Opinion: The IPOD is a lost cause

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.

Opinion: The EALA MPs race is already finished

The ones expecting any sort of shocks or sudden changes in the East African Legislative Assembly Members of Parliament (MP) race will be in a dire loss. The EALA MP race which is already scheduled will most likely be a settled affair already.

It is the MPs that elects them and the majority will go to the National Resistance Movement (NRM). The NRM has already 6 candidates or Flag-Bearers and you should expect all of them to be settled in. The Democratic Party (DP) will get one MP as that was signed off in the DP-NRM agreement, which was signed of earlier in the year. That means 6 of the 9 slots is already taken. Further, the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) should also get a candidate in for their loyalty and working relationship with NRM. That means 8 of the 9 MPs are already elected without much say. The last will be to a NRM leaning Independent and a “vetted” one like that. This is what you should expect and anything else would be weird at this point.

The NRM will have the majority and that is reflected in the NRM Caucus with their 6 Candidates. This is an easy pick and securing plum-jobs to former MPs and Ministers who has lost out. That’s why the EALA is a nice place for them to be put. When there is no parastatal or government entities to get appointed into. Therefore, the EALA is a well fitting place to do so.

The others are giving favourable and friendly parties of the Parliament a “shout-out” or “props” for their loyalty. They are getting a EALA MP slot and that’s why its easy to see the 6+2 or 8, which is al but missing 1 of the EALA MPs.

That Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) is fielding a flag-bearer is futile. The same can be said about whoever the National Unity Platform (NUP) would pick or have in this role. The Justice Forum (JEEMA) has also a flag-bearer, but that person will not go nowhere either. As the JEEMA has been an ally of the People Power and the NUP. So, with that in mind these parties candidates will go nowhere. There is no way that the majority of the Parliament will give them way. They are really wasting their time and only playing into the procedural games of the state. Yes, they have a right to have a flag-bearer or a EALA MP candidate, but it’s totally pointless. The opposition could have the best man or woman. They could have the incarnated saviour of the planet and all souls. That person still wouldn’t have a chance, because the NRM has decided and there is no turning back.

The FDC, NUP and JEEMA has no chance here. They should just give up. The DP and UPC will get the other spots. There is little chances for the independent candidates in this race, if any. Yes there is a talk of 15 MP candidates, but as long as you don’t have suction or pre-arranged agreements. These shouldn’t expect much. They are fillers on a paper or if even that…

The ones believing this will be free and fair elections. I hate to say it’s partly sealed already. The only last seat is what is unknown. While that one will most likely go to a NRM leaning Independent and someone in favour of the NRM without being on it’s ticket. That meaning all of the 9 of 9 EALA MPs.

The ones thinking the FDC, NUP or JEEMA has a shot at this… well, I cannot see it happening. It isn’t like the NRM or the ones in power has allowed that before. No, they rather see their own there and no one else. The only reason why UPC and DP has a chance, is because of their working arrangements with the NRM. That’s why they are getting favour and office. Not because of their representation or the will of the people. No, it’s because of ceremonial reasons between the NRM and their allies. There is nothing else too this. Peace.

Bukimbiri County By-Election: Return Form for Transmission of Results (11.08.2022)

Updates from Gogonyo County and Bukimbiri County By-Elections

Today is the day of the polls in the by-elections that is running simultaneously. Gogonyo County in Pallisa district is sort of over before the polls. As there are no real opposition or candidates against the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Flag-Bearer. This is why the real score is on the Bukimbiri County By-Elections in Kisoro district.

The Gogonyo County has had low voter turnout and it’s really an uninteresting affair. The only bothersome thing is that the Electoral Commission didn’t change the ballots after the withdrawal of candidates. So, the Polling agents has to enlighten the voters about if they vote for any of the candidates who pulled out. Their ballots becomes invalided one and will be counted as a spoilt one. Instead of casting a vote that really matters…

In Bukimbiri County is a whole other ball-game. There is already reports of abductions and arrests of the polling agents of the independent candidate, Asigaro Turyagendya. They are now detained at various of police stations. In addition to that… A team led by the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, Minister Sarah Mateke and Moses Kamuntu is traversing the county arresting the polling agents and supporters of Asigaro Turyagendya. So, the acts of Soroti East has come to Kisoro for sure.

