The Interparty Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) who has gotten major funding from Democratic Government Facility (DGF) and Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD). DGF is bound to only last a few more months until December 2022. While NIMD has ceased funding after IPOD has failed to get all parties to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The lasted MoU lasted until February 2022.
Now in September 2022 the IPOD Secretariat might feel at a loss. The ideal of IPOD might seem positive and worthwhile. Nevertheless, the results and the political forum has been more a sideshow than actually being fruitful. The majority party and ruling regime, National Resistance Movement (NRM) has used it more to poach the opposition and have publicity stunts. While the opposition like Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and National Unity Platform (NUP) haven’t seen any sort of dialogue or proper platform to make difference. That’s why they rather distance themselves from it.
The IPOD was maybe made with the best interest in 2010. NIMD and DGF funded the organization to have a place and possibility to meet. IPOD could have been a safe space for the political parties, but we all know this haven’t been in the interests of the Head of State or the NRM. The NRM wants to either intimidate, strike or corrupt their opposition. That’s why President Museveni has himself promised to destroy and get rid of all opposition.
Now in 2022 and after 12 years of IPOD. The NRM is losing one of the few places where Museveni could actually meet the real opposition. Not the “opposition” who is already leaning towards him or co-operating with him. No, the ones defying him or wanting to remove him isn’t now a part of the IPOD.
That NIMD is saying it won’t fund IPOD before NUP and FDC joins is a failure. The parties themselves has decide. They have seen the works of IPOD and what it has “achieved”. The organization don’t have that much to show for it. This is why they cannot even write an MoU, which they cannot agree upon.
The NRM might feel like this is a “victory”. They can point at NUP and FDC. However, that is a very hallow “victory”. The FDC and NUP has done this for various of reasons, but it is clear that the NRM isn’t an honest actor. That’s why activists, candidates and associates connected to the NUP or FDC are either kept incommunicado, arrested or even extra judicially killed. The authorities are monitoring the opposition more than they look into crooks. Therefore, the political prisoners and prisoners of conscience is a well-known phenomenon in the Republic. That’s all because of their affiliation and who they are associated with.
If the NRM really wanted IPOD to work. They would have properly invested in it and not only used it for photo-ops ahead of polls and elections. While also using it more directly to create positive headlines Nevertheless, NIMD and DGF maybe want more for their coins. They want them to actually have inclusive dialogue and talks in a political forum. That sort of thing seems like a thing of the past.
It is not the fault of NUP or the FDC for the end of IPOD. The killer of IPOD is Museveni. Like everyone else it goes back to him. It is his choices and orders, which are reflected here. He is getting his will and certainly not … get a free lunch. IPOD is only destroyed and losing value, as there are no real progress or talks of substance. When an organization like IPOD becomes sub-standard forum and losing all value.
President Museveni cannot be happy with this, because this just shows how flawed his multi-party democracy is. When the one forum he had where all elected parties could meet and talk is now ceasing to operate. The funding of this organization is stopped. Because, FDC and NUP isn’t accepting the conditions of the current MoU. That’s a failure and lacking the general understanding of what it should be.
If Museveni wanted this… things would have been different. Nevertheless, expect the NRM to deflect it or blame the parties for not signing on. Because, why should they sign on to something… when it gives them nothing and only legitimizing the regime. IPOD only gives political currency to the NRM without giving the other parties anything worthwhile. The others are just getting an opportunity to see Museveni close by and be there in his presence. That’s a futile enterprise and if the NIMD see that is an asset. They should just continue to pursuit it. However, it isn’t the product that its portrayed on the tin. It is something else and the ones dismissing it has all the reasons to do so. Peace.
Not breaking news, but the Independent Magazine editor and spin-doctor of the regime Andrew Mwenda published piece called “Thumbs Up for Mao”. That was published today. I will no digest the whole text, but only comment on the pieces that is worthy of discussing. Because, his sort of style is to whitewash and make the government insiders look good. He has become a talisman for the government and this article is no exemption. It is just the good old sort of spin to make the unreasonable look wonderful.
Mwenda’s piece is the norm now and nobody should be shocked. The mannerism and the attacks on Bobi Wine and Besigye is staple by now. The way he describes and goes after the opposition is just what he does. It’s like he has no other technique or abilities to understand their standing. Everyone is just supposed to think and move like he does. Be a government crony and get the kickbacks like everyone else Andrew knows.
The first part which was interesting to me was this one: “The cooperation agreement between NRM and DP is an important political innovation and landmark in our country’s politics. Uganda needs this kind of politics. Indeed, it should be a yardstick for political cooperation among the contending political forces in the country. Other political parties like NUP, FDC and JEMA should seek the same” (Mwenda, 22.07.2022).
