By Joan K Nalubega
The East African Legislative Assembly is a mock Parliament as the six member countries that make East Africa prepare to work together as a single country or at least as one economy.
To a country like Uganda where holding an MP seat is a matter of life and death, a financial source to the member and to president Museveni another chance to show him as a mighty father determinant of all political jobs/offices holders, elections to this parliament has exposed intrigue, greed and inner rot within all parties.
As parties fight to outdo each other, it is the alliances between opposition party’s leaders and the ruling NRM party mesmerizing the political pundits. Party leaders have exposed their dependency and actually being servants of President Museveni. Party leaders see alliance with NRM as a source of money and getting state protection against people they betray. The game of loyalties has started exposing inner dealings. UPC’s informal alliance with NRM has been known since Jimmy Akena ascended to the top of his father’s party.
UPC is now a party facing extinction in a format that foretells what will happen to NRM when Museveni has gone. It has been totally usurped, through an Akena faction that uses state mercenary to be in office as people like Bbosa challenging the status quo are dumped at the party’s periphery.
The major fact EALA elections dug out in UPC is the fact of state mercenary deployed behind opposition party leaders betray people and ally with Museveni. Bbosa sent a candidate to parliament to compete on UPC ticket but Parliament rejected him saying they only recognize the Akena faction. In turn the Akena faction presented to EALA candidate preferred by NRM in the names of Opoka Chris. This just confirmed UPC as the first party pocketed by NRM and Museveni’s exploitation of personal greed to kill parties. Akena, his wife and all UPC MPs openly support NRM in the house.
DP also has its share of rain as EALA has exposed DP’s current leadership as the overtime abuse to the term TRUTH AND JUSTICE. It uncovered the two factions and ideologies within the party.
Currently in DP, there are two groups with two differing ideologies which have been exposed further by EALA. The first group is one of Norbert Mao, Siranda, Mukasa Mbidde etc referred to as “Good DP”. This group thrives on “Minimal opposition” activities like Mao holding Tuesday press conferences, appear on television shows where he makes some flat criticism of government policies then officiate at DP events, parties and burials where he talks against his assumed opponents like Erias Lukwago, Kizza Besigye and Betty Nambooze. The second group is a revolutionary team opposed to President Museveni and allies with anyone truly opposed to Museveni. Its members have made pressure groups like Suubi or TJ in the past they have nothing to do with NRM.
Lukwago, Nambooze, Kasibante etc are in this group. They ignored EALA politicking and stayed stringent on the battle for reforms within DP and implanting true opposition against Museveni.
Prior, Mbidde being “elected” sole DP candidate didn’t raise eye-brows until Museveni’s infamous Good DP coinage. NRM had harvested Nakiwala Kiyingi, Baswale Kezaala and Stella Kiryowa without a single shot fired from DP leadership apart from congratulatory messages. DP NEC, and Mao’s dictatorial placement of Siranda as Secretary General coupled by a sham party primaries where Mao solely cancelled out other contestants in favor of Mbidde and the recent meeting between him, Mugisha Muntu and NRM’s Kasule Lumumba exposed the true element of Good DP and FDC.
The long standing cosmetic relationship between Dr Besigye and Party Chairman Mugisha Muntu which has all along been covered by good PR brew off in EALA. FDC has lived covered with not only two camps but also with two headquarters one at Najjanankumbi for Muntu another for Besigye at Katonga road. The primaries where Muntu camp presented NRM/Good FDC Ibi and Besigye camp presented BAD FDC Ingrid Turunawe, exposed the rot within the biggest opposition party.
NRM penetration of FDC was exposed through when Anite Among who was NRMs candidate in the last EALA primaries defeated opposition’s Salaam Musumba.
By election time, there was no doubt all contestants apart from Ingrid Turinawe were NRM. EALA exposed NRM party candidates as a money not ideology-driven lot.
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To keep off opposition Museveni started with “OBOTE scare tactics. When Obote died he resorted to directly terrorizing opposition using police and army force. He then resorted to outright vote rigging to rig out opposition members and using his Kangarooo courts to arrest them. Now that the international community condemns all this, he resorted to directly buying off opposition leaders in or out of their parties and leave behind a sham opposition.