It is also reported: “Voters in Bukimbiri County By-election are being given between 2000 and 5000 Ugandan shillings to vote either Asigario Turyagenda (independent) or Eddie Kwizera (NRM). This has led to physical fights” (Voice of Muhabura FM, 11.08.2022).

The amount of voters in Bukimbiri is said to be moderate. While drones and heavy security detail in the district. As reported earlier there are alleged voting bribery in the district. However, it is also stated that there have been ballot stuffing going on in Nyanamo Town Council. The source for this was Julius Nkunda from the Voice of Muhabura FM.

We can assess the circumstances here and the outcome is most likely a resounding victory for the NRM. Not because they have the best candidates or the flag-bearers. No, because they have rigged the elections and ensured safe-landing for their anointed ones. They have invested, intimidated and bribed to make it happen. It is just formalities and awaiting the Return Form for Transmission of Results.

Derrick Orone (Gogonyo County) and Eddie Kwizera (Bukimbiri County) is scheduled to be sworn-in and be the next MPs of the 11th Parliament. To think otherwise and naive. This is why the population isn’t eager to show up or participate. Because, everyone knows the drill and it’s close to pointless or derivative at this point. When everyone knows what will go down and who will be announced.

The rest is just publicity, smack-daddy posturing and open blindfolding of the population. Hoping they don’t understand the gimmicks and the games. These weren’t elected MPs, but selected ones. The NRM didn’t need to do much, but they did enough to secure the poll position. That’s very obvious. Yet, another few hallow “victories” for the Movement.

It can celebrate, but everyone knows what’s up and the reality will sooner or later hit them. They cannot do this forever and the public will not accept either. They are made fools off and everyone knows. Peace.

Opinion: Mutabazi only thinks about his own needs…

Joshua Mutabazi whose candidature for Bukimbiri County (Kisoro) seat was withdrawn by his party, NUP in favor of FDC candidate James Owebeyi has crossed to NRM” (NTV Uganda, 10.08.2022).

It wasn’t long ago that the National Unity Platform (NUP) withdrew their candidate in the up-coming by-election in Bukimbiri county in Kisoro district. It is just mere days since the effects of the Unity Statement came into affect and made the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) the “sole” candidate of the opposition in the by-election. However, as things are turning, the words of the 19 year old student surely turned bitter.

The not so seasoned politician who showed finesse character. Has had a change of heart. We don’t know what swayed him or what the National Resistance Movement (NRM) offered the young man. Whatever it was… it wasn’t serving the nation or the struggle for liberation. No it was most likely for his own needs and not what the country needed.

Just read his statement as he withdrew his candidacy just the other day…

Joshua Mutabazi statement:

But if, its for the people, but if it was for liberation, but had it been for us then why wait long. We cant keep claiming condemning and consoling. I choose to bridge the struggle but most importantly draw lines between what one needs and what the country needs. What the country needed a decade back was our leaders to be one, we are late. Its my turn, I wont delay therefore announce my withdrawal from the parliamentary seat by-election of the latter mentioned jurisdiction in favor and full support for united struggle. As the country’s need to have united forces of Change ages daily, I and my party decided to take it upon ourselves. If you have ever experienced injustice and by the ungodliness, then you are a candidate to stand against the same. “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty. Matthew 23:11-12-11-12 MSG If you are unwilling to make an early sacrifice in life, you’ll be beggars and slaves to the men who did” (Joshua Mutabazi – STATEMENT ON MY WITHDRAWAL FROM THE BUKIMBIRI COUNTY PARLIAMENT SEAT BY-ELECTION, 06.08.2022).

