I trust that the progress in the struggle is getting clearer by the day. We all know that fighting liberation struggles is never easy but with focus and commitment, victory is ultimately attainable. So we should proceed with what we think will make the ultimate difference.
HOW TO ORGANISE AND ENHANCE UNITY/COOPERATION
I intend to cover this subject in two parts. The first one will cover the concept and the second will try to discuss the modalities of the opposition unity or cooperation, whichever is desirable at any given time. The second part will be covered in the subsequent essay.
Right from the start, it is vital to define what I mean here by opposition leaders. I wish to state that I use the term in its broadest sense possible. It transcends the usual dichotomy of the standard groups that form opposition parties to those in governments. For our purpose, it should include all other social, economic and political forces of any type that may wish a change in the status Quo.
To this end therefore, I include even some individuals or groups who may otherwise be categorised as being in government of the day. Why is this important?
1- The first is because of the nature of the current political structure in the country. Because the ruling party NRM is fused with the state, it is difficult to draw the line of who are real NRM supporters and those I consider INDIRECT CONSCRIPTS to the system. Since all the jobs are appended to the NRM party, including those in the Judiciary, parliament, civil service and even the OMBUDSMAN ( IGG) who must be a government functionary, people have lost the natural space to oppose the system. So the kind of opposition is COVERT (silent and hidden). That is why it is always a shock to Mr Museveni when he loses an election like what happened in Luweero recently. Or the many defeats he has suffered in Kampala city. To him, the easier explanation is that the opposition has stolen the vote! How can the opposition steal the vote when all the presiding officers are yours? The explanation here is simple. EVEN THOSE PRESIDING OFFICERS BELONG TO THE OPPOSITION AND SO DOES THE MAJORITY OF VOTERS. So the voting is genuine but he does not understand that his “conscripts” turn against him in the privacy of their voting booths. That is why armed thugs, in civilian clothes are now being trained so that they look into the voting booths in 2016 (the Kabalye graduates).
As said above, Mr Museveni has understood this now. And he is trying to solve it by militarising all those people who will be handling the 2016 polls. Those young people undergoing secret training in Kabalye under Gen Kayihura are to fulfil this endeavour. Museveni knows that using the formal UPDF and POLICE is going to be difficult. He can’t trust them enough either. So him and his criminal gangs are setting up AUXILIARY forces (irregular and illegal) in the name of CRIME PREVENTERS. Unlike the Kiboko Squad which was rag tag just hurriedly assembled in Central Police Station (CPS) by Kayihura, these are being set up, trained and will be armed ultimately.
To conclude this point, it is clear that the opposition is more extensive than is normally understood. It includes the majority of our people who have been made beggars but forced to wear the dirty yellow t-shirt rugs called party dress of NRM.
2- The second reason is the LEGAL FRAUD Museveni has thrived on for long. Take UPDF for instance, our constitution decrees it as a nonpartisan force. But what is it in reality? Mr Museveni has, through duplicity and brute force made it an appendage of his NRM party. But the majority of UPDF are not NRM. That is why you find a DP candidate in Entebbe Municipality winning an MP seat where the bulk of the electorate are SFC soldiers, Air Force and Marines and their wives. Why opposition politicians have been winning those seats where the UPDF soldiers make the majority. You can crosscheck these figures, but in the last election of 2011, Museveni lost in the following polling stations which were intended for the military; Mbuya, Makindye, Kasenyi (the training school for SFC) etc. This was the trend all over the country. Otherwise how would Hon Mao win in Gulu, Winnie Byanyima in Mbarara municipality, Harry Kasigwa in Jinja around barracks etc.
The situation was worse in the police. That is why Mr Museveni used to publically refer to the police force as ” an enemy” and in one address at Kololo in 2007,he declared, ” with the new commanders there, we shall not allow the police to remain an enemy detach” . This was after replacing Gen Katumba with Kayihura.
3- The third reason is that by the nature of the post-colonial African states, in many instances, there is very little difference between these political groupings. It would take a genius to decipher what makes them different than what makes them similar. After all, Africa suffered a miscarriage after independence (or is it STILLBIRTH?) As such, putting emphasis on these COMPRADOR BOURGEISIE outfits (political parties) and using their artificial categorisations would be to serve the same enemy. We must therefore reject the limitation of our space when organising our people for political action.
HOW THEN SHOULD THE “ACTIVE” OPPOSITION RELATE TO THE “SILENT” OPPOSITION (e.g., how to deal with some Museveni Ministers, commanders, ambassadors, RDCs, etc.)
My views on this subject are very clear. I prefer taking a broader strategic approach that leads to the mass involvement of our people in their own liberation. I start by recognising that the ordinary African / Ugandan has been conned and left destitute. As such, his salvation cannot depend on the same fraudulent gimmicks that has led to his current misery. This means that we must define our enemy carefully, set our means clearly and set our operational grounds carefully.
That is why, for instance, we should not concentrate on targeting some of the individual ministers of Museveni etc., who Museveni uses to avoid blame by making them appear to do all the dirty projects but actually using junior officers under them but still uses them as the fall guys. When we concentrate on the people who are wrongly defined as the CENTRE OF GRAVITY of the killer regimes, we compromise our capacity to concentrate on the real enemy. If, many of these ministers were to die any time soon, it would have no impact on the Museveni dictatorship.
As that Chinese general SUN-TZU( 544-496B.C) put it long time ago, that the job of a true warrior is to know the enemy as well as he knows himself.
That “He who knows self but not the enemy will suffer one defeat for every victory. He who knows neither self nor enemy will fail in every battle.”
So in our case, who is the real enemy? What is the centre of gravity of that dictatorship? If we are to win, where should we attack, where should we forge alliances and where should we lay in strategic wait? All of us who want victory must study all the above and make sure we understand them fully.
So it is vital to master the forms and dispositions we take as we organise. How we deploy our energies and the form we assume will determine victory or failure. For instance, why would it be me to be the one to urge comrades not to target Mr Mbabazi, Mr Kutesa, Mr Otafiire, Gen Moses Ali, Mr Moses Kigongo etc.? After all, am the one living in exile here. I would be the last person to say such! So why do I say so? Because I know that a Museveni fighting with a Mr Mbabazi is weaker, not stronger. It is just common sense really! But most important is because i understand how the enemy works and I am able to define my potential allies from current foes.
THOSE STILL WORKING WITH THE DICTATORSHIP
I want all those people still serving the Museveni dictatorship to know that they don’t need Museveni to remain alive, to survive, for their children to remain safe and happy in the new Uganda. They must know that Museveni uses them as expendables, all. And because they are not the centre of gravity of the Museveni dictatorship, they can expire any time. Just like Mr Mbabazi, Prof Bukenya etc. expired in a second. Of course these defections do not make Museveni stronger either.
But to decisively defeat the enemy, we must have the capacity to undermine the cohesion of the enemy by recruiting from his ranks. It is the Sauls that we must target and not be content with keeping the original 12! In any case, the original 12 also can reduce with a Judas branching off. We must have the capacity to attract those near him. We must have the capacity to isolate the enemy and attack his heart.
THE CORRECT WAY
So the right way to proceed would be;
First is to attack the Museveni strategy of holding on to power. We must ask ourselves, what has he used to subjugate us all this long? It cannot be by accident.
The second is to attack his alliances, who are these?
Then the third is to attack his weakened violent machinery which effectively keeps him in power (the real centre of gravity for the dictatorship) Even this must be studied carefully to isolate the individual actors from the institutions themselves. E.g. we shall note that many of the abuses are carried out by auxiliary forces under Kale Kayihura.
For instance, I know for a fact the many instances that Mr Museveni has quietly deployed against his own ministers, commanders etc. to check their perceived ambitions. I remember when one very senior minister, otherwise thought to be among the untouchables was being fought by gen Kayihura during the 2011 elections. We all knew who was behind it and what the real purpose was.
I also know how Mr Museveni would love to see the in fights in the political parties, even in NRM, the misunderstandings between e.g. Prof Bukenya and Hon Mbabazi or Otafire etc. These gentlemen need to reconcile and know that we all must reconcile and never fight Mr Museveni’s wars for him. They weaken them and strengthen him. We need to understand these things because they impact on the overall struggle.
I refuse to fight Hon Mbabazi, or Prof Bukenya, or Dr Besigye or Mr Olara Otunnu, etc. Neither am I going to waste time positioning myself for leadership after the defeat of Mr Museveni. It wastes precious time and increases infighting and intrigue. Especially when what we are fighting about (so called power) is only in our minds! How can you waste your time and energy fighting over what you don’t have? Power has been with Mr Museveni for the last 28 years. Yet the opposition keep tearing up each other for what they really do not have. The emphasis should be on how to get this power from the one abusing it. Because if you start fighting over it now, what then will you do when you really have it? By fighting on what we don’t have, we are helping the one who has it to keep! So on this one, we need to trust the people. They are capable of choosing the best leader provided they are empowered to do so. That is why this liberation process must be for their empowerment.
We therefore need to reach out to everybody. To appeal to their consciences. For them to understand they can exist without Museveni. We need to isolate Museveni the man, the one who has used the 28 uninterrupted years to build a coercive machine around himself. The Museveni system, which is nothing except himself.
To win this war of liberation, we need to appreciate that it is a new type of struggle, that we require a new approach and a new understanding of the enemy. The starting point for all the revolutionary forces is for each of us to look into the mirror and see our own weaknesses and failures, now and days past. Once we do that, then we WIN. Then we shall be able to unite all the forces that desire change.
Mr Museveni has in his government all sorts of people who were fighting him yesterday. He has long understood that accepting everyone was not only a source of strength, but an antidote against future rebellion. He has and still works with all leaders, from the leaders of FOBA to UPA,NALU, UPDM, commanders of Lakwena, Kony etc. he works with all, buys all and of course betrays most. Why then has the opposition found it difficult to understand the strength of true unity?
We need to go beyond the unhelpful dichotomy of who was wrong or right yesterday or today. We need to overcome “the self-atoning prison of our own righteousness” For each of us’s presupposed righteousness is useless if it does not bring about victory.
THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES
Gen David Sejusa
Chairman- FREE UGANDA