There are election campaigns going on all over the country. Election campaigns that will see you Mr. President back at State House Entebbe with ‘another’ resounding victory. I’m not even going to bother with even remotely considering that the other ‘runners’ in this chase have a chance of winning.
Retired Colonel Dr. Kiiza Besigye, who is leading that strange animal called IPC (Inter Party Cooperation) have excelled at showing just how political parties in Uganda fail to cooperate more than they can. You can legitimately ask how would he be able to run Uganda if he is unable to ‘whip’ his subordinates into line. Every other week we hear of how some politician supposed to be a part of the IPC cries foul, having lost in a ‘stolen’ internal party election, and decides to stand for a ‘juicy’ post as an independent. For the first time, Besigye too is beginning to sound like a stuck tape-repeating himself over and over-about how you Mr. President is stealing our money, about how you Mr. President wants to turn us into a jigger nation. I’m not hearing anything new from him.
Democratic Party President Norbert Mao (some refuse to acknowledge him as a legitimate party president; they claim he & some cohorts, to take over the party staged a coup! Imagine, even before he comes to power, they are already in rehearsal!) Clearly Mao is not in this 2011 election race to win. His calculation seems to be that he wants to cement his name and face as a national political figure. I know he is youthful, I should be feeling a bit closer to him, but there is something about Mao is that is faintly alarming. Actually it is a trait, I believe Mao shares with you Mr. President (though I have to give it to you for being more skilful at disguising its nakedness)- a ravenous power hunger. I have little doubt that if the 2011 elections are chaotic, and in trying to pull the country back together, Mr. President, you offer Mao a power sharing deal, he will take it.
Uganda Federal Alliance Beti Olive Namisango Kamya is the only woman in the race, and her ‘party’ is less than two years old. Her claim is that she is basing her campaigns on the promise of bringing federalism government to Uganda, “Let everybody ask for theirs in their language,” while it sounds anarchic, is really the keg stand Kamya is using to remain relevant in Ugandan politics. I’m waiting for the day when some UFA’s leaders come screaming to the press that there is no freedom in the party, the party president wants to be the sole decision maker. It is an accusation Kamya has made against you Mr. President and she made as she was being forced out of Besigye’s Forum for Democratic Change. Uganda is like that. You don’t have to wait a lifetime to see and hear a public figure, without shame, make a 180 degrees flat reversal of their position. All that matters is the ‘entebbe ewoma’-the sweet chair. Kamya is interesting to me because she is the embodiment, in female form as Besigye was in the male, of how frustration reacts today in Uganda, desperately seeking a channel to continue to be allowed at least to exist, if no deserved prosperity is on the cards.
There are the others also in the race, some old ‘friends’ of yours. You have worked with them and sacked some, others have applied to work with you and failed to get your attention but now with this gesture they are sure you will certainly be watching. Like People’s Progressive Party Mzee Bidandi Ssali who claims to have been in the political trenches since the 1960s and is back in them because almost everything he has worked for all his life has been overturned, Dr. Olara Otunnu of the Uganda People’s Congress who has a ‘dishonouring mark’ from the 1980s some people will never let go of (and how I wish they could ‘kulemera’ on more pressing issues in our history too)-and leading a party that is fast slimming down as more members defect or just quit politics or dying, depending on how you observe the latest goings on in Uganda’s second oldest political party and most significant after yours, Mr. President.
There are two more. Dr. Abed Bwanika of Peoples Development Party and Lubega, but I have my suspicions that they are doing it for CV reasons, and no, I’m not being unfair. I can even summarise what all these Presidential hopefuls are promising-prosperity, education for all, worker pay rises, more employment opportunities, and freedom of association. Those are the promises, in a nutshell. And they don’t mean much to the ordinary Ugandan anymore, because they were the same promises placed before the electorate in 1996, 2001, and 2006.
The Uganda of 2011 is vastly different from the Uganda of 14 years ago, the Uganda of 10 years ago, even the Uganda of five years ago. I think we are all a lot less gullible, a lot less hopeful, each out for what they can get. And these aspirants without their hand on an economic power that can ‘give’ something are simply whistling in the wind.
With these weak ‘competitors,’ is it any wonder then I’m already convinced you Mr. President are going to win resoundingly? This is perhaps why the 2011 Presidential election race does not much move me because it’s already a done deal, as American businessmen from Texas might say-if you want a real change, start the groundwork for 2016 now. The ‘real’ election that moves me, that concerns me, is the Kampala mayoral race. I know, I know, everyone is saying the mayor won’t matter now that the central government has taken over the management of Kampala city. But nothing is irreversible in a court of law. This is why I’m keen on the Kampala mayoral race, more than the 2011 Presidential elections.