Can IPC do to President Museveni/NRM what NARC did to KANU in Kenya?


Some folks are beaming with happiness that with the election of Dr Kizza Besigye, IPC could take shape. Pole.  Some are hoping that all opposition parties will come together under IPC and help the opposition to do to YKM/NRMO what NARC under Mr. Mwai Kibaki did to KANU. Again, pole.

But is that the case? What are the facts?

NARC came together after well thought meetings between Mr. Kibaki (DP), the late VP Mr. Wamalwa Kijana (FORD Kenya) and Mrs. Charity Ngilu (SDP).  These were the originators of NARC or events that led to NARC.  Mr Kibaki had the backing of the GEMA community solidly behind him.

The late Wamalwa Kijana had the backing of the Bukus0largest Luhya groups) behind him, while Mrs. Ngilu had a significant support the Akamba.  There is no question that the three were in total command of their respective parties and had fanatical supporters to die for them

UAH folks should ear in mind that by the time NARC was forming, Mr. Raila Odinga had taken his party to join KANU in return for two ministerial positions, Him as energy minister and Dr Adhu Awitti as Planning Minister.  The three amigos in NARC continued to toil in search for opposition unity.

It is true that only after Mr. Moi has shown his choice and marshaled the Rift valley delegates along with GEMA delegates to vote for Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta did Mr. Odinga, Mr. Musyoka, professor Saitoti and others realize that KANU had its ‘owners’ and to his credit Mr. Moi told them to their face.

They left KANU and went to join the three amigos, who welcomed them under the NARC banner.  NARC’s Mwai Kibaki from Nyeri beat KANU’s Uhuru Kenyatta from Kiambu. Moi wanted to split the Kikuyu vote but failed.

Now compare the situation in IPC.  Who are the contenders? Dr Kizza Besigye, a Muhororo from Rukingiri. Dr Olara Otunnu an Acholi from Kitgum and Mr Mao (not keen on this IPC fallacy), Mr. Ken Lukyamuzi a Muganda from Masaka /Lubaga. They want to defeat Mr. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni a Muhiima from Nyabushozi.   Please spare me your nonsense that ethnicity is not issue or does not matter.

The immediate question IPC promoters should ask is this: do the contenders above have their ethnicity votes lined up fully behind them? Furthermore, are all the contenders in total command of their respective parties the way Mr Kibaki, the late Wamalwa Kijana and Mrs. Ngilu were in Kenya?

I should point out an obvious anomaly in Uganda and it may actually be the first in African politics that Dr Kizza Besigye is seeking the presidency without have his ethnic community fully behind him! Were he to win, he would certainly go down in history not just in Uganda but the entire African continent for defying the odds of not being the favourite son at home and still win it all.  I suppose Ugandans are politically mature and do not care about ethnicity.

The second question is related to the one above. What were the voting blocks behind the 3 amigos in Kenya? Mr. Kibaki had the GEMA vote (Kikuyus are the largest single voting block, while the Meru are quite large). The late Wamalwa Kijana had fanatic supporters among the Bukusu (they split between PNU and ODM in 2007), while Ms Ngilu was loved by the Akamba for daring the presidency and giving them hope and pride to believe.

What is the situation in Uganda today?  I do not mean to minimize the other ethnicities but these regions will decide the election: Buganda, Ankole, Kigezi, Busoga, Lango, Teso and Bugisu.  Folks, you do the maths.  In Kenya these would be the equivalent of Kikuyu (GEMA), Luhya (though they tend to fragment), Luos, Kalenjins, Kamba, and Kisii. For starters, with the exception of the Kalenjin and Kiambu Kikuyu, the rest were fully behind NARC hence the 60 plus for NARC to Uhuru Kenyatta’s 32%.

What is the moral of this story?  Proponents of IPC should be honest and admit the obvious, which is the potential IPC contenders have no FANTICAL base.  Actually some have no substantial support at home! Which reminds me of Mr. Al Gore, had he won his home state of Tennessee, Florida would not have mattered, he would have become President.

The terrain in Uganda today could not be different from what Kenya was in 2002. What IPC folks forget is that Mr. Moi was retiring and Kenyans were fed up with his selfishness. He is the most selfish leader who destroyed the infrastructure and the economy so that Kenyans would beg him or his cronies for money. That is how he used to win, supply unga here mchuzi there.

Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta had no chance although he managed about 32 percent against combined near unity of Kenya’s amigos.

All indications are that YKM will be on the ballot in 2011, but even senior Ugandan journalists keep writing as if conditions in Uganda are similar to what they were in Kenya.  It is the same journalist who keep saying that President Kibaki rigged without bothering to know how he came from behind to win, albeit narrowly.  He won because the last 25 constituencies to report were mostly in his stronghold of central, Nakuru and importantly Meru where he enjoyed the most fanatical support.

So let be honest, the conditions in Kenya in 2002 are different from the conditions we have in Uganda today.  KANU (BTW it is still the largest party in Kenya) may have been the ruling party but it faced a united opposition with a credible and acceptable candidate to important stakeholders.  Importantly, for the deluded folks pushing IPC, the opposition leaders who came together in NARC, the original three plus the late defectors in Mr Oginga, Mr Musyoka, and Prof Saitoti had their parties fully united behind them and above all their fanatical ethnic voters. Again you do the analysis about the contenders in Uganda.

So my dear friends in UAH who are pushing IPC, it is fallacy. Actually comparing NARC to IPC is not proper by any stretch. Why?  Because the opposition in Kenya at the time was totally different from the opposition in Uganda. They had Mr. Mwai Kibaki whom the Kalenjin elite knew and could do business with. It was the same elite who worked tooth and nail, although this time without the support of the peasants in Rift valley who mostly voted ODM, (not anymore) to keep Mr. Raila Odinga out of power.

But who does the opposition have in Uganda?  How could Dr Besigye who married into one of the most famous and respected families in Ankole fail to gain the trust of the Ankole elite? What happened?

On the basis of fundamental differences between the opposition in Kenya combined with a vacancy in the presidency  and what we have in Uganda opposition leaders who DO NOT command  the support of not just their ethnicity votes but have not excited the key voting blocks, and running against a hardened incumbent IPC cannot and will not be solution.   It is time for the opposition to go back to the drawing board. I will leave it to those pushing the IPC fallacy to decide how.

Of course, it is not over yet,  but the opposition in Uganda will have to think smart and strategically than has been the case so far.   There is completely no strategy. Hakuna kabisa. They may want to look beyond the current contenders for a messiah.  There is one or two such Ugandans right there in Uganda.  Yes, it is the candidates who are the real problems for the opposition.



11 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. abbey,

    We may pretend as much as we want but the opposition in Uganda is still fragmented. It is so divided to the extent that it just puts anyone off. Now let me tell you why in summary the opposition is losing in the north:

    1. Jimmy Akena and his confusing tactics: They are confusing people daily in the name of fighting Otunu.They have stopped thinking about UPC but themselves.When Akena lost to Otunu, he said that he was gonna take the politics back to the grassroots, is this the grassroot politics he was talking about? ”OKUSABA ZII”(false gossiping) another opposition leader. These guys have confused the voters and its gonna be a big problem for the opposition in 2011.Trust me on this.They have become self seekers rather than national or party seekers.
    2. Mao and his political begging tactics: when an opposition leader starts making speeches praising the government in power, you get worried. It confuses the voters too. I have never heard Cameron praising Gordon Brown on TV in a way Mao does Praise president Museveni. Yes, the conservatives here have openly come out to support some of the Labour policies as a party but not Cameron praisng the PM. Even when they initially supported his(Gordon Brown) economic recovery program at the start of recession, they later changed their minds because they realised that it will confuse voters who are tired of Labour. But this Mao strategy of praising Museveni every now and then is bad, too bad, and this makes him a political beggar in my book.
    3. Failure for some opposition parties to strengthen IPC: Again DP is doing a good job of this. Plus UPC and FDC are both in IPC but they seem not to trust each other so well. The two have either failed to agree on parliamentary candidates or they are both still weighing themselves before IPC idea is totally emblessed. For instance, both FDC and UPC fielded candidates in Mable byelections where the FDC candidate won. Both UPC and FDC fielded candidates in Padyeri byelections where the FDC candidate did better than a UPC’s but NRM won. DP,on the otherhand, are officially not yet interested in joint presidential and parliamentary candidates or IPC. So at the moment, the IPC looks weaker and probably in Mulago Hospital- intensive care ward. Nevertherless, IPC needs to be supported by all Ugandans at heart
    4. Continued infighting in DP has also portrayed the opposition as a non serious group among the voters. First,Mao becomes a DP president when almost 3/4 of NEC never particpated in this process. Secondly, Mao takes the Lulume group(which some people hav branded Lubega’s ‘Dikula group) to court for planning to organise a separate delegates Conference in Kampala. Then Mao endorses Nambooze for Mukono north byelections but there is another DP who also wants to be endorsed by Mao’s group.It looks like Mao is not following the party constitution in everything he puts his hands on because DP has got a procedure for vetting out party candidates but Mao goes by the word of the mouth.
    5. Museveni and his cash handouts: With poverty and recession knocking on people’s doors, Museveni’s cash handouts are going to reach every house in Uganda. Even shs.1000 can get someone a vote. So it looks like the biggest spenders in these contests will always come out on top. I expect FDC to win more seats come 2011 b’se they have also got some cash to spend compared to DP or UPC. NRM has also been using some of the recovery funds from donors to do some developmental stuff in northern Uganda and this is visible among the population there.A lot of money has been pledged to help the north from the international community, and NRM will benefit from this without a doubt.Remember,Kony is also no more in the north and this is a major vote winner.

