To the sceptics, the Ugandan Opposition could be off to a bumpy start this year 2017 which is excusable considering the prevailing semblance of confusion arising.

This stems from the failure by many people to appreciate Rtd. Col. Dr. Kiiza Besigye’s role as the “de-facto” leader of the forces of change and him pursuing the struggle WITHOUT attempting to bring on board all stakeholders in the struggle.

Instead, he risks being perceived as relying on his many supporters to whip by force, blackmail, intimidate and ransom fellow leaders into his line of thinking.

Rightly, the mechanisms to increase citizen and stakeholder engagement, representation and agreement in the implementation of various political agendas have not been effectively employed.

It is worth noting for purposes of this debate that it is clearly noticeable that the FDC as a party now presents two parallel camps, one composed of Dr. Besigye and almost the entire membership, and the other led by Mugisha Muntu and almost the entire FDC DEC leadership. The ensuing antagonism created has only tainted the integrity of all efforts geared towards pursuing a common stance against the M7 dictatorship. Dr. Besigye’s supporters will quickly label Muntu a traitor and applaud him the next day when he accompanies Besigye to any of the defiance projects which signals bias and dysfunctional patterns of decision-making.

It is undoubtedly true that Museveni has ably abused the game of propaganda and reconnaissance. Through the use of moles working as part-timers or on a permanent basis, he has tried to infiltrate the Opposition forces.

We must admit that this points to weakness and laxity on the part of our team and that the resultant cracks need to be fixed. However, it is quite unfortunate and sad that any person who dissents in principle on any issue arising is expressly labelled a mole by our great supporters. It is absurd that we are regarded suspiciously in such cases yet our supporters are quick to esteem the enemy for his antics at setting us up against each other’s necks to the extent of presenting him as invincible, much to his advantage.

Back to the debate, the entry point to 2017 has not been spared the presence of faint but growing voices opposed to this system and the attendant mechanisms. We ignore these at our own peril since in so doing we will be dampening otherwise vital opinions across the divide.

At the risk of being labelled a mole, let me stand out and demand for a free government, tolerating criticism and prompt and effective communication among us as members of the opposition. Before we push for talks with M7 why don’t we first push for dialogue among ourselves? The voices we hear in the opposition now are a result of a non-collaborative decision making system which we have all fallen prey to. We should be seen to operate in a more inclusive and participatory manner. We need to apply as much energy as possible to deliberate generation of agreement and consensus before finalizing any decision.

This should encourage our team to keep the good of the whole group in mind since every individual’s opinions shall have been voiced and incorporated into any emerging activity. We also must ensure that individual preferences should NOT in any way obstructively impede the progress of our team.

As leaders in the struggle, we have the task of keeping our heads above the water and offering guidance but that is after we have clearly determined what the current/immediate question and confusion is about. There seems to be a lot of dust in the picture but I am confident that we’ll manage to keep the ship afloat.

M7 is already at his weakest and will be dealt a final blow if only the opposition adopts full cooperation, collaboration, cohesion and interpersonal connection.

The writer is the Member of Parliament for Mukono Municipality.
[9:57 AM, 1/8/2017] Mike Ssegawa: Read through
Government finalizes anti-media law targeting NTV, Monitor, Red Pepper
By Watchdog reporter

The government has finalized a law aimed at gagging critical media, Watchdog website has learnt.

The law that intends to amend the Press and Journalist Act 1995, will see the government closing any media house deemed to report u unfavourable news about the government, even individuals in the government.

Sources have reliably learned that the Attorney General’s chambers have completed the draft of the law that had previously been unpopular but the government hopes to take advantage of bad blood between Parliament and the media, to pass off its agenda.

This website however understands that the law isn’t targeting the media in all but a couple of critical media such as NTV, Monitor and Red Pepper.
The government has in the past closed RedPepper, Monitor, KFM and Dembe however it was illegal.
They are now creating a framework to close the media houses legally.

Sources say the anti media law will weaken the critical media in preparation for the tabling of other constitutional reviews which will introduce among other things, the lifting of terms geared towards keeping President Museveni in power beyond 75 years in age.