Well, we don’t know what sort of deal the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) did. Neither does we know what sort of deal Dr. Paul Ssemogerere did back-in-the-day or anyone else for that matter. Who has gone from being in opposition to working with President Museveni. We also know what happened to the allies of the UFF and UFM. Manhy of them are now gone and only a handful are still around in the upper echelon. So, seeing how Museveni betrays agreements and twists them for his own personal advances. The UPC and DP should know this. The Cooperation Agreement today could be diminished tomorrow when His Excellency don’t need it. The words to the wise of studying history and knowing how your enemy operates. Mwenda should know that NUP, FDC and JEEMA shouldn’t join hands with Museveni. Sooner or later they will end up as relevant as Beatrice Anywar or Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi. Please, we don’t want any of that in 2022 do we?
He continues: “From that experience I came to the conclusion that Besigye is an obstacle to democratic development in Uganda. It is hard for me to really know his subjective motivations. But the objective outcome of his actions impede democratization. This is because he sees all forms of political compromise as capitulation, negotiations with government as selling out. He has adopted an extreme position that there is only way forward for Uganda and that is the fall of Museveni and his (Besigye’s) usurpation of power – and through ultra-constitutional means” (Mwenda, 22.07.2022).
I would have to counter with the words of Besigye himself in the 1999 dossier as he left the NRM to form the Reform Agenda, which later turned into the now known Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). In that he says this: “All in all, when I reflect on the Movement philosophy and governance, I can conclude that the Movement has been manipulated by those seeking to gain or retain political power, in the same way that political parties in Uganda were manipulated. Evidently, the results of this manipulation are also the same, to wit: Factionalism, loss of faith in the system, corruption, insecurity and abuse of human rights, economic distortions and eventually decline. So, whether it’s political parties or Movement, the real problem is dishonest, opportunistic and undemocratic leadership operating in a weak institutional framework and a weak civil society which cannot control them” (Besigye, November 6 1999 Dossier).
Why do I use these words in 2022? Well, that’s the reasons for why Besigye doesn’t believe in compromise and working directly with the NRM now. The NRM haven’t become better since 1999, but its much more ruthless and less concerned about how it portray itself. Mwenda is claiming Besigye wants power, but he wants a proper transition of power away from the guns and to a civilian rule. Because, the NRM today is based on the power of the army and the authorities, which can be used to take total control. So, calling Besigye is just to justify the means to an end for Museveni. Since Museveni usage of force, intimidation and state sponsored violence is legit in the eyes of Mwenda. While being on the barricades to defend liberty, justice and freedom for all is called extremism. That just shows which side Mwenda is on…
“Yet Besigye has ignored the path taken by Mandela and instead embraced the one pursued by Yasser Arafat in Palestine. He has helped nourish a large constituency who reject politics as an activity that might – and should – involve compromise. The battle cry is never to seek any common ground. He and his radical extremist supporters despise any such, seeing it as selling out. Their motto is that we either win or they lose. This zero-sum approach to politics is very dangerous and can only lead to a autocratic government. This is because any government that comes to power without any negotiation or compromise will most likely to rule without any negotiation and compromise. And the reverse is true” (Mwenda, 22.07.2022).
We all know the game-plan here. Mwenda wants compromise to look good and make the resilience of Besigye to look bad. Alas, the main issue with this here and using Mandela as an example. It is not like Museveni wants to promise a new beginning or reform in which his leaving. The white minority rule (apartheid) government made that agreement with the African National Congress (ANC) which lead to a new start in the rainbow nation in 1990s. Something we know that the NRM and Museveni has no interests in. They only wants that prolongs the life of the Museveni era and the NRM clinging on to power. That’s why this sort of mental gymnastics isn’t doing anyone a favour. The dictator and his party would never really negotiate themselves out of office or offer a soft landing for a free and fair election. We know that Museveni would never do that… it isn’t in his character and certainly after 36 years. He will not do that… Museveni will never compromise to the levels of sincere approach or a possibility of losing power. No, his to conning to do that.
He continues: “Mao needs to be applauded for his courage, for leading the way, for breaking this fear that to work with Museveni is detrimental to the interests of Uganda. Museveni and his NRM are a deeply entrenched reality in Uganda’s body politic. They are unlikely to be removed from power any time soon. But Museveni is also a practical and pragmatic politician who is always looking out for opportunities to win over his opponents – or even to compromise them. That should not stop politicians of principle from being pragmatic, recognizing that building Uganda requires some cooperation with him” (Mwenda, 22.07.2022).