    Byebyo munange. Ebintu tebitambude bulungi so far


  2. Paul Njoki,

    Even before we talk about DP joining IPC and if at all it wants to take the big brother attitude, lets first look at IPC in its present form. Are the members walking the talk? If we are to take Padyere for example, did FDC and UPC act in the IPC spirit?

    You have argued here before that in the case of Mukono, IPC or FDC for that matter does not have a formal understanding with DP hence the need to front an FDC (Not IPC) candidate. Should we also assume that there was no formal understanding between IPC and FDC or between UPC and FDC for the two to field individual candidates? We in DP would like to see a commitment by individual partners to the spirit in party co-operation before we join. As of now it it not there.

    Paul Njoki

  3. Wafula Ogutu,

    I understand the confusion IPC has caused to some people because of what we did in Mbale and Padyere be-elections where FDC and UPC fielded candidates. The matter first came up in IPC meetings during the Mbale elections.

    FDC asked UPC not field a candidate since this was FDC held consituency . The then Summit Chair, Miria ruled that in the absence of IPC colleges (which were still not yet set up at various levels) it was not possible to implement the second protocol of having a joint candidate as it was difficult to arrive at a more popular choice.

    The colleges are still not in place and that is why Padyere happened that way. We both knew what we were going into. Our problems were compounded by the fact that we both did not have saleable products .


  4. Mwami Wafula,
    I’m quoting two postings from you to the forum here, both of them after my comments here. From the first one, I would assume that after a two year discussion and the final signing in public it shouldn’t have taken IPC up to this time to come up with colleges. Otherwise the same public could start looking at the two years as 730 wasted days.

    For the second one, would you blame DP or any other party for not joining the IPC given the confusion that is still there?

    And for the two of them, IPC is therefore not living to the expectation to which some members thought it was created for.

    Paul Njoki

  5. Njoki,
    The signing of the Second Protocol which provides for joint candidates and a joint platform was signed only three months ago.Then we went into member Party NDCs to seek approval .FDC got approval only last week.
    Please also note that the SECOND PROTOCOL becomes effective during the 2011 elections. We still have some time.

  6. Mr. Wafula-Oguttu:

    Some of are objective with IPC even as we critique its viability. We are actually doing proponents of the IPC a big favor.

    I will not repeat what I wrote last Week about the fallacy of the IPC, but will pose some what if scenarios for you. Mr. Eliba who is one of the most sober people in UAH wrote about the schemes in UPC. So the question for you is this: what if the rebellion in UPC worsens? I urge you to take this question very seriously because as I said FDC has most to lose if they get it wrong. You must be alarmed about the rebellion in UPC, are you not? It is there for all with eyes and ears on the ground to see and hear.

    This brings me to the next what if question. What if the UPC victory was a pyrrhic one? What then for FDC/IPC? Again that is going to test FDC/IPC skills. Who do you deal with? Who do you embrace in UPC and DP?

    Your friends in the media are busy ridiculing Mr. Sam Lubega, but what if the folks who stayed way from Mbale go to Nambole-some media chaps are saying the courts will not allow it. How do they know?-and come up with a surprise pick for their PG? Have you or the media pondered that possibility?

