peac.e