But according to Mao, Dr Kizza Besigye has been a formidable force in challenging Museveni’s rule and that next year’s election is going to be the biggest test for FDC. He says that even though nature abhors a vacuum, Besigye leaves a vacuity that can never be filled.
The decision by Dr Kizza Besigye not to run
for the presidency in 2021 is the biggest test for the
opposition Forum for Democratic Change-FDC Party, Norbert Mao, the President General of the Democratic Party has said.
The four-time presidential candidate and former
FDC President announced his decision not to offer himself for elections on
Wednesday afternoon. Besigye said that instead, he will concentrate on his
unspecified plan “B” to bring an end to President Yoweri Museveni’s grip on
But according to Mao, Dr Kizza Besigye has been a formidable force in challenging
Museveni’s rule and that next year’s election is going to be the biggest test
for FDC. He says that even though nature abhors a vacuum, Besigye leaves a vacuity that can never be filled.
//Cue in; “Dr Besigye has been…
Cue out…..for the presidency.”//
However, Michael Mabikke, the Social
Democratic Party Leader who is part of the DP block that crossed over to the
budding National Unity Platform (NUP) last week doesn’t share Mao’s view. According to Mabikke, Besigye had played his part and it was time for him to give way for fresh blood and new ideas.
//Cue in; “Opposition needed…
Cue out...played his part.”//
Mabikke argues that even though Besigye is the only
opposition candidate to garner over 30 per cent of the total vote in a presidential
election, it is misleading to think he is the only hope for change. He cites the 27 per cent garnered by Dr Paul Kawanga Semwogerere earlier in 1996 as proof that
Besigye is not a special candidate.
//Cue in; “No he is not…
During his speech, Besigye noted that it is unrealistic to expect president Museveni to hand over power
through the ballot. Besigye has often called on Ugandans to oust the regime
through a popular uprising similar to the Arab Spring revolutions in North
Africa and the Middle East.
Commenting on this statement Mao says that even though it may
be possible to defeat Museveni at the ballot through a well-organized challenge,
it may not be possible for him to hand overpower.
//Cue in; “I think it is…
Cue out……..the struggle.”//
Mabikke is confident of the opposition in Uganda winning at
the ballot. He cites several cases in Africa where autocrats have been ousted
through the ballot including in the Gambia.
//Cue in; “That is his opinion…
Cue out……looking at.”//
However, columnist Yusuf Serunkuma says the political
history in the countries where dictators have been removed through the ballot
is different from the situation in countries like Uganda, Rwanda or Zimbabwe. He notes that the breed of autocrats in countries like Uganda is able to decide
how to manipulate elections so the electorate does not matter.
He says that with or without Besigye or NUP presidential
hopeful Robert Kyagulanyi on the ballot, Museveni will still successfully shape the polls.