NUP with its inflated Ego should learn from DP, UPC, and FDC Fall
Years back, John Nagenda, derisively referred to FDC as Fall Dawn Completely, attracting a prolonged vitriolic backlash from many FDC supporters, who viewed Nagenda, as an NRM and President Yoweri Museveni’s protégé who in any case wouldn’t wish them well. Nagenda had castigated FDC’s formation, as essentially by people he termed “disgruntled” driven by their own failures in the old NRM, encouraged on by elements from the old discredited Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) and Democratic Party (DP).
In that regard, Nagenda, during the 2006 general elections, advised Ugandans that a group motivated mainly by hate, and lust for power for its own sake, as Kizza Besigye Kifefe and FDC, appeared then to be, didn’t deserve to be elected to lead Uganda. The bellicosity of most FDC top leaders and their sidekicks who ride rough shoulders has haunted them leading to the party’s slow disintegration and possibly inevitable death sooner rather than later. FDC has within fifteen years become more of an empty shell as publicly admitted this week by its President Patrick Oboi Amuriat, and regardless of the bombast of people like Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.
From visible trends, the National Unity Platform (NUP) as the new opposition party on the block appears to have fully imbibed insolence, abrasive, and frequently conjured falsehoods as its style to conduct politics against real or perceived opponents including media houses or journalists who publicly criticize its leaders or actions. NUP vocalists call whoever raises issues of internal accountability, corruption and extortion a mole planted by NRM yet the whispers in the corridors is that money and other favours were reportedly exchanged for one to get party nomination during last year’s elections. And today without shame, NUP leaders like those of FDC believe that it is all fine for them to get billions of shillings from the Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (Ipod) but not attend meetings with partner parties particularly NRM.
Listening to Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a. Bobi Wine whose meteoric rise shows a very thin political record, David Louis Rubongoya (Secretary General), Mathias Mpuuga Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LoP), and Joel Ssenyonyi its eloquent spokesperson, it becomes clear that they cannot see the entire stretch otherwise they would behave differently and better. To be different, it’s important for NUP leaders to be measured in stride, learn to be comfortable with provocative criticisms, and reign in supporters who use vulgarity in genuine public discourse.
Their ongoing aggressive posture against media houses that published stories about internal disagreements over money and direction they are taking which they claim is the dirty handiwork purportedly being engineered by NRM shows that the slow death of FDC hasn’t served to them as a good learning curve. Both DP and FDC initially rejected media reports that disagreements existed until they became full-blown, public and irreconcilable when Mugisha Muntu, and MPs Alice Alaso, Winnie Kizza, Elija Okupa, Abdu Katuntu, Odonga Otto, Angelina Osege, Mpuuga, Merdard Ssegona, Joseph Ssewungu and Muwanga Kivumbi among others walked out of their respective parties. And so here memory clearly isn’t one of the strong points for politicians, otherwise one would know that DP, UPC, CP, FDC and NRM all suffer internal bitter disagreements that often lead to fallouts. In NRM’s case the fallout with its founding Secretary General Amama Mbabazi alongside other officials is a good reminder that, never discount media reports merely because of seeking to protect a small inflated ego. The disintegration of UPC has been more dramatic if not painful.
Since its formation, and employing rubble-rousing strategy to lure the unsuspecting youthful population especially in Buganda, NUP has got consumed in hate politics and now falsely believe that Kyagulanyi can run through any obstacle however hard. As the old adage goes, the hand that wields the dagger never wears the crown, and NUP leaders need to take a cautious approach to political struggles and other matters of public discourse if they truly want to be successful beyond a whirlwind season.
It’s worth recalling that when Amuriat assumed FDC leadership in 2017, he struck at Parliament accountability committee leaderships where he positioned his loyalists because they were seen as major sources of funding for party activities. Information available indicates that chairpersons of those committees habitually gang press accounting officers and heads of government agencies for money, some of which are remitted to run party affairs including allowances for leaders who have no sources of person incomes.
Many insiders say it is partly why government accounting officers are under so much pressure whenever they appear before committees, and there have been many instances of public counter accusations among these MPs. In addition, committee members usually conduct field trips purportedly to audit public institutions and monitor delivery of services where more pressure is piled on public servants. Yes, for now Kyagulanyi may be a small kingmaker but he should learn to be the beacon of moderation in NUP otherwise he becomes a patron of lost causes like Besigye has become. He cannot live in the mainstream by embracing outlier fringes.