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Bobi is The Common Denominator Now In All Political Divisions 

By Abbey Semuwemba

The period from 2001 until 2016 is sometimes considered the most mysterious in Uganda history.The mystery is the result, in part, of an insufficiency or even total lack of written directives on several important issues of domestic policy of the period. According to several sources, Museveni relies more and more on oral directives, trying to avoid recording his orders on paper, the same way Russia's Stalin operated until his death in 1953. Most politicians are arrested because of 'orders from above' rather than a written directive. In addition, a lot of people have always believed that a soldier would be the only person to remove Museveni from power, and that explains why Dr.Besigye Kiiza has had overwheling support over the years.

Intriguingly,elections have become a joke such that it took Gen.David Sejusa a run into exile, for him to tell the world that Besigye won the 2006 elections,but the Electoral Commission(EC) had to make up the final results. As a result,we may never learn what Besigye's true long-term plans are for Uganda, for the simple reason that Ugandans didn't help him become president when he won reportedly several times. They just voted him in big numbers but left him to solely change the course of events which he has found difficult to do- up to now. And yet,some continue to blame him for letting them down as if he is an angel,and are now desperately transfering their support to Hon. Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine. Yes, they are desperate- desperate for change!

At the moment, a lot of opposition leaders are throwing stones at one another, and this has weakened the opposition more. None of these leaders is certain of which cards Museveni is going to play- whether we are going to switch to the Westminster parliamentary model of choosing a president, or not. Nobody knows what Bobi is bringing to the table, as he mainly talks of getting 'ndagamuntu' as if it's some form of vaccine for something, and like it has never been tried before. As a result,this has turned every dispute into a battle of gladiators.

Bobi seems more interested in the limelight and a disorganised opposition than anything else. He has directly and indirectly contributed to some of the divisions within the opposition.One could even argue that he planned the inter and intra-Party intrigues several steps ahead.Take, for example, his latest statement in Arua a few days ago,"It seems some people in the opposition want to make opposition their position for good so when they come here do not listen to them". In saying that, he knew very well that he was taking a dig at leaders that have opposed Museveni for so long, and showing disrespect to them. Basically, Bobi is digging his grave at the same time. It's no accident that the people attacking him now are all supporters of Besigye, even though both groups are fighting for the same cause. As if his childish statements in Arua weren't enough, he was seen in the company of Mugisha Muntu whom most FDCs suspect of espionage.DP is now fighting itself over Bobi, and I can see him stiring things up in other parties soon.

Bobi's people keep saying that he doesn't need structures to campaign against Museveni,and that alone shows how naive they are. All dictators survive on structures,and to fight them, you also need structures and a better oiled network in place. For instance,Museveni's Ofwono Pondo is the equivalent of Russia's Andrei Zhdanov under dictator Stalin. Stalin's thoughts to the intelligentsia and the people,with commentary, was entrusted to him. Ofwono is clever in his work--he has recently adopted a dressing code that brings attention to him, because he knows that majority of Ugandans nolonger care about what he says and have stopped taking Museveni's speeches seriously, but he gives them something to , atleast, talk about. Bobi, on the otherhand, is relying on self appointed spokespersons in Saasi Marvin, Eddie Mutwe and several others--its all break dance at Kyarenga!

Besigye continues to be the guy the state is most afraid of.Clearly, Besigye is constantly under tight surveillance compared to any other opposition leader. In that sense, his meetings with anybody are of interest to the state.Museveni's disposition toward Besigye is based in great part on his perception of him as an ascetic hermit.Besigye has self displine around him; he rarely touches alcohol outside his house; he doesn't do extra marital activities though some political jokers have tried hard to link him up with women he has worked with over the years, such as Ngrid Turinawe. Ingrid, herself has been turned into a 'martyr' of some sort instead of a bitch --she is probably the most arrested woman in Uganda history,and her fame and strength has brought her both friends and enemies.

The paradox is that personally Muntu and Bobi interest Museveni very little. As usual, his priorities are political, especially retaining power at all costs,and that is something that is less threatened by politicians totally invested in presidential elections, rather than street battles.The main task has always been obviously to retain unlimited power in his hands and to suppress any real or potential opposition. He chooses the drivers of the EC,and that has always been his insurance policy in case of elections.

Within the framework of Musevenist policy,the leaders of the NRM Party, the army,intelligence organs and culture are tacitly endorsed.This is why it has been difficult to organise a coup against him, and its the same reason why all attempted people raising have been iced down. For instance,when Besigye 'won' the 2016 elections, he was put under house arrest, soldiers were monitoring all the streets in and around Kampala, such that it was difficult for anybody to cause any trouble for him. The same will happen in case the opposition overwhelmingly votes for another candidate, other than Besigye again. That's why Besigye is asking the opposition to unite against ensuring that Museveni isn't on a ballot paper in 2021, or any other future elections.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba writes from The United Kingdom

"In tribute to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Uganda, two bastions of strength in a world filled with strife, discrimination and terrorism."