I can applaud Mao for showing his true character and lack of spine. His a sell-out and the deal will be breached. Sooner or later the President and his men will see no value in the DP or Mwenda. He will be as valuable as Beatrice Anywar aka Mama Mabira. Calling Museveni practical and pragmatic is joke. When he calls people’s parasites, insects and calls to destroy his opponents. A man who uses either the hook or the crook to go after his enemies. So, calling for pragmatic solutions with Museveni is hopeless. Sooner or later you will be lost and have no way to go. It is just showing the manner of which everyone else is supposed to beg for mercy, but Museveni is allowed to do whatever. Calling him pragmatic and practical. Well, say that to the tortured victims, the political prisoners and the families who has lost political activists in extra judicial killings because of their affiliations. That’s ruthless and not practical. So, Mwenda isn’t sincere here…
Mwenda further states: “Thus Besigye has built this cult that someone cannot compromise with Museveni without being compromised by the president. Yet one can work with Museveni without working for him and recognize the president’s accomplishments without endorsing his failures. This inability to see nuance and complexity leads me to believe that Besigye has despotic inclinations. His belief in the total annihilation of Museveni as the one and only path to Uganda’s democratization and development is dangerous” (Mwenda, 22.07.2022).
When Mwenda writes like this. It is like he has never listened or bother to care about the messaging of Besigye. Because, he has make Museveni look cool or like a likeable character. While demonizing and depict the enemies of the state as the worst. Alas, that is just what Mwenda does here. While not considering the implications of doing so. How can anyone have negotiations between the parties, when the spin-doctor of the other party calls Besigye that? That doesn’t make sense. Secondly, Besigye don’t have power and haven’t been in office of decades… FDC has proven to be a coordinated and a party machine which is ruled by proper protocol. So, why would he be dictator? It isn’t like Besigye is the Party President and a high ranking official there now.
Just to continue my reasoning. Let’s take another document of Besigye. Where in 2017 spelled out what was needed for a transition of government:
“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” (Besigye, 11.06.2017).
If you read this sort of text it isn’t a script of a demagogue or a dictator, but of a man who wants a public uprising and people power revolution to overthrow the current regime. Where he wants organizations and parties behind who all pull their weight. This is a game of getting all stakeholders to choke the government and stop it. So, it has to cease operation. So, when reading about the compromise. It is just like Mwenda wants to breathe new life into the Museveni government. Instead of actually offer a transition or a proper representation of the general public in government.
He ends with: “Most democracies I know in the world work through coalitions. This means they have to share power with those they don’t agree with. Why not Uganda?” (Mwenda, 22.07.2022).
Besigye’s own words in the 1999 described this: “After some years of NRM rule, some in the leadership began to feel that there was sufficient grassroots support for the NRM, such that one could “off-load” the “broad–based” elements in government at no political cost. These factors were at the centre of an unprincipled power-struggle which was mostly covert and hence could not be resolved democratically. It continued to play itself out outside the formal Movement organs, with the results of weakening and eventually losing the concept of consensus politics and broad-basedness” (Besigye, November 6 1999 Dossier).
When this have been public knowledge for decades and it hasn’t become better. The main problem for the way the government is operating is starting from the top. That’s His Excellency and the orders his issuing. The way of the NRM CEC, NRM Caucus and the way the Parliament is doing it’s business. Therefore, the Mwenda’s of the world speaking of coalitions. The ones who signs off and works with Museveni. Sooner or later will realize that they are being used and will be dropped off shortly. They will not have long shelf-life, unless the agreements signed gives them eternal pass like Gen. Moses Ali. The rest are left astray and without any house to keep. Museveni will not budge or give way. He wants it his way or your got no choice. That’s why calling him pragmatic and practical. Its just ridiculous and utter garbage.
Mwenda should study the patterns and the Leopards Anus. However, he rather try to spin to make the current regime look good. That’s all his busy doing now. Peace.
“I met with Democratic Party President Norbert Mao at State House Entebbe. We signed a cooperation agreement between the NRM and the DP. I salute the DP leadership for this gesture of mature, foresighted and constructive politics” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 20.07.2022).
We have seen the shift over the years. The NBS Frontline commentator and Party President Norbert Mao has today signed an agreement between the Democratic Party (DP) and the National Resistance Movement (NRM). It a cooperation agreement and by doing so… the DP party is certainly dying.
