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FDC, Besigye have Nowhere to Hide Falsehoods Anymore

Ofwono Opondo
July, 12, 18  
 
The thunderous victory in favour of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) in the just concluded elections for village leaders, otherwise called Local Councils (LCs) should put the opposition, especially the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), its perennial presidential candidate loser Kizza Besigye, and their allies in civil society and media to shame. Results tabulated by the NRM indicates that it swept the elections across the country winning 120 out of 122 districts, losing only Abim to Independents, and Kampala to FDC. Kampala has 857 LC1s, and NRM won 268 or 31%, opposition 317, and Independents 217. In thousands of villages, the often hate-sowing and boastful opposition parties couldn’t even raise candidates, demonstrating their collective weakness and absence at the grassroots. Let FDC tell Ugandas what happened to its much hyped Power10 structures of the so-called 'peoples government'. 
The opposition, particularly Besigye, had been making vows to turn LC elections into a ‘referendum’ on the legitimacy of President Museveni, NRM MPs and NRM party, or the ‘military junta’s hold on to power,’ as he prefers to describe it. Now, the fire flakes they have been throwing haven’t burnt NRM as they hoped. And to pile more misery, NRM took Kasese, Rukungiri, and Gulu, considered opposition backyards.
The robust competition exhibited among parties and candidates is testimony to the importance attached to LCs as the community’s first line of response in resolving common disputes, building harmony, cohesion, and foundational security. And yes, there were candidates, now leaders, who may be eyeing these positions as avenues for illicit self-enrichment, perhaps the reason they injected a lot of cash in the campaigns. While there were many cases of excitement, anger, animosities and isolated incidences of violence, on the whole, the exercise was a success. The violence and disagreements among candidates could have been avoided if effective civic education had been conducted to build consensus so that aspirants agree to share slots on the executive which in turn consolidates collective leadership.
The opposition yellow dog gangsters had vigorously flayed the method of open queuing behind candidates claiming that it is backward, archaic, and unconstitutional, exposes voters to fear, retribution, hatred, and that people would stay away. Now contrary to those claims, the enthusiasm demonstrated during the exercise, and the tranquility prevailing afterwards debunks their propaganda.
While the old innocence of the villages may be eroding, many people there know each other well enough, are still frank and will let you know which side of the political isle they belong unlike in urban areas where most people have gained notoriety of craftiness and doggy. To illustrate, in my three villages of Mulanda and Segere in Tororo district, and Nasuuti in Mukono, NRM candidates thrashed FDC and DP. It was more spectacular in Nasuuti when the DP candidate Mrs. Florence Lwandasa who was defending her seat got defeated by NRM’s Edmond Kiberu. Mrs. Lwandasa had to be rushed home after collapsing upon the shock defeat with a wide margin and I believe that there are many such colourful cases around the country. 
Since the polls on Tuesday, Besigye has cleverly avoided commenting on them preferring instead to rant how he won the 2016 presidential elections. With these results FDC and Besigye now have nowhere to run or hide with their falsehoods, and they have come to a rendezvous with political reality.
These groups, had for a long time woven false and absurd narratives that government had deliberately refused to conduct LC elections because it ‘feared’ the people who would reject it at the polls. For some time, they argued that President Yoweri Museveni and NRM had failed to deliver on its many promises, or that services were too poor on account of incompetence and corruption that the government couldn’t dare face those they often derisively describe as the “common man.” Close to ten years now, Besigye has been arguing that poverty is biting Ugandans so hard that they would eject NRM at the slightest opportunity.
Last year, when government mooted a proposal for constitutional amendment to quicken acquisition of land for public works, the opposition alleged that it was intended to grab private holdings and tried to turn citizens hostile. They then claimed government couldn’t hold elections at the time because it would lose. In the aftermath of the Constitutional amendment scrapping presidential age limit, and lengthening parliament and local government tenure, the opposition went overdrive. They claimed that NRM MPs who had supported the amendment were so unpopular, scared and couldn’t dare face their own constituents. They created so much propaganda, blackmail and violent intimidation against NRM leaders. Again, the robust engagement witnessed throughout last week between NRM MPs and their constituents has exposed the opposition for the charlatans they really are.
Unashamed, when murders crept in from mid last year, the opposition went high on the moon drum-beating that the final hour of President Museveni and NRM had arrived. The un-assailed security of persons and property which has been NRM’s bedrock, so went the propaganda, had collapsed, denting NRM’s credibility and legitimacy, and Ugandans wouldn’t trust it again. With these results, Ugandans expect the same frogs to croaking the old broken symphony.