    Could the IPC victory turn out to be a pyrrhic one? That is could you end up winning by forming the IPC but losing the base? Again look at events in UPC to understand the dilemma. Could IPC ended up as the case of losing far more by simply wining? That is pushing IPC irrespective of the reality in the respective parties?

    Sure FDC is united, but how united are the other parties you are hobnobbing with in this IPC push? Do you see why I called it a fallacy?

    FDC seems to have planted some ‘mangoes’ in Teso, but it all depends on how it handles itself.

    Now the big question: I will let you figure that out. Hint UPC and DP ‘rebels’.


  7. WBK,

    If you are walking down the right path and you are willing to keep walking, eventually you will make progress. In the past UPC as a party refused to accept to be part of a scheme they believe to be wrong. But the party has now gone on a full throtle of undemocratic nonsense called IPC, why? Some one is about to say oh we have a common enemy and we have to unite to remove the enemy! Really! If the current oppositions (IPC) with the current mentality of worshipping individuals were to take instrument of power now they will fall apart in no time. We have been here before if the after Moshi Conference expereince taught anyone a lession. There is a lot of lip service about instituion but infact there is none that is why they are struggling to win in a by election. There is no real institution from the way oppositions are behaving to cope with reality unless we start to leave Kampala and go to grassroots we should close shop and stop making a mockery of Ugandans’ suffering. One supports individuals and forgets about strengthemning institutions when one comes to this forum day in and day out spewing nothing and we call that bringing change. The so called common enemy must be laughing his head oof. If you are a leader and you can not read the feeling of people but you keep thrushing your rubbish inside the throats of the poor voters with your flimsy dreams that you know it all then it is only you to blame. Let me say this, in one threads I made a joke about FDC not living to see its tenth anniversay. That was then but if they continue about the business as usual then the joke will actually be the truth sooner. Not that what happens in FDC bothers me. Not all. It is a party I support like UPC starting to behave in the same way that raises more questions than answers as far as I am concern. Of late DP, not my cup of tea, is the only party that seems to be actual in reality as an institution but for its leadership issues. If they can resolve that and remain a strong institution it will be good for Uganda. I hope they do so sooner. It is a pitty UPC is emulating FDC now when it should be the one to babysit FDC!

    Charles Eliba

  8. Adwong

    I can actually see your physical pain in what you write. I do believe it is the pain of the majority of Ugandans who love the Congress. The current brood of leaders in UPC are moonlighting with FDC just because like FDC, they are also birds of a feather. FDC is mainly an urban and peril-urban establishment composed of angry and power seeking NRA/M,DP and UPC rebels who believe that since Museveni has refused to hand over power, they can use Dr Besigye who claims to have 99% support in UPDF to have Museveni removed. This of course is a delusion that Dr Kiiza Besigye is feeding these fellas on since their anger and hunger is blinding them to reality.

    Besigye can never have even 20% support in the UPDF unless he does not know how UPDF is constituted. There are really two main branches in the UPDF namely the PGB commanded by Muhozi Kainerugaba, and the Reserve under the command of Salim Saleh. This land force that Wamala commands is merely for public relations purposes. Those are the soldiers that every day you read as its’ members are being arrested for petty theft or have killed their spouses and later killed themselves. So, for a man like me to claim that I have support of 99% of the members of your family and so I can actually come and displace you from your family is the biggest joke of the millennia that one can make.

    Now on the leadership of UPC.When leaders are selected from Top down, and especially so in the manner in which

    it was done on Olara Otunu, do not expect the ordinary rank and file members to take it lying down.They know they have the power through the ballot that they were denied and so they resort to it when it most matters. That is why Padyere went. It was a rebuke of the method of electing the current leadership in UPC. I strongly believe that the loss of Padyere is the first blood that has oozed out of UPC as a direct expenditure in appointing Olara Otunu to the leadership of the party. And we are going to see many of these don’t kid yourself that we are done. UPC has a very terrible culture, when one becomes a member of it, he/she embraces is whole heartedly. I just hope at some point, my very good old friend Chris Opoka-Okumu gets around this and accepts that they blundered big time.

    Ugandans want change but they will not take the “Nurture” (5 pence) change that some of our political elite are prescribing them. Due to the aforementioned, there is now an attempt to try to sell these big hollow names to the Wananchi after going over their wishes and that really sucks. So, instead of IPC which is actually an abortus, Ugandans should strengthen their political parties and leave briefcase politicians like Dr Kiiza Besigye to while his years away for what he will never get. If you recall, before the Padyere bye-elections, there was one at Rukiga county somewhere in the West. Ordinarily people expected Besigye’s FDC to do well especially since the NRA/M votes were divided and yet they never got it.

