I'm Again Rooting For Fdc In Kasese In These Elections 

By Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba 

President Yoweri Museveni lies a lot. In fact, he isn’t afraid of telling lies but he took the people of Kasese seriously when he ‘stole’ one of the pledges earlier made by Dr. Kiiza Besigye in 2006,and executed it himself. Besigye had promised the Bakonzo to restore their kingdom if elected president. When Museveni executed it in 2009, it helped him to win Kasese in the 2011 elections.

In the 2006 election, Kasese was the only district in Western Uganda where the majority of votes went to Besigye and not to President Museveni. According to the Uganda Electoral Commission, the vote share for Besigye in Kasese district was 54% while the vote share for Museveni was 43.3%. When Museveni restored the Rwenzururu Kingdom, he received credit for the restoration. As such, the results in Kasese district were reversed in the 2011 election where Museveni received 52.98% of the vote share while Besigye received 44.72%.

However, the people of Kasese have never forgotten that their kingdom was restored due an earlier pledge by Besigye, and as such, they again overwhelmingly voted for FDC and Besigye in the 2016 elections. The FDC swept all six parliamentary seats in the district. It also obtained the highest number of councillors and chairperson at division and sub-county levels, winning 17 seats of the 29 sub-counties.

This is something that predictably upset Museveni—he looked at it as a betrayal. So, an attack was ordered on their kingdom after the elections, and as a result, about 200 people were killed. The people of the Bakonzo ethnic group had long wanted their once-abolished traditional kingdom, the Kingdom of Rwenzururu, to be restored. The Bakonzo and other ethnic minorities in Kasese were integrated into the neighboring Toro Kingdom, but the Bakonzo were clearly unhappy living under the influence of the Toro king and not having their own.

With the king of the Rwenzururu remaining in exile in Buganda, rather than his kingdom, and treason charges still hanging on his head, I can see FDC again dominating the vote share in Kasese district. FDC presidential candidate, Patrick Amuriat, needs to sell the same message when he visits the area, and he should have Besigye's company. I understand Gen. Salim Saleh and other NRM big wigs have been in the region cajoling the leaders into supporting NRM again, but I don’t think it will have much effect—there’s too much anger there.

What’s scary about all this isn’t just the possibility that Museveni may yet win — or steal — a seventh term. It’s the fact that almost his entire party, and tens of millions of voters, seem perfectly willing to follow him into the abyss. It is just that their leader has shown savvier in how to hang on to his power. He does not go around making rash public statements every day. His lies are far less transparent than NUP's Kyagulanyi lies who promised soldiers an increase in their salaries while, at the same time, promising to reduce taxes, or remove some taxes.

Kyagulanyi is like a cult leader who promises his people the answer to everything. Cult followers cannot ever question the motives or actions of their leader because doing so would bring into question their whole life course.

Kyagulanyi promised them he would fix everything including youth unemployment. Of course he cannot do that through mainly industrialisation, as he said, without modernising agriculture that employs 72% of our population. But, his followers want to believe in him so bad that they will give him a pass on anything if he promises to fix Uganda. Fixing of course means different things to different members of his cult.

That Besigye and FDC’s enemies in the Regime and opposition—have been busy plotting nothing less than a coup against Dr. Kiiza Besigye is undeniable by this point. We now have a party in opposition, headed by Kyagulanyi Sentamu, that has generally collected all those that have been waiting to stab Besigye in the back. It consists of many people from DP and FDC who were all put in a boiling kettle. What's sad is their lack of understanding that their delusions have no place in the real Uganda which is way to big and complicated for them to grasp.

The wonderful thing about Besigye’s involvement in national politics over these last 20 years is that it has supplied for all with eyes to see a lifetime’s worth of political education. The “Mafia”, "brown envelopes" , tear gas, and “Fake News media” are now household terms. So many are trying to be him, to bring him down, but for now he has try and save his party through this election.