Besigye, Muntu, Mao, and Kyagulanyi on a wild goose hunt- Opondo

OPINION POST The English saying that desperate times call for desperate measures seems to aptly apply to the combined group of opposition quislings, especially looking at this week’s twin events by Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and Kizza Besigye, both from Wakiso suburbs.

Kyagulanyi launched his presidential bid, and a team of “national co-ordinators” for the ‘People Power’ movement, a political patchwork. Feeling left behind and his urban base getting swept off, Besigye immediately convened his ‘peoples’ assembly’ to caution supporters against smooching people he says are NRM ‘moles’.

To his credit, Kyagulanyi has managed to hoodwink 17 MPs across the aisle, who falsely believe that his con celebrity image, populism, and bravado can earn them support in their constituencies, especially among riff-raff youths, easy to manipulate.

It is amazing that a hoopla, who has not articulated any policy, can attract long-serving MPs Kasiano Wadri, Winfred Kiiza, Medard Ssegona, and Robert Centenary. For now, at least Kyagulanyi scores higher than Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere (1996), Besigye and Aggrey Awori (2001), Ssebaana Kizito and Miria Obote (2006), Norbert Mao and Olara Otunnu (2011), and John Patrick Amama Mbabazi in 2016 who did not boast that number.

However, one common thread is the adventurists, turncoats, tricksters, and unprincipled schemers long used to the treachery that hope they can tap money from the often meddling but gullible Western donors. Examining a series of events, messages and methods, point to an Opposition on a wild goose chase, motivated mainly by immediate self-survival and perhaps relevance. For a while, these groups had nudged each other for an alliance against NRM and President Yoweri Museveni which seem dead.

The cautious welcome, from Besigye, Mao, and Muntu, of Kyagulanyi’s launch, when they have been in bitter acrimony, is testimony they are feeling the pinch, but weary of open warfare for now. Many of the schemers keep approaching NRM including this week, to placate them, and soon, many will come to rendezvous with a sad destiny. It would appear that the main opposition players Besigye, Mugisha Muntu, Mao, Kyagulanyi, all estranged allies having failed to build a viable alliance, have now been told by their donors to form formal structures to gauge their viability and eligibility to receive funding.

Looking at Kyagulanyi’s line up, especially of the MPs, one cannot help but have a good laugh because many of them are the type that just blends with crowds passing through the political revolving door. Clearly, Kyagulanyi is surrounded and infiltrated, something he had publicly feared, but unfortunately cannot avoid in an open democracy.

Although some NRM people have said alliances have not succeeded in the past, this time may be different on account of NRM and President Museveni’s longevity, trails of unfulfilled promises, high expectations, and rising youth demographic, and economic opportunities not expanding fast enough. But be that as it may, it is important to note that the people in this handiwork will collide with each other in constituencies they plan to run in. Youth MP Anne Adeke, who seems lost of direction, seeks to run against Angelina Osege for Soroti district Woman MP.

Many falsely believe that the Bobi Wine mania will help mobilize support and votes for them in their respective constituencies where most have already launched the 2021 election campaigns. People Power has a potent mix of showbiz celebrity, youth, empty populism and political bravado, which some people who have already declared intentions to run in 2012 hope can help mobilize support and votes for them in various constituencies. Chameleon publicly confessed that he has been in the NRM mainly for money.

It becomes difficult for such a person to be taken seriously, let alone trusted, and no wonder the suspicion is already lingering around him even when he has joined the DP. For a while now, Kizza Besigye has been pushed into the political background and as one of the ways to return to the limelight, he has been in the countryside quietly mobilizing in hope of building momentum for his August popular revolt.

The peoples’ assembly he convened last Thursday was part of the stratagem to caution FDC members not join Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), Democratic Party (DP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and People Development Party (PDP) which he says are already infiltrated by security agents and NRM.

Besigye’s civil popular revolt is supposed to occur alongside (simultaneously) with a violent campaign of arson by associates of People Power, according to information so far obtained by intelligence. Besigye, who appears to have lost base in Kampala and other urban centers such as Gulu, Jinja, Masaka to Kyagulanyi, still hopes he can persuade the latter to work with him in order to deliver metropolitan Kampala because of the presumed youth support.

People Power elements, according to information available to security, plan to burn down at least five petrol stations in each of the towns. Foreign agents have been meeting Kyagulanyi and insisting that as a novice, he cannot dislodge Museveni, and should instead join Besigye. Unfortunately, Kyagulanyi’s youthful supporters see Besigye as stale, and cannot be sold to the general electorate who have threatened to bolt.

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Muwanga Ronald is editor in chief of the UGANDANZ news website. He was formerly editorial director of UGANDANZ.COM, overseeing the publication’s digital operations. Before joining UGANDANZ in December 2018, Ronald was managing editor of NILE HOST In 2014, he was a finalist for the UJA Awards for Young Journalists for his reporting on the women's emancipation. Under his leadership NILE HOST won Media Industry Newsletter's Best of the Web award in 2018. A graduate of Makerere University, Ronald speaks Luganda and French and lives in Kampala with his wife and two children.