    Almost winning does not mean you won and so to the Ssemuwembas of this world, you can continue wallowing in your delusions about Dr Kiiza Besigye’s abilities and so called sacrifice till the Chickens come to roost. Incidentally, Besigye was reported by the media as apologizing to the People of Teso for having brought Museveni around. Can Abbey tell us what the apology was for? I have always and continue to state that FDC and NRA/M are two sides of the same coin and yet Ssemuwemba and others do not want to accept it. FDC wants to play the good cop while NRA/M is the bad cop.This primitive manipulation should actually be exposed. Those stage managed apologies are all signs of an exasparated man who sees his political horizon closing up on him and very fast, for trust me 2011 election is simply around the corner.

    Awangale Ssabasajja Mutebi The only Magulu-Nyondo


  9. Owor Kipenji,

    In any argument,there are always a minimum of three sides to it.With any factors acccruing you can get
    a mind boggling permutation and combination of sides that may not be easy to deal with.

    IPC whatever it is,has its own loopholes.We all need to recognize that.
    There is a belief that IPC is a grassroots movement.If that were true,some of the observations that are being reported especially with regards to the bye-elections that Ugandans went through would not have occurred.
    So,what exactly is IPC? Is it an organization formed on the philosophy of a Top Down management that is now struggling for legitimacy or it is just a briefcase organization/lobby group for FDC?

    Perception is more real that the truth.If any of the least members of the various political parties arraigned against NRA/M have that doubt,then IPC is going to asphyxiate soon or later.
    Trying to down size the opponents of IPC will only embolden them and turn IPC into an FDC lobby group (if it is not actually the case) instead of what you want people to believe.

    As for DPs resistence,I think DP as a party has reached a stage where it really needs to identify itself.Remember that it is only DP whose membership desert it and most often than not never go back to it. Can you name
    any former DP member who crossed to another party and returned to DP later? Start from the 1960s. That is one major problem.

    The other is according to the Japanese who live in Uganda,there is a saying about Rain that if it rains on you once with hailstones,the next time you see similar clouds gathering,it is prudent you take shelter!

    In the English language,this is akin to :”Beaten once,Twice Shy”.I know most of us Africans and Ugandans in particular do not believe in this English adage.We rather say that Beaten once,Never Shy! Because after all you really now have nothing to lose.May be this may explain the prolonged “Kony” war.
    Having stated that,DP embedded itself in NRA .Officially by day,they were playing Official Opposition role in parliament but by night,they were involved in a myriad of many despeakable activities against their own better conscience.
    They were aptly rewarded for this brinkmanship in 1986.If you have a list of the first NRA Government cabinet appointments, it was like a Who is Who list from the DP National Executive and allied branches.Yet true to most well understood behavior of DP members,as time went on this list started suffering serious attrition by way of death and by the most lucrative method of the flipside of participatory obsevation,i,e crossing to NRA.
    You know the likes of Justices Robert Kitariko and Joseph Mulenga,then we have the Specioza Kazibwes,Sam Kutesa,Maria Mutagambwa and a myriad of those who were already within the NRA nucleaus eg Severino Kahinda Otafiire,Tarsis Kabwegyere et al.

    For these reasons,DP like most political parties need to re-identify themselves and their constituencies so that they can move on.
    Cajoling them into this amorphous organization will definately erase them from the map of Uganda and that in itself is an affront to democratic governance.

    So,please can you clearly explain what IPC is and if possible utter the proof of what it is,its` guiding principles stating how one becomes a member,their expectations,avenue for conflict resolution etc.
    Let IPC follow the TARA principl (i,eTransparency,Accountability,Responsibility and Activities they have been engaged in to this point with all the results) otherwise expect more agitation and resistance.

    Member of the antidisestablishmentarian Group.

  10. Ilse,

    Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this website. It’s simple,
    yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appearance. I must say you’ve done a very good job with this.
    Additionally, the blog loads super quick for
    me on Internet explorer. Superb Blog!

  11. Thanks in support of sharing such a pleasant thought, article is pleasant, thats why i have
    read it entirely

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: