By Our Reporters
Dr. