“When Alexander the Great visited the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: ‘Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.’ It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.” – Henry Hazlitt ( Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest & Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics).
There been some bad blood after the Forum of Democratic Change (FDC) reshuffle of the shadow cabinet. This piece will tell how I sees it, maybe you will disagree, but everyone see things differently. Everyone should see themselves as representatives of the constituency and the party they are representing. They are not their on their own pocket and will, they are there for a reason. If that is forgotten, than these leaders should be changed, maybe that is why the FDC Party President changed a few. They needed a lesson of humility, as the leadership should be moved, to progress and also get new ideas into the bodies. There been reactions, especially by some.
The reacting the hardest is the likes of Aruu MP Odonga Otto, Bugweri County and MP Abdu Katuntu. The ones who haven’t said anything is Kasese Woman MP Winnie Kiiza and Aswa County MP Ronald Reagan Okumu. Even if all of these MPs was dropped from the shadow cabinet and changed by the Central Leadership this week, as the sweep of changes done by the Forum for Democratic Change Party President Patrick Oboi Amuriat came into effect. That should people be prepared to as a party changes with a new President and signaling new way of steering ahead.
Even if the current shadow cabinet and committee members by the FDC have done a good job, the need for fresh blood isn’t a bold move, but an aspiring move, to show that people aren’t entitled to titles and roles, even within the FDC. If it was so, than the old-guard of the FDC would naturally have positions. These people was appointed by the previous leadership under Gen. Mugisha Muntu, they are still party members and have rights as that. Still, this shows the maturity of the party.
Even as the likes of Odonga Otto says he will leave the party, but that is something he has promised to do dozens of time and always returns. Unless, he has other plans and not sure where to go for his support. Because, Hon. Odonga has usually, nearly once every year promised to leave the party, but never had the guts to do so. Who knows what Hon. Katuntu will do now, as he calls it a purge, and is disregarding the party, he goes total warfare over losing the committee seat in COSASE.
What is special and shows real maturity is how silent former Leader of the Opposition Hon. Winnie Kiiza have been. She has been a leading example, even as she has to step dow. I was skeptical to her in the beginning, because of the disbandment of defiance campaign and giving into the dictatorship as a minority party in the Parliament in 2016. Still, she has played her part and been a vocal voice with reason in the chambers. Winnie Kiiza have shown leadership skills and proven herself. The two years she has had as LoP has shown her ability and capacity as opposition politician. Therefore, her silence now shows maturity and also what sort of person she is.
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) apologists that has attacked this changes, maybe, just maybe, look into your own party and how you have to follow every whim of the State House. If anyone inside the party has any ambition, they are taken out and losing their position. Look at Amama Mbabazi, Gilbert Bukenya and so on. Not like NRM would have changed the top head like the FDC has done, the FDC is on their third Party President. The NRM have the same head and his controlling it through the NRM Caucus to follow his guidelines like they are all blind and have no visions themselves. Therefore, their defense of themselves should come first and secondly, their attacks on fresh bloods of the shadow cabinet. Should be a warning of the lack of movement within the movement. It is a movement that isn’t moving, but the FDC has the guts to change, to spark new ways.
Some might comment and say this is a purge on the loyalists around Muntu and making sure the loyal around POA instead. Not like that could ever happen in the NRM, they are encircled by Museveni and no one else. If they are trying to show some flash and ambition, the President will call them in and demote them. No one cried foul when the NRM ‘rebels’ was demoted in Parliament. Because, they was demoted not for political reasons, but because they didn’t follow the NRM Caucus and voted against the Age Limit.
Still, the same people have an issue with the changes within the shadow cabinet, maybe, just maybe, the apologist should be more sincere. FDC has made a decision, a healthy one and ones seeing the party as bigger than personalities, will accept this. But the ones who feels entitled to leading positions will be disenfranchised, like Hon. Katuntu.
Time will tell, but salute to Winnie Kiiza, she carried this steady and should be proud of her tenure. Even I who was really against her role and playing this out. Sees what she has delivered to role. Now lets see what the new leaders and shadow cabinet will do. Peace.
There are just some days, the true colors of some people appear, the real reason and the double-edged sword comes into play. There are times when the grandeur of support dwindles away like a dot-com bubble. It is this time and this sort of attacks within own party shouldn’t exist. Apparently it do, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), has been a party where the different leaders has discussed matters and followed protocol. Also, ever since Reform Agenda of early 2000s the leadership has changed and other deserters from National Resistance Movement has come into the fold.
It has been the strongest opposition party because of how the internal party organization has been built, the trust between the aides of leaders and the members. This has been an element of a party structure that has been done with grass-root work and steady campaigning. The proof of being different and also wanting a possible peaceful change from the Museveni era. That has not happen, because of the oppression and the constant rigging. Also, the control of the army. Therefore, you can wonder why Besigye who was part of the foundation and creator of FDC are no under-fire from his own. That also sounding like Mwenda, who has become the giant commentator who really despises him. I wouldn’t expect this sort of words form someone in the FDC NEC, but everything is allowed in politics, I guess.
Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju on the 16th August 2017:
“That is how many FDCs, including sophisticated ones like Musumba, viewed anyone who dared contest against Besigye. This is because Besigye is the most charismatic and selfless leader that the FDC either has inherited or produced. He is nearly more popular than the party. Contesting against him is almost criminal, punishable by isolation and other social boycotts. Yet that is exactly what motivated Muntu. I remember interviewing him while still working with The Observer and he feared FDC was making the same mistake senior leaders in the NRM made – not contesting against Museveni. Today, we still have people in FDC who think Col Besigye’s word is law and opposing it is a crime. Unfortunately, some of them are senior leaders. When you win over state power with that sort of mentality, I am sure you will be another criminal gang. Because Besigye’s mobilization and presidential campaign catchword was ‘defiance’, even those who have never chased a caterpillar in their lives are dismissing the rest of the party members as being “compliant”. Therefore, to them, this campaign for the FDC presidency is between defiance and compliance. The truth of the matter is that this campaign is between blind loyalists and those opposed to the idea” (Ssemujju, 2017).
Andrew Mwenda on the 7th January 2017:
“Dr. Kizza Besigye is totally convinced that he has a large number of extremely loyal supporters armed with fanatical zeal to die for him. Besigye supporters are equally convinced that they have a leader willing to die for their cause. Both sides are involved in a game of deceit and deception and here is how. Besigye die hards are either cowards or hypocrites or both. While they make the loudest noise on how they are ready to die for him, they have done nothing (except for insulting critics on social media) to prove they are worthy of their claims. Each time Besigye goes to town, Kale Kayihura sends only eight (8) police men who pick Besigye like chicken, bundle him over a pickup truck and take him to police as these “ready-die-for-our-man” fanatics watch helplessly. For many months after the elections in February 2016, Kayihura kept a small police contingent at Besigye’s home of not more than 20 police officers. This “large mass” of “ready-to-die-for-our-man” people couldn’t pass this small poorly equipped force to rescue their hero. What kind of loyalty is this? Besigye is deluded to believe in his fanatics” (Andrew Mwenda, 07.01.2017).
Why did I take a Facebook article from Mwenda and this week attack piece from Ssemujju, it is because they use same sort of form to attack Besigye. It is special and unique. I never thought Ssemujju would use the same of tricks of the trade to address greatest Museveni nemesis Besigye. This is just weird. Because, Ssemujju has often been a man of reason, a man of sound judgment, but this time, I beg to differ.
Mwenda wrote this: “Dr. Kizza Besigye is totally convinced that he has a large number of extremely loyal supporters armed with fanatical zeal to die for him. Besigye supporters are equally convinced that they have a leader willing to die for their cause”. We can easily detect that anyone supporting Besigye has to be a die-hard supporter and dying for his cause. Because the support of Besigye has to be this hard, then seeing Ssemujju: “Today, we still have people in FDC who think Col Besigye’s word is law and opposing it is a crime. Unfortunately, some of them are senior leaders. When you win over state power with that sort of mentality, I am sure you will be another criminal gang. Because Besigye’s mobilization and presidential campaign catchword was ‘defiance’, even those who have never chased a caterpillar in their lives are dismissing the rest of the party members as being “compliant””. You can see that Ssemujju also calls Besigye radicals, as it is criminal not supporting him inside the FDC. That is the coded language used for, that the ones standing against Besigye is a “criminal gang”. This sort of addressing it, shows how he tries to make the decisions of Besigye into attack on the FDC Organization. That since Besigye has and wanted to be different than the NRM and the government itself. Since, if they gave way to the government, then there was no difference. If Besigye supporters really did boycott and stopped being part of state, the FDC would be legitimate opposition party. What is worrying is how he uses the same sort of words to address Besigye.
I would not expect that Ssemujju would write in a manner of Mwenda, but he did. It is right, Besigye is not perfect, but he has given way to other parts of the party, that has opened windows of more than just “hard-liners”. If it wasn’t so, the FDC NEC wouldn’t have the power and the ability to become a Shadow Government with Shadow Cabinet. Something Gen. Mugisha Muntu and Party President was voting for, while Besigye was in house-arrest and detained. If Ssemujju feared the prison and the oppression to the levels of Besigye, he might have turned a bit more radical himself. But safety of Parliament salaries and remuneration must surely put the ideology on the side.
It is a sad sight seeing Ssemujju turning this way, instead of actually being honest, being up-front for why he uses Besigye, who is not standing for the FDC Presidency and that Gen. Muntu is also an incumbent. Another “No-Change”. Since Gen. Muntu has been the Party President since 2012 after Besigye stepped down after being elected in 2005. So it is not like Besigye acts like he is bigger than FDC. That is lie, if it was so he would be like Museveni who is the Party President and the President of the Republic. Its a big difference there. So the rants against Besigye and his supporters should be futile. If not it is the Muntu fraction that fears the Besigye supporters will be behind his aide Byamugisha.
But it is with sadness, that a bright mind like Ssemujju are using rhetoric and tricks of Mwenda’s playbook. Sorry brother, you should know better and should also be wiser. You are FDC leader, not a NRM Stooge, right? You give respect to Besigye, but same time slams him. What are you trying to say, only the ones supporting Muntu and his side of the Party are the ones justified? Since Besigye garn different kind of support, but you will quickly embrace the man, when you need votes?
Is that your game as well, we have seen similar acts of late, when the chips are down the people leave the fold, but when the tide is rising the people come running back. Peace.
Ssemujju, Ibrahim Nganda – ‘Why I am for Gen Muntu this time’ (16.08.2017) link: http://observer.ug/viewpoint/54408-why-i-am-for-gen-muntu-this-time.html
Well, since the General Election of 2016, there been all sorts of play from the National Resistance Movement (NRM). Where the Opposition parties has either gotten ministerial posistions, EALA slots or even been detained. In ways of solidifying the NRM regime and their President for life – President Yoweri Museveni. Therefore the news that the NRM Secretary General Justine Lumumba wishes the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) President Gen. Mugisha Muntu, shows there some foul play in the cards. The deck is usually sealed and this cannot be the party line, as the talks of succession is a stalemate as long as Museveni breathes on planet earth. But take a brief look at the quotes from the Secretary General Lumumba.
“Ms Justine Lumumba, who represented First Lady Janet Museveni at a belated Women’s Day celebrations for Ntungamo District at Rwenanura Primary School playground in Rweikiniro Sub-county, said: “Gen Muntu comes from this district, from Kitunga, I even know the village where he comes from, he is a sober man but he is walking with wrong company. Talk to him as his brothers that he comes back, if there are any grievances or anything that angered him, we can resolve it.” (…) “He is someone who can bring back the presidency here; he is such a good player in a bad team,” she added” (Rumanzi, 2017).
That Lumumba said the FDC was a bad team, was expected as she has that view of anyone who isn’t in the NRM Organization or the Movement. Therefore, that Gen. Muntu is around Lukwago and Besigye, means he is in a bad team. That Muntu is suddenly in the wrong company, means that he isn’t directly a part of the NRM. The right party and company is the NRM. That is if you get the deeper meaning of what NRM Secretary Lumumba was saying yesterday.
The good company is the 31 year old regime under President Museveni. It is not like the NRM has ever consider succession and using that as sweet gift to Gen. Muntu is most likely hogwash. As the Maj. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerubaga is most likely the next in line, if the President get his wish. Why else would he stop the Daily Monitor Press a few years back when the Gen. Sejusa tale leaked to the Press?
If the NRM would offer anything it would be a ministerial role, an ambassador and trading away the normative and legitimate leadership role of Gen. Muntu. Even if Gen. Muntu sometimes isn’t progressive, aggressively enough against the regime, who use all sorts of tricks to manipulate and control the Republic. Therefore this must been seen as a ploy to destabilize the FDC. As they hope the fraction and people loyal to Muntu would be swayed back to fold. Leave Besigye and the hardliners behind.
This would be typical way of offering a gift and then destroy the competition, as they know many of the FDC NEC and FDC leadership has no real need of either going back to the NRM or any wish to be back there. Since many of the FDC leaders has been former NRM, especially the ones who established the party and wanted a significant different party than the NRM.
So the Machiavellian approach by Secretary General Lumumba and the NRM, can be seen as a tactic to undermine the leader in the FDC; while offering and saying he would be fit to come after President Museveni. Like the NRM could offer anyone that, as the NRM couldn’t do that to their own like Amama Mbabazi or back-in-the-day Kizza Besigye. So why should Gen. Mugisha Muntu suddenly be good enough? Do the NRM think their citizens are generally stupid?
Rumanzi, Perez – ‘Return Muntu to succeed Museveni, says Lumumba’ (17.04.2017) link:http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Return-Muntu-to-succeed-Museveni–says-Lumumba/688334-3892216-h9ejj2/index.html
Retired Major. General. Mugisha Muntu, the current Party President of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), I write you because of the recent revealed letter between you and the Parliament speaker. This is not easy; you seem like a reasonable fellow and a man of honour.
Let me be honest with you, you seem tired of fighting and tired of hitting the wall. You are tired of the struggle and the work of dismantling the Movement. The Movement you once were on the rise in, before you started to build together with others the FDC. The FDC that is today a working machine with a NEC and other bodies that have through preliminary elections and other can bring justice to the ones who are running on FDC tickets.
We know through the grapevine that you we’re the one who was in-charge of reason why the FDC became the shadow government with Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza. That is when the party officially went away from the party of defiance and compliance with the ruling regime of the Movement. Mugisha Muntu was in-charge of that as Dr. Kizza Besigye was detained and was not the care-giver or getting to give reason to fight for his cause. This was the FDC abandoning Besigye in jail at Luzira after he had been airlifted and taken violently from Kampala.
Therefore the party sold their legitimacy and the ethical codes for a few silver and “a fake peace”, something Muntu himself could have said. This was an actual peace or token of respect of the party or their struggle during and after the ballot. That the party was under siege and the members were attacked was well-known, that dozens was detained without any warrants or court orders, was publically known. Therefore Moses Byamugyisha used days upon days to get FDC Youth free from illegal detention.
So that you gave up the struggle and gave a token of honour to the man that stole yet another election. Shows how much you can carry and what that is important. A Fake Peace is your price and your just behaviour. That you can stab the back of many supporters and give in, while many and still people are fighting forged alleged crimes, while you can eat supper and use party organization as you please.
This you did when you after a peaceful recent election all of a sudden sent a letter to the Parliament, which Ingrid Turinawe’s candidature for the EALA slot, was pulled back. Even when the recent election gave her a second place and also given her an opportunity to get nominated further in the Parliament. We don’t know the reasons before he actually tells the world for the sudden act of misbehaviour.
We don’t know why Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu suddenly decided on his own, to disown the FDC Primary EALA elections and pull another party members nomination to Parliament. We don’t know if he has traded with Jimmy Akena of Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Norbert Mao of Democratic Party (DP) or even spoken nicely to Hon. Beti Kamya of Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA), to make sure the parties all get a slot in the EALA Ugandan Delegation in the next term there. If so he should be up-front and told the party organization not deviously send a letter to Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and hope the second nomination get cut in silence.
None of the nominations has happen in silence, neither has the nomination of Ingrid Turinawe, still the way of the wish of taking her chance away is a demonstration of not caring about inner-party elections. Than the Party President should have said from the get-go that the party only have one candidate for the elections! Period, bravo, congrats Florence and the rest good luck hunting after other positions!
That is what you should have done Honourable Muntu, instead you went the back-way and didn’t use proper methods, you have traded or done some backdoor agreements that is not known to anyone, but you and your closest allies. What they we’re and how they came about is for you to know. Even if not so, the act of aggression against Turinawe, is not a good look on him or his ways.
Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, sometimes you sound like reasonable and well-thought true politician with a genuine heart, other times you are dying of ambition and wanting to rule with an iron fist. If you want the people to believe in the first character then they don’t need the giving in to the Movement, like you did with the Shadow Government nonsense, neither do they need the speedy change of heart and trying to disqualify Turinawe. It just seem benign and weak of man of your stature to this. Like a vendetta or a proof of distrust to the Besigye diehards. Who knows your motives if they are brown-envelopes or brownie points with the movement?
You could clarify and in-debt describe your trade or your reason for this act of volatile attempt to silence a fellow FDC member and her chance of a political platform on the outside of the Party Organization? Would you have done the same if it was Hon. Nathan-Nandala Mafabi?
What was your goal, was it create havoc and make sure your fraction get more power inside the party while Besigye is on a trip in Europe? I am wondering if your applying to secure a fake peace not only in the nation, but also inside the party you run.
I am wondering is your goal: to create a unstable peace and make sure there is a fake peace?
Writer of MinBane
Ingrid Turinawe’s responce online when the news of the letter broke: “I am in the race, the author of that letter has no authority to withdraw me. I have not seen my copy though, waiting for it so that I reply” (23.02.2017).
This will be interesting and Gen. Mugisha Muntu has either done a trade-off or is playing his card very high. Certainly, this is not said or done, as the FDC with their fractions will not all accept this. Especially after the peaceful elections done in the Primary, compared to the ruling party NRM’s chaos. EALA slots are few, but this here is foul play from the Party President! Peace.