The DP Party has lost their strongholds. The DP has been weakened over the years with Mao at the helm. He might proclaim and act like it isn’t true. However, the Parliamentary Group is weakened and the party itself has lost it’s purpose. That’s why a deal like this will breathe life onto it, but also trade it all away.
The DP party cannot be seen as an opposition party. Mao and his associates has now ensured his pockets. However, the party is now tainted. The DP is now working directly with the tyrant and his tyranny. The cooperation agreement is selling the soul of the DP. Not that’s its shocking, but inevitable.
This just shows the power of the People Power Movement and the National Unity Platform (NUP). The NUP already took away most of the base of the DP. The DP lacks strong grass-root support and the NUP has gained on their territories. The youths and the like rather go to the NUP or the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). Than going to a moderate and elitist party, which isn’t directing its energy towards the problematic sides of the NRM regime.
That’s why the DP lost in the two last elections. They haven’t gained anything and only gotten some people in high ranking offices, because they wanted to work directly with Museveni. Now Mao is doing the same and there is no subtle way to describe it.
The DP was formed as a reaction to the Progressive Party in 1956. Now in 2022 it has sold its soul to the dictatorial party of 36 years the NRM. The former Catholic party with a base in Baganda and Catholic North. Has now traded away its glory and possible moderate answers to the dictatorship. It is instead becoming a crony and an ally.
Not that this is shocking. It explains why Mao has targeted the NUP and Bobi Wine in the recent time. Anyone who has followed Mao has seen his rhetoric and actions, which could been a well spoken Ofwono Opondo. Now his becoming a stooge of the President and he surely cost barely nothing.
Museveni blasts DP in 2004:
“How can you say for 50 years I have been here doing nothing and you also celebrate?” (…) “To remain in a deserted home and you celebrate for remaining there does not make sense” (New Vision – ‘Museveni blasts DP’s Ssemogerere’ 05.04.2004).
A man that speaks like about your party and later signs an agreement with you. He will destroy you and use the deal to undermine you. Museveni has promised to crush the opposition and take it down. Just like the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) deal hasn’t strengthen that party either. Instead it has taken seats and also ensured new MPs by doing so. Therefore, the DP will now go down the same path.
Mao should look onto Jimmy Akena and know that his becoming a similar party leader. Since his in favour of Museveni, but not being a big national figure. Secondly, his not even fielding candidacy to become President of the Republic. The UPC agreement should be studied and the results of it. Because, the DP-NRM agreement will most likely deliver similar results.
Mao has now traded his soul and all his ego to safe his accounts with fresh shillings. Peace.
“Police in Kampala have today arrested Mr. David L. Rubongoya, General Secretary of NUP
and his Driver Agaba Godwin Joseph on allegations of threatening violence. It’s alleged that on 26/05/2022 at about 1200 hrs while in Omoro County Mr Rubongoya using Motor vehicle reg. no.UAS 490Z Toyota land cruiser white in colour threatened Hon. Acheng Ruth vide Omoro SD reference 19/26/5/2022. They are pending transfer to Omoro” (100.2 Galaxy FM Zzina!, 22.06.2022).
Today there was news that National Unity Platform (NUP) Secretary General David Lewis Rubongoya was first arrested around Wandegeya and later re-arrested on new charges, which is alleging him to threaten Minister of Health, Ruth Acheng. Therefore, after being released on bonds or bail this evening.
The Minister of Health should explain herself. Even release an affidavit. Since, this seems like a political charge and nor a sincere. The Minister has a heavy security detail around her. She is never travelling alone. While the NUP SG doesn’t have it similar. That’s why his easily to arrest across the city. Which is why the authorities could arrest him and keep him detained so easy.
This just shows what the state is capable of doing. They can easily arrest high ranking officials in the opposition and they don’t even need proof of the allegations. Not that this is anything new. That’s why people are lingering behind bars for “inciting violence” and such. This is what the authorities does and it clear. It is open intimidation and crack-down on the opposition.
What we should need to know is what the Minister has done and why the charges is suddenly pinned on the NUP SG. That is needed now and she should address the allegations to the public. Because, the opposition leader shouldn’t be charged willy-nilly. Neither should anyone else be apprehended or charged without proof. This is why the Minister needs to explain it to the public. I have feeling she feels above that or any critique.
However, that he was taken into custody and so suddenly. Make you wonder what’s the reason and why the state did it today. Certainly, this tale is far from over. As the NUP SG was released hours later, but the case will now be pending. However, we should never expect anything to be address or any substantial trial. Since, it is all a mockery and an attempt to silence an opposition leader. Peace.