National Unity Platform [NUP] leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu recently announced a new strategy aimed at claiming his ” rigged ” electoral victory in this year’s presidential elections.
Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine took part in this year’s elections and came second with 35.8 per cent behind Museveni’s 58 per cent,according to the official figures released by the Electoral Commission [EC].
NUP however protested the results and even petitioned the Supreme Court seeking that the election be nullified and fresh ones organised where transparency and fairness would be guaranteed. He however withdrew the petition citing bias on the side of the court. Earlier on, Bobi Wine had threatened to pull out on ground that three of the justices on the nine man panel, including Chief Justice Alphonso Owinyi Dollo had previously had personal relationships with Museveni who was one of the respondents in the matter.
While announcing the decision to withdraw the petition, Bobi Wine made it clear that it was now time for the public to provide the justice that the “injustices” of the supreme Court had failed to deliver to the Ugandans who massively voted for change. With over 54% according to their unofficial tally, Wine says he won the elections decisively but his victory was robbed and now is the time for his supporters to pour on the streets and reclaim their victory.
Kyagulanyi’s announcement reminds us of a similar call in 2016 by Dr Kizza Besigye. Besigye had similarly declared himself winner in that year’s elections with 52% and resultantly held a simultaneous swearing in ceremony the same day President Museveni was being sworn in at Kololo.
Besigye had right from the day the elections took place, called for the rejection of it’s results by the public. The mock swearing in ceremony offered little if any, apart from getting him into a prison in Karamoja and subsequently home arrest at his Kasangati home.
Like how Bobi Wine is doing now, Besigye spent the whole of the 2016- 2021 term lamenting and promising how he would surely reclaim his victory from Museveni whom he variously called an imposter. To show he was determined, Besigye would go on to form a rival government called The People’s Government [PG] with structures from top to bottom.
Besigye as the leader of the PG had said these leaders would be in the wait for up to when Museveni’s regime would be brought down and then take over to avoid any sort of a leadership crisis. But way into the next term, nothing tangible ever came to be witnessed.
The questions that Mr Wine will be faced as he makes calls similar to those of Besigye is whether he has a better and different strategy from that of his predecessor – Besigye.
Even though one would easily argue that the NUP leader has a completely different strategy from that of Besigye [ Street protests as opposed to defiance by sabotage], it still remains to be seen whether the public will embrace the call to go into the streets to demonstrate and whether they will outmatch the obvious ruthlessness of the security forces.
Compared to a more militant Besigye, proponents of a more confrontational brand of opposition against Museveni have faulted the outgoing Kyadondo East MP for being so soft a nut for the very violent regime to crack. Save for threats against the regime in past, nothing a kin to Besigye’s walk to work and other confrontations with the security forces has been organised and executed successfully by the Kamwokya group.
It’s against this background that many of the anti regime crusaders could still be sceptical about taking part in the said demonstrations whose outcome can easily be predicted.
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