The young man knew perfectly well the deal and what sort of struggle it is out there. The path that his chosen is a road for himself. That is with whatever cherries or dealings the NRM has offered. This is short-term benefits, but in the long-run… his not useful or anything of value for the NRM. No, his just another bought cadre who they were able to corrupt ahead of a by-election. He will be useful as Ashburg Katto or anyone else taken from the NUP. The associates of Bobi Wine who turned the other way.

Mutabazi haven’t even carried himself in a whole campaign. He did the right thing and said the words that was wisely written in the statement. As the party in their efforts of solidarity and planned joint-ventures had to drop-out of certain races to show unified front against the NRM. That’s just a mere fact and Mutabazi isn’t the only one who had to withdraw and won’t be the last either. Especially, if the parties continues with this practice and belief of joint-campaigning to show a vast difference from the NRM.

Mutabazi is unwillingly to sacrifice and will become a beggar or a slave to the system. That’s the choice he made… when he decided not to follow the struggle, but took a choice for his own ends. The young man is in his rights to do so, but he abandoned the struggle and the life of sacrifices. He has chosen the life of cronyism and becoming corrupted by the regime itself. That’s why he gave up on trying to be part of change, but instead joining with the status quo. It is tragic, but that’s the path he has chosen.

When you have opened this door, there is no turning back. People know what you do and who you are. You weren’t the man you made to believe. Instead you sold out and that will forever be a stain on your name. That’s the choice he made and now he has to deal with it. Peace.

Opinion: The Speaker investigates the MP and not the corrupt practice itself…

We know that the Speaker of the August House is partisan and works directly for the interests of the state. This is why the actions of National Unity Platform (NUP) MP for Bukoto South, Twaha Kagabo sparks this reaction. Not because Speaker Anita Annet Among cares about these things, because she clearly don’t, but instead see it as a means to an end. She can use the allegations and the retraction of the payout to start an investigation.

That Kagabo MP used his platform and his titles to unleash these funds. Just shows how the state operating and how easy access to bribes there are for the MPs. The state can so easily payout and give them kickbacks for their services. However, the speaker isn’t interested in that and neither is the National Resistance Movement (NRM). They don’t want to exposed or shown how they “eat”. No, they want the man who told and spelled it out punished. He dared to speak out and unleash the truth to the public. That’s why Speaker Among reacts now.

In this manner she has shown her conduct and her will:

Honourable Members, yesterday the media was awash with news of a Member of this House allegedly seeking to return some money whose sources and intentions are unknown. The member in question is Hon. Twaha Kagabo, MP Bukoto South. He was reportedly carrying money in cash seeking to deliver it to some offices within the precincts of Parliament. Hon. Members, the code of conduct for Members of Parliament is well enumerated in appendix F of the Rules of Procedures which amongst others deals with personal conduct, corruption, public trust and improper use of payment. The actions of the member threatens the integrity of this House. I accordingly invoke Rule 175 (1) (b) of the Rules of Procedure and refer the Member to the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline. The Committee should investigate the Member’s conduct and report back within one (1) month. Hon. Members, in a bid strengthen evidence-based legislation, the Parliamentary Commission has established three (3) resource centres fully equipped with computers and printing services; in the Library, development House and Kingdom Kampala. The Clerk has shared the details of their locations on your e-mails. Please make the best use of those resource centres to boost your input in the legislative process” (Anita Annet Among, 09.08.2022).

What is striking from the Speaker is that “sources” of the cash is supposed to be unknown. While the traces of that could be found on accounts and the meeting-point of wherever the MPs could get it. They tend to have a “rendezvous” point and get the monies from a courier. That’s how the stories usually goes, especially the payments that isn’t coming as salaries or added perks in their office. Therefore, the Speaker is acting ignorant, when she knows the practice herself and has “pocketed” funds this way too.

What is even more striking is that she issues an investigation into the manner of which he showed up with the cash. That this was an act of weakening the integrity of the Parliament. However, the Deputy Speaker by being the man who so easily voted to salvage ROKO during last month is more substantial in damage of the reputation and how the procedural works of the National Assembly is. Nevertheless, his part of the tribe and one-of-them so he can walk-it-off. That’s why the investigation will certainly make him a victim and punish the MP. Because, he dared to question a “suit” or “brown envelope”. He was just suppose to eat it and be silent. It was “free” money and it was given to serve a purpose.

