The NUP Insults Towards Their Opponents Have Made The Opposition A Laughingstock

By  Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba, UK

Dear friends,
Negative and ignorant attacks have seeped into every aspect of our lives and are destroying our culture, politics and society. It is deemed a badge of honour now in Uganda to ridicule, insult and destroy a person based on lies and character assassination.

There have certainly been heated moments and jabs between the FDC and NRM supporters in the past, but things have never really gotten so personal, like at this level.

One thing I disliked, however, is the way some NRM supporters couched criticism of Museveni’s actions in terms of "personal" attacks. No Besigye supporter was attacking Museveni, they were attacking his judgment, which is perfectly within the bounds of good, common-sense, political discourse. I treated a lot of NRM bloggers with respect, and I believe they (most of them) treated me with respect, too.

It was Museveni who tried to spoil our politics at some point when he accused Besigye of being HIV positive during the 2001 elections, but I guess he checked himself. He also at some point called the past leaders ‘swine’, but he has toned down recently because he didn’t get cheerleaders for his insults.

I am very, very happy to see that the FDC party generally behaves in a more grown-up way than does its rivals. Not that there aren't some bad apples or that bad behaviour doesn't exist in the party, but I just see it as being a great deal more civil. When attacking others, it does not seem that the "no low is too low" rule applies to them like it does to Nupians.

Even Nandala and Besigye came to realise that they are opponents, not enemies. They are both allies of the same political party despite the major differences, and I’m hoping that the same spirit gets reflected in their respective supporters. It is to their credit that they realized that cheap shots and personal attacks may have brought personal benefit but weakened the party overall.

Besigye has always said, and I believe him, that it is not that he wants to be President, but that he wants whoever is President to advance his policies - which he would have done if he had been elected. So, his presidential campaigning was mainly about to get as much influence as possible to push Museveni to endorse policies close to his. He also used to use campaigns as a way of freely enlightening Ugandans on various issues.

Politics is nasty enough without the clown-car disaster on the NUP side. Many of us predicted it would happen at the very beginning of the bye-elections between 2017- 2019. Bobi’s group resorted to schoolyard taunts against the FDC in Arua byelections and other places; then later did the same to DP and UPC.

He only cares about himself, period, and if it involves discrediting or destroying other opposition leaders by incinerating them, so be it. For instance, Kyagulanyi aka Bobi used some pretty low tactics (reminiscent of his squabbles with both Jose Chameleon and Bebe Cool musical days) to destroy Besigye before the 2020-21 elections. He has continued with the same tactics against musicians who disagree with him. His recent pampered lifestyle has led him to believe that he’s bigger than everybody else in the opposition or music industry.

He has a short attention span. He does not read so much unless someone is taking a photo of him reading. He keeps his involvement in all aspects of his life limited to the right of refusal and amendment and little else.

What he is doing is a disgrace to our country and is bringing everyone down. All the while he is proud of his nonsense, rhetoric, insults and getting in the last word like a spoiled child. The only reason he and others are resorting to this is because we are accepting it and now expecting it.

Here’s the bottom line: Bobi is good at getting media attention but not good at focusing on his message. He’s not attacking Museveni or his son, Muhoozi, on policy, nor is he making a coherent argument for himself, in his press conferences. He attacks Muhoozi for being a drunkard, and that’s it.

People who love his combative public persona probably love reading stuff like this from him, but those people are already going to vote for him again in 2026. Public fights with his MPs over the homosexuality law, Hon. Mpuuga, Hon. Abed Bwanika, Bigirwa Moses, e.t.c, will not help him win over people who are not currently supporting him.

I have always deplored mudslinging and name-calling, and this is one of the primary reasons why a lot of people don’t want to be associated with NUP. I prefer to keep it on issues, abilities and records.

Saying someone is bought and paid for by Museveni to attack Bobi sounds like a personal attack, but maybe that's just me. Of course, if you think it's true and you have either circumstantial or direct evidence, you have every right in my view to assert it.

Saying that somebody’s mother, wife, daughter, e.t.c, is a whore or a crazy old fart, is a personal attack — The idea of it at all, for any reason is asinine. Unsurprisingly, now I see people also attacking Nupians by insulting Kyagulanyi's dead mother, and it's sad.

This whole 'Kyagulanyi-tasobya' thing is getting out of hand. Basically, Museveni is not a perfect leader, but he is a lot less imperfect than the main competition at the moment.

I personally distrust politicians much more than I otherwise would be due to this negativity. If just occasionally, political opponents would say something like, "I agree with my opponent on this, he/she makes a good point," and leave it at that. Instead, they always must spin anything the other side says as negative, even when they agree with it.