August 2010
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Day August 30, 2010

IPC bickerings may be the final nail in the coffin for the opposition’s credibility in Uganda


The breakings news story is that Mr. Otunnu has quit the IPC and formed a new pressure group called National Social Movement (NSM). I will let you digest the news.

Why did IPC promise Ugandans the unity it could not deliver” Similarly, why did IPC promise transparency, fairness and democracy-wowe, our motherland Uganda-when the schemers knew all along that what really mattered were the end and not the means?  You are intelligent people so you know the desired ends.  I have written here over and over that “only fair means lead to fair ends”. In short, means matter. Of course this is not the philosophy of the IPC ‘owners’ who hoodwinked a gullible populace and sections of the media that they really meant what they said. Oh please!

Now the IPC bubble has burst. So what next?  Sections of the media-it is wrong to be in bed with either the government/NRM or opposition, IPC-bought into the lies and must be scrambling to figure out how things fell apart and falling apart they have.   I do not want to mice my words: the opposition ala IPC has scored in its own net. But the media or sections of it that were gullible have some explaining to do.  The media never questioned IPC motives the way they have focused on the old parties specially DP and UPC.  The media spoiled IPC and made IPC ‘owner’s delusional.

There is not one single issue IPC passed the test; Internal party democracy. Nil. Free and fair elections, nada. So the big question, in what substantial way is IPC different from NRM?  None.  Given that sad reality what next for our motherland Uganda?  Please spare a thought for the Ugandan voter. What to do in the face of such mediocrity?  Since when did Ugandan become a country of mediocre, a country where biicuuppul carrying politicians charm by churning out, lies left and right?

Shame on all of you in UAH, Ugandans, but especially the Ugandan media who were gullible to the extent of believing without questioning the lies from IPC.  IPC was about one person and you are all smart enough to know what it was all about.

I always laughed at those who compared the bumbling Ugandan opposition with NARC. For starters NARC knew what they wanted. The original leaders, Mr. Emilio Mwai Kibaki then of DP, The late Mr. Wamalwa Kijana then of Ford People and Mrs. Charity Ngilu then of SDP, knew what they wanted and had voting blocks behind them.  None of this applies to the opposition in Uganda.

I understand many UAH folks believed that the opposition in Uganda has what it takes.  I say wupuzi/nonsense.

Of course, NARC was helped by the fallout in KANU when Mr. Moi handed the KANU ticket to its ‘owners’ in the name of Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta. The rest bolted to join NARC but could not change the order in the party. That is when they had to declare Kibaki tosha/Kibaki is enough.  And with that KANU was uprooted. In reality KANU still rules Kenya because all the current leaders and pretenders for 2012 were KANU damu.

Sorry for digressing, but I wanted to expose the fallacy among sections of Ugandans that the Ugandan opposition can unite and do what the Kenyan opposition did under NARC. The obvious difference is that Kenya had Mr. Mwai Kibaki, an establishment and known entity whom the key domestic and international stakeholders could do business with.  There is no equivalent of a Mr. Mwai Kibaki in Uganda. If you want any proof, see the fallout of IPC of UPC and its demise.

Now, is the demise of the IPC such a momentous and game changing political disaster? Luckily for me in the neither/nor camp, the end of IPC under such clouds is neither shocking, nor a blow to the opposition plans for 2012.  UAH folks should not waste much ink on its demised because it may be a blessing in disguise. May be the opposition can use it a teaching moment. What does the demise of IPC teach them? Did they take Ugandan opposition parties for granted? And what about voters?

May be the opposition can now begin to communicate. They have tried to give our information but that is not the same thing as effective communication. Indeed, IPC’s demise has its roots in its inability of its leaders to communicate. I begged them and other opposition parties to hire someone who knows the difference between merely giving out information and communicating but so far wapi. Now they have a crisis and have no clue what to do.

There is enough time to still make an impact on the voters. I pray that DP, UPC and hopefully NRM will resist any attempt to rub in.

What DP deserves is credit for having read the situation in IPC better than the rest. IPC was in reality about one and one individual alone. Yet for some reason, educated Ugandans and sections of the media did not seem to grasp it.

I have written here over and over that Kenya and Uganda are different. For starters, if Uganda was Kenya, the opposition would actually have a fair shot at defeating YKM given the way YKM favors a few at the expense of many.  Why? In Kenya, voting is predictable along ethnicity. You come from a larger ethnic group; you command a sizable voting block. Whether that is a good or bad thing is neither her nor there.

Another major difference between the opposition in Ugandan and Kenya is the in the latter, the opposition were actually in the upper tier of leading politicians.  The same cannot be said of opposition politicians in Uganda. Actually, the current crop in Ugandan is even worse than tier B in Kenya. Also, Kenyan opposition politicians had financial muscle and could mobilize big Mo within.  Ugandan oppositions have neither money nor ideas.

I disagree with some people that changes ushered in by NARC were Kiwani. The changes were real and not cosmetic. That is the excuse some Ugandan folks fall back on.

Listen, Kenya under Mr. Kibaki even before the new constitution was promulgated was a very different country than Kenya under the last years of Mr. Moi.  No single Kenyan has been detained since NARC came into office. Freedom of speech has grown beyond any imagination. The Kenyan economy has done very well and has expanded multiple times under Mr. Kibaki.

Democratic space has expanded. The road infrastructure has been repaired. Farmers can afford Tusker. The daily sector is again back and KCC is doing what it does best with maziwa. Kids are in school under UPE and USE and USE applies to all schools including the top guns such as, Alliance Boys and girls, Mangu, Starehe Centre, Limuru, and Maseno etc.  Entrepreneurship has exploded and so on.

If I may ask some people, what is the change Kenyans wanted and did not get under NARC? With all due respect the changes ushered in Kenya under Mr. Kibaki/NARC were real and fundamental.  The Kenyan economy was on its knees. The road infrastructure was gone, corruption had reached endemic levels. Idiots routinely fought each other in state House Nairobi etc. To appreciate the changes, you must have visited Kenya under tawala Moi. If you did you should be able to compare real changes easily.

Some one asked  me whether Mr. Besigye’s replacement of Mr. Museveni is change.  There will be no such change folks.  Get over it.
What do I think is good for Uganda?  I would prefer to see real change but the question is this: who will deliver that change? Can any of the pretenders get the country there? No.  Amama Mbabazi will NEVER be elected president of Uganda. There is conceivable scenario.

Something tells me that developments in NRM are what will actually deliver change.  You read the situations in NRM.  2011 could be watershed elections for NRM and that is good for Uganda. To be honest I trying to put my mind to the fighting shooting and very soon killings in NRM and what they mean for Uganda.  I have not interested my self with the on goings in the opposition for obvious reasons.2011 will not bring change to Uganda. But 2015 could deliver some surprises for the country.

W.B. Kyijomanyi

DP Elder in USA

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