The Speaker isn’t defending the integrity, instead she is showing that corrupt practices doesn’t matter, but the publicity of it is another case. If the MP hadn’t said a word or tried to expose the rot in the Parliament. Well… he would have eaten and had a peaceful day. However, he chose to enlighten and show up to reimburse the funds. That’s why his said to be corrupt and like his the only one, which is silly. The “rendezvous” point and the courier most likely had “envelopes” for a majority and they took it. Nevertheless, the Speaker and the like wants us to be believe his the only one. That cannot be true and it wouldn’t serve a purpose to only pay him. That’s just the nature of the game and how you get things moved.

Speaker Among proves yet again to be partisan and work in favour of the NRM. She isn’t a person who works for the state, but works for interests of one party. That is evident. This is why the NUP MPs get into trouble and her own don’t have to worry about a fly. Peace.

Bukimbiri County By-Election: The NRM is ready to repeat what they did in Soroti East…

We’re very ready to gain that victory in all the remaining by-elections in Gogonyo, and Bukimbiri. Our teams are already on the ground and we hope to repeat what we did in Soroti,” NRM party EC boss, Dr. Tanga Odoi said” (The New Vision, 05.08.2022).

The ones that believes the two by-elections scheduled for 11th August 2022 will be free and fair. Well, I hate to say it in advance: “It will not be”. Because, the National Resistance Movement are already prepared and Dr. Tanga Odoi know what went down in the Soroti East By-Election. So, the truth is in those words and the public shouldn’t be hoodwinked.

The Prime Minister Nabbanja flew in with a helicopter to campaign together with other high ranking officials who is in the area. They are clearly ensuring the path of victory and having the manpower to “ensure victory”. If that being Dombo or NRM operatives on the ground. These will do whatever it takes and that shows with how the NRM has invested in the PM to be there.

Here are some more important statements into the race, which we will be run like Soroti East…

The PM:

PM Robinah Nabbanja, pitches camp in Kisoro to campaign for NRM flag bearer, Eddie Kwizera Wa-gahungu ahead of this week’s Bukimbiri by-election. Nabbanja rallied the locals to support Kwizera, if promises and pledges of gov’t are to be fulfilled” (91.2 Crooze FM, 08.08.2022).

Joint Candidacy of the Opposition:

Kampala, Uganda: The National Unity Platform (NUP) party has withdrawn its candidate in the Bukimbiri county by-election, in order to jointly support James Owebeyi, a candidate for the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party. Voting in Bukimbiri is scheduled to take place on August 11, 2022. The by-election stems from the court of Appeal’s decision to nullify the victory of Kwizera citing irregularities following a successful application by Owebeyi” (Flash TV Uganda, 07.08.2022).

Joshua Mutabazi statement:

But if, its for the people, but if it was for liberation, but had it been for us then why wait long. We cant keep claiming condemning and consoling. I choose to bridge the struggle but most importantly draw lines between what one needs and what the country needs. What the country needed a decade back was our leaders to be one, we are late. Its my turn, I wont delay therefore announce my withdrawal from the parliamentary seat by-election of the latter mentioned jurisdiction in favor and full support for united struggle. As the country’s need to have united forces of Change ages daily, I and my party decided to take it upon ourselves. If you have ever experienced injustice and by the ungodliness, then you are a candidate to stand against the same. “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty. Matthew 23:11-12-11-12 MSG If you are unwilling to make an early sacrifice in life, you’ll be beggars and slaves to the men who did” (Joshua Mutabazi – STATEMENT ON MY WITHDRAWAL FROM THE BUKIMBIRI COUNTY PARLIAMENT SEAT BY-ELECTION, 06.08.2022).

That Mutabazi (NUP) is withdrawing his candidature is in line with the united forces in the by-elections. This means the NUP and FDC will combine their efforts and be behind one candidate in the race. It shows that the statement released after the Soroti East By-Election is in effect. The parties are coordinating and ensuring the possible best outcome.

