I respond to some people’s communication in which they wondered if and when Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye ever takes off time to have a vacation.
I would like to assure them and indeed all others who have Uganda at heart that Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye often take time off to recharge his batteries, but since February 18, conditions prevailing in Uganda have not allowed him to take such a vacation.
I guess you are by now aware that EU Election Observer Mission to Uganda recently released its final report in which it pointed out that “…the electoral process was marred by avoidable administrative and logistical failures which led to an unacceptable number of Ugandan citizens being disenfranchised. Furthermore, the power of incumbency was exercised to such an extent as to compromise severely the level playing field between the competing candidates and political parties…”
Such a scenario quantitatively and qualitatively affected the outcome of the election, but I will therefore not dwell on it. I however must say that this affected the party in several ways.
First of all, the presumed decline in support from 37% in 2006 to 26% in 2011 has many supporters in disarray. Many of them are obviously disenchanted. Only 8,128,098 (58.25%) out of 13,954,129 registered voters cast their votes. Many of the party’s supporters did not bring the vote out.
FDC gained lots of ground in the local council elections, but it has to do more in order to build on the momentum gained there. While he was brutalized and is yet to recover from the injuries suffered at the hands of the goons that call themselves security operatives, he has to put in extra time and effort in order to keep the party going.
Besides, in the absence of an alternative force to mount pressure on the government to become more sensitive to the plight of its people it becomes incumbent upon certain people to arrogate themselves the task of championing certain causes.
There is also need to galvanize all forces working for regime change. Leadership has to be provided. Dr. Besigye has arrogated himself the task of championing pro-people causes and providing leadership to all forces working for change.
Government has refused to intervene in the economy, especially in checking the spiraling fuel and food prices. It has at the same time come up with this amazing idea of increasing the size of cabinet. Someone has to stand up and speak out against this indifference. The scenario calls for sacrifices. In the circumstances, opting not to take leave would be a necessary sacrifice.
FDC is certainly structured well enough to run without Dr. Besigye. It has 4 Vice Presidents, a National Chairman, a Secretary General and lots of technocrats. Indeed unless there is something pressing, Dr. Besigye prefers “a hands off, eyes on” approach. This ensures that those he assigns duties perform them without feeling any interference whatsoever.
Chairing the Wednesday meetings was inevitable. The NEC at its 34th meeting assigned the Party President the responsibility of “naming, in consultation with the NEC, the leader of the Opposition in Parliament and the Opposition Chief Whip”. NEC never allowed the Party President to delegate that responsibility or duty which had to be performed urgently in order not to paralyze business in parliament.
I hope that this answers you.
ISAAC MICHAEL MUFUMBA
FORUM FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (FDC)