By Andrew Mwenda
The battle lines are now drawn over the likely removal of the age limit. We cannot analyze the likely performance of any given product, team, army, political party or leader without assessing the quality of its/his opponents.
Therefore Museveni’s chances of success in this struggle are not only based on the internal organization of the NRM (which is awfully shambolic) but also on that of the opposition – which is tragically absent.
Museveni’s opponents have neither organization nor strategy. They also lack leadership. So their efforts are so far decentralized into anonymous insults and intimidation of MPs and other opinion leaders on merely suspicion they are likely to be favorable to the amendment.
Fighting people on mere suspicion is dangerous as u tend alienate potential allies. Secondly it is impossible to win over people through intimidation and insults however noble your cause may be. Instead their current campaign makes Museveni look a better alternative.
As anyone may have noticed, Museveni’s side is gleefully watching opposition activists ruin themselves with campaigns of hate. That is why this week they openly launched the bid to remove age limit, after seeing the quality of the opposition to their cause.
Any campaign against removing age limit must not focus on MPs but on voters in the countryside. MPs will mind less being battered on social media if they know their position will not hurt their chances of reelection. But if MPs realize supporting removing the age limit will lead them to lose their seats, they will vote against it.
So rather than organize on social media to insult MPs, opposition to age limit removal needs to organize in the countryside where 79% of voters reside. Museveni is already on the campaign trail, traversing rural areas riding bicycles, promoting pre modern farming methods, attending funerals and weddings and talking to voters.
Back in kampala, opposition activists are not talking to the people but to themselves on social media. They listen to their own insults hurled at innocents and delude themselves into the belief that they are being effective. Then when in future votes reflect the opposite, they will claim they were rigged out.
This is the tragedy of Uganda. Museveni has not ruled for this long because he is exceptionally smart. It is because his opponents have always lacked leadership and strategy. They rely on rumor rather than facts, they listen to their delusions rather than face reality and they employ too much emotion and little reason in their struggles.