The FDC Owebeyi was able to pull off the petition in the courts after the General Elections of 2021. However, now in the By-Election it is a whole other breed. The state will use all means and tactics. The NRM EC Chairman is even saying it out loud. Expect it to become a military exercise. We should expect mass-arrests, pre-ticked ballots and other malpractices to ensure “victory” of the NRM flag-bearer. That’s how they are doing it and it’s so obvious.

That’s why I have little to no faith in the opposition in these races. Not because I want the NRM to win. I do want anyone else than the NRM to win. However, the way they operate and continues to take the elections. The will of the people isn’t the vital one. It is the total annihilation of the opposition. That’s the goal and the objective…

I don’t see a positive outcome. The FDC flag-bearer James Owebeyi could be a genuine man and an honest actor, the best sort of candidate, but that doesn’t matter. Because, the state is preparing their machine and rigging. The FDC polling agents and activists will soon feel the agony of facing the state. They are getting into the firing line and they tend to answer with brutality. To think otherwise is to be naive in 2022… Peace.

Opinion: Among acting as a Speaker and LoP

“Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has rejected LoP Mathias Mpuuga’s decision to replace Ojara Mapenduzi as chairperson of the Local Government Parliamentary Accountability Committee with FDC Gilbert Olanya. Anita, who presided over plenary on Tuesday, insisted that Ojara’s committee is still working on key reports. “I am also aware the committee is in its final stages of reporting on the Auditor General’s Findings for the financial year 2020/21,” the Speaker said” (Jonah Kirabo – ‘Speaker Among blocks NUP from removing Mapenduzi from Local Government committee’ 03.08.2022, Nile Post).

The Speaker of the 11th Parliament this week rejected parts of the Leader of Opposition mini reshuffle of the Shadow Cabinet. The LoP is the one in-charge of the Shadow Cabinet and the ones that appoints the members of it. This is not the duty or the position of the Speaker to withhold.

However, she has already involved herself in using a social media post to launch a campaign and investigation into opposition Member of Parliament Francis Zaake. A man who lost his additional office and post in the Parliament. So, her actions stopping the removal of Ojara Mapenduzi is following a pattern. That is obvious.

Things are to personal and too close to home for the Speaker. She wants to not only control all parts of the Parliament, but also have a say in everything. I wonder, would she have blocked Norbert Mao from becoming Minister? Would she have dared to stop the removal of former Minister Justice because she liked him? Well, I don’t think she would dare to question or even consider asking about a motion or a protocol from the Head of State. No, she is just accepting and moving on.

The Speaker is playing impartial and acts like this for a reason. It seems like the opposition was an ally and the loss of prominence hurt her case. The LoP should be able to and be able to reshuffle the cabinet as he pleases. Just as the President can appoint and remove ministers. That’s their position and their offices. Yes, you can question the characters and wonder if they are fit for the job. However, the LoP is duty bound to have a shadow cabinet and the President to appoint his. The Speaker is just there to preside and ensure the appointees get into office through the right procedures- However, here she is indirectly telling the LoP to keep a member, which he deems unfit.

Would Among ever do that to Museveni about a Cabinet member?

The answer to that is a “no” and shouldn’t even think of double-crossing or questioning his reasoning. She is there to serve and collect salary. That’s why reading about the blocking of the LoP is infuriating. Since she is not doing her job but acting as she can control and decide for the LoP. Which isn’t her role.

Speaker Among should know better, but she prefers to be hostile and interfere in other people’s business. She acts like an overlord in Parliament. In this regard she isn’t securing business of the Parliament going as scheduled, but instead take a stance on how the LoP operates. Which she has already done once with the removal of Zake from another office in Parliament.

The Speaker should review her own actions and start to question if she is the problem or the one with serious issues. Since she wants to be the LoP and the Speaker at the same time. That’s how it’s looking to me. Peace.

Opinion: The Bukimbiri County and Busongora County South By-Elections is up next…

After Omoro and Soroti East By-Elections this year. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) will not back-down. Don’t expect these By-Elections to be anything better. The NRM uses all means to “win” and pyrrhic victories is their vibe.

The same will be the case on the 11th August in Bukimbiri County in Kisoro Distric and on the 18th August Busongora County South in Kasese District. That’s only about two or three weeks from now. People are already shattered and seen the means to an end from the NRM. They don’t mind using military means, mass-arresting and ordering the military to intimidate the people. The NRM doesn’t care about ballot-stuffing, pre-ticked ballots or ferrying voters. No, everything goes as long as their Member of Parliament is elected. That is what the previous By-Elections has shown.

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) can field a candidate in both elections here. The National Unity Platform (NUP) as well. It doesn’t matter who the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) or Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) either. The FDC has big chances in Kasese, as that has been their stronghold in that region, but we saw how much that mattered in Teso sub-region. The machinery and the state will just assault its way to power. It doesn’t matter what the will of the people or what the people wants to vote. The predetermined minds of the State House and the NRM CEC matters more.

After what we have seen, the FDC and the other opposition parties can field candidates. These candidates do an honest campaign and be canvassing votes in the constituency. We know that the FDC, NUP and ANT will field candidates in Bukimbiri County. However, after what we have seen in Omoro and Soroti East that this doesn’t really matter. The NRM will ensure their MPs get elected and they will not spare on anything. They will use money, promise the heavens and rig the polls. That’s what they do and people should know that.

The opposition could have the best candidates, heck they could have saviour and a grand peacemaker. The person would still lose, because the NRM would use all their tools to get ahead. They don’t mind to arrest, detain and silence the opposition. The NRM can use the army and the police force for their winning. That has been shown and the soldiers will be there too. This is the only way the NRM can “win” an election in 2022.

We need to expect more mass-arrests and more agony. The NRM and the current regime will not allow a proper election to be held. Because, if the NRM and the Electoral Commission held that. They would risk to lose to a nobody or an unknown person from another party. That’s because the public is tired of the NRM and this is why they fear the voice of the people. They wouldn’t dare to do an honest election. For a simple reason: They don’t trust the judgement of the people and that’s why they have to decide for them.

We should expect shambolic affairs… elections filled with malpractice and intimidation. Voting bribery, voter ferrying and pre-ticked ballots. All of it will be used. That’s why the persons on the ballots doesn’t really matter. The ones on the Yellow Bus and part of the NRM will have an advantage the others cannot conquer. The only way they can do that is if the public storms the tally-centres and reacts to the open rigging of the regime.

However, I wouldn’t count on it. The usage of the army, police and high ranking officials to rig the elections. Will strike fear to the public and make them feel indifference. The elections has no real purpose. As it is only a ceremonial waiting-game for the announcement of the NRM Flag-bearer for MP. Peace.

Opinion: Revisiting the TDA [and where are they now?]

5. The goal of The Democratic Alliance shall be achieved through the pursuance of the following objectives:

a) Building the necessary mobilization capabilities and organizational infrastructure of the Alliance and its members in order to win power;

b) Developing and presenting a common policy and governance agenda for elections;

c) Ensuring the attainment of an electoral majority by fielding candidates for all electoral positions across the country;

d) Fielding of joint candidates for electoral offices as set out in this Protocol;

e) Constituting a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) with the purpose of implementing appropriate political and economic reforms to build a strong and durable foundation for democracy, rule of law and economic justice” (Protocol of the Democratic Alliance, June 2015).

Because of the recent cooperation agreement between the Democratic Party (DP) and the National Resistance Movement (NRM). This has started questions about the legitimacy of the coalition that was one part of the opposition ahead of the General Elections in 2016. It is striking that this is happening now and it’s worth to look into what has happened ever since.

The TDA was a coalition made by a various set of parties. The two parties that directly went out of the coalition early was Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) and the Forum for Democratic of Change (FDC). However, the others stayed behind and they went ahead to stand behind the former Prime Minister and Secretary General of the NRM, Amama Mbabazi. He became the Joint Presidential Candidate of the TDA and the Pressure Group of “Go Forward”.

