The sun is setting on election campaigns slated to end on Tuesday next week and Ugandans vote Thursday January 14 to choose a president, most certainly Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni and majority MPs from NRM going by all the credible opinion polls conducted so far. NRM already has fifteen MPs-elect declared unopposed by the Electoral Commission because opposition parties failed to field candidates against them.
By Ofwono Opondo
The very difficult year 2020 dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic that greatly suppressed the local, global economy and everyday aspects of life is finally behind us. In Uganda we have so far registered fewer deaths although cases of infections are rising and worrying.
Calm down, a Bobi Wine presidency of Uganda is not going to happen anytime soon, and there is ample evidence readily available for those who care to analyse Uganda’s current political terrain. We have seen these charlatans and yellow dog-gangsters before who stoke fears with claims unsupported by any evidence but they eventually fade away, sometimes into oblivion.
Next to my office on Plot36 Nile Avenue is a door that has remained ajar, that of a hitherto friend of many years, and former Deputy Executive Director, Col. Shaban (Sebastian) Bantariza who died on October 27, 2020 from the Covid19 he apparently acquired during many of his official public engagements. At his military burial in Mitooma district mourners including his close family could only painfully watch his coffin being lowered into the grave from a safe distance of thirty meters away.
As election campaigns progress into the home stretch and facing defeat, the combined opposition, especially presidential candidates are increasingly getting desperate, heightening acrimonious political discourse laced with blatant lies, fabrications, malice, intimidation and unmitigated display of violent confrontations. They hope to succeed in their grand plan to discredit the electoral process if they can’t thwart President Yoweri Museveni’s win within the first round.
The just concluded presidential nominations passed off successfully with eleven candidates now slated to be on the 2021 ballot paper, except for the publicity stunt orchestrated by Patrick Oboi Amuriat (FDC), and Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu of the National Unity Platform (NUP). It is worth noting that both belong to the defiance wing of opposition politics that does not believe change can come through the available democratic space.
Tomorrow and Tuesday, the Electoral Commission () will nominate presidential candidates in a crowded field for the forthcoming general elections slated for January 14, 2021, but mostly journeymen without substantial offer in policy alternatives for Uganda’s intractable problems. It will be very hard even for the most ardent journalists to remember some of the names.
In ten days time, the winner in US elections between incumbent Donald J. Trump and Democrat rival former vice president, Joe Biden, or ‘’Sleepy Joe’’ as Trump derisively calls him would have been known. Unfortunately because the US has for a very long time acted the world bogeyman due to its military, economic and internationalist might, many Africans have concluded that they cannot influence the dynamics in US.
Passing for a democratic political organisation, the proponents of the People Power activism recently acquired the National Unity Platform (NUP), they now seek to hopefully use and get state power in the forthcoming general elections. However, NUP leaders and their activists need to be advised to calm down because the future can be a rough tumble, and merely being a youth doesn’t confer unrestrained rights and legitimacy.
This week, October, 9, Uganda marked fifty-eight years of Independence from British colonial rule, with the official ceremony held at State House Entebbe by virtual means because of the Covid-19 pandemic under high restrictions on public gathering and social distancing that has become the new normal. On occasions like this in the past we found solace in blaming colonialism and neo-colonialism for the misfortunes.