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OpEd

HUSSEIN KYANJO: What next after the obvious political signs in Uganda?

The former Makindye West legislator, Hussein Kyanjo pens down an analytical article on Uganda’s political move. (FILE PHOTO)

NEW DELHI, India – Friends, I greet you in the name of the Almighty. I wish the Muslim community a fruitful Ramadhan.

I am happy to be alive three months since I was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Every day I live is a bonus. It’s all because of the mercy of Allah together with your love, support, and prayers. I am a lot better, thank you so much.

It has been a while since forces of change threw unpleasant blows at one another to the pleasure of our tormentors its however gratifying to see harmony coming again. I had warned that it was dangerous to label each other moles during this time instead of concentrating on fighting the common enemy.  In fact, every time we fight the enemy gets a holiday and plans against us. You cannot ‘clean’ all your followers until the end. Some people forget that Rt. Hon Rugunda was UPC, Rt. Hon Moses Ali was Amin’s right-hand finance minister, Rt. Hon Sekandi was DP,  Gen Katumba and Gen Kasirye Gwanga were Amin’s soldiers.

Let me surprise you that some, if not all the figures I have mentioned are still holding on to their old belonging dearly and they are ever treated as inevitable intruders by the M7 inner circle. So even if you knew one was a mole treat them carefully and that’s all for now.

I also discouraged the idea of criticising each other’s plans. For example, why do you spend quality time and energy presenting the argument against people powers ndanga muntu plan? On the other hand, why do you loose profitable efforts against the peoples’ government? Or DP block. Don’t you recognise the benefit to our side when people power are staging massive colorful action in Kampala while people’s government t is doing the same in Kiboga?

Now, despite the posturing, the enemy is fully convinced that the day these forces will embark on a national wide campaign it will be game up.

There has been loose talk about the appropriateness of Dr Besigyes standing as candidate again and on the other side some voices are saying Hon. Kyagulanyi is not the most suitable presidential candidate.

To answer this query, Dr. Besigye is one person and an FDC member, in just the same way as Mr. Museveni one person and is the choice of NRM (if this is true). Both parties have expressed open dissatisfaction about those choices to the extent that both parties have seen some of their senior members somehow parting ways. Gen Muntu and group now have a new party. In DP, Hon. Nambooze and Lord Mayor Lukwago did not find comfort in the leadership of Hon. Mao and are now practically more aligned to FDC than to DP. These debates can never be concluded. We just have to live with them.

Let us carefully drive our fragile agenda up to the end. Signs are already visible on the billboard. The Museveni – NRA regime is in its last days.

Inside the NRM camp there are many silent factions. There is the group of elderly individuals who are now after preservation of the wealth they have accumulated in 33 years. They think we must sit down with everybody and define the way forward. These have already settled part of their families abroad. There is a corresponding minority youth group walking this talk. On the opposite side there are majority youths who are insisting that the political question must be peacefully resolved. These have their little wealth together with their families here in Uganda and they fear loses of property and life in case of a forced change.

About candidates, it is common in Ugandan politics to mudsling opponents and wish them away in public. I remember the insults we swallowed as a small group which later became JEEMA when everybody opposed to Mr. M7 supported Dr. Besigye in 2001. We had sat in several meetings including one with Dr. Besigye himself, and concluded that we couldn’t support him as long as he remained in NRM and wished only to reform it (hence Reform Agenda).  But we also agreed not to clash with each other in the 2001 elections, a promise JEEMA leaders kept till the end. The followers of Dr. Besigye’s group called us all sorts of names and many lived in shame when they discovered that they went overboard after all.  From 2006 onwards (2006, 2011), when it was clear that Dr. Besigye was a multi partyist under FDC, we joined hands, openly, with no regrets.

About individuals, it must be known that the history of demeaning emerging leaders has existed for centuries Jesus and Muhammad PBUH were deeply criticized by none other than their own. Locally here Dr. Obote was referred to by DP as one who didn’t even know how to comb own hair at the time he teamed with KY. When Amin took over the major weapon against him was “he can’t speak English”. In the not so distant past, Mr. Museveni was bashed by his own people in Ankole as a joker who has never led a sub-county, they added he didn’t know how to wear a suit.  They added that he never concluded school and it is alleged that people like Hon. S. Kuteesa and Dr. Obote said he was not Ugandan. So, today it is just returning with Bobi Wine as a drug addict, a mere musician, a gambler, too young to lead a progressive state arguing that Museveni managed as a young leader because there was no state left by the time he took over. It is also sung that Bobi does not know how to interpret economic policy etc. These are normal reactions to anything fundamentally new.

The important point today is not all that junk talk.  It is rather the point of who attracts the majority sentiment? It is not to look for the most suitable candidate but rather the most appropriate one. I found myself in that situation during the IPC days in 2011 to be honest, I had the numbers to defeat Dr Besigye in the Nambole IPC delegates’ conference. But in our final confidential consultations the night before, we agreed it was possible to win as the most suitable candidate but end up as inappropriate. I accepted Besigye was more appropriate at the time. The same story is true today. We are not looking for the most suitable candidate but rather the most appropriate. This is just because the other appropriate persons are not willing or able to offer themselves. In smart board room politics Bobi wouldn’t raise a finger and he himself says it. It is not about him. Look at Rt. Hon Kadaga, Dr. Wavamunno, Mr. Rugumayo Hon. Omara Atubo and the like. Try the youth table also Dr Muvawala, Mr Daudi Mpanga, Mr Kobushenga and Chairman Mao. Those above would be most suitable and appropriate too, but except Mao, the rest are silent and unwilling to come out. How do you expect the population to go chasing them out of hiding and install them as chief executives of Uganda?

Last on this is the call for patience, till all opposition forces sit together and prepare a final common line accepted by the majority population to follow if we see one force rejecting the common agenda without a reason then we can direct our force against that.

Meanwhile, Ugandans must expect the intensification of political persecution, suppression of freedoms, arbitrary silent abductions. I also suspect some surprising resignations from government positions and we may experience self-imposed exiles by a number of seeming powerful NRM.

At the moment Mr. Museveni is in panic and fearful of everybody, yet the “return to the bush” talk is no longer meaningful even to himself.

There has been a smell of a high profile assassination (count five from top and exclude no one) and blame it on a neighbouring country as a way of diverting attention from the supreme leader. That’s why the rumour that speaker Kadaga has spoken out against big fish must be interrogated.

There is increased recruitment of new agents in his spying force and confirmed reports coming in is that the president has gone back to his old method of using carefully selected non-Muslim individuals, give them Muslim names and send them to Makkah and Madina for Umra (the lesser pilgrimage) and Hijja (the bigger pilgrimage) to effectively spy on Muslims.

I appeal to the managers of Hajj and Umrah in Uganda, to tighten controls and scrutinize their intending pilgrims more rigorously in order to prevent this from happening with ease.

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