The TDA was much larger than Mbabazi alone. It was the Conservative Party (CP), Democratic Party (DP), Justice Forum (JEEMA), Pressure for National Unity (PNU), People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA). So, there were a handful of leaders in and around the TDA. There was also Olara Otunnu from the UPC and Dr. Kizza Besigye from the FDC. The UPC as a party left, but Otunnu stayed on, if I remember correctly.

The leaders who are vital part of TDA was Amama Mbabazi, Ken Lukyamuzi, Norbert Mao, Asuman Basalirwa, Beti Kamya, Gilbert Bukenya aka Mahogany and Dick Odur. There was also others associated and part of the proceedings like Mugisha Muntu and others. Therefore, it was a team of the opposition at the time who at certain points did their part here.

However, as time has shown us. Plenty of these people has sided with the NRM or returned to the NRM. The Presidential Flag-Bearer Mbabazi was a NRM Member and hadn’t revoked his membership as he was standing up against Museveni. So, that he returned and is in the good graces with the President is just natural. The stage of Go Forward was only a short sighted project and was over the moment the election was over.

Bukenya has also returned and is living the good life. His living large and having perks with titles and being part of the elite. The Former Vice President has no worries and was only for a minute or less an “opposition”. I doubt we will ever see anything of the PNU ever again.

Mao has just become the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. His working in cooperation with the government. Still part of the DP but he has a hectic period ahead of him. As insiders in the party wants him out and ousted. Since, this agreement wasn’t signed of from the party or the members. The DP Block has even dismissed him too.

Kamya has gone from being appointed Minister of Kampala. To lose her leadership of her party the UFA. Later becoming a NRM Member and changing Ministry. Now she’s the IGG but certainly not electable or viable candidate. She has become a typical crony of Museveni over the years.

Basalirwa has been close to the People Power Movement and the National Unity Platform. He has ensured popularity and gotten elected into Parliament as the only JEEMA MP. Therefore, his the first man here who is actual opposition from the TDA still.

Lukyamuzi has on the other hand lost his constituency and not become a third time re-elected to Rubaga South MP. He instead focused on finishing his degree, which he did in 2017. The Party President and former MP has been a vocal critic of the government. Even made a case against the Age Limit in the courts, which was dismissed. So, he is an actual man in the opposition. “The Man” is true to his missions and his goals.

Otunnu has been resigned from politics. He also lost the Party Presidency. The UPC has since then signed a secret agreement with the NRM. That’s why the UPC haven’t fielded a Presidential Candidate for two elections in a row. Otunnu has kept himself in the background and you can wonder if he will resurface or do anything for that matter.

Muntu also lost the Party Presidency. He lost to another candidate within the FDC. This made him create a New Formation, which is now known as the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT). That party was launched in time for the 2021 General Elections and he ran as President.

Besigye ran a the Presidential Flag-Bearer for the FDC and created the People’s Government after swearing himself in after the General Elections in 2016. Since then he has launched several of campaigns and the latest after the 2021 elections is the Red Card Front. A voice of the opposition still.

There are several of other leaders who are in the opposition that was a part of the TDA in 2015/2016. These could be Mathias Mpuuga (former DP now NUP), Betty Nambooze (former DP now NUP) and so fourth. There are more people that has been involved and could be mentioned, but that would make this piece to long.

However, a huge pattern are still there. Plenty of the TDA high ranking leadership went either back to NRM or has found a home in government. That is really happening on a larger scale. We shouldn’t be surprised that Mbabazi and Bukenya went back home. However, the others should really be questioned…

This was a short revising of the TDA. An alliance built quickly and seemingly destroyed. It wasn’t meant to be. We shouldn’t expect the Go Forward or the PNU to be returning either. The era of the TDA is gone and it’s for a reason. The TDA was built on sand and not on mountain. If it had been real and a sincere enterprise. So many of these leaders wouldn’t have sought shelter under the wings of the man who they were promised to create a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU).

Obviously… things didn’t pan out, but it is a picture, which shows how the times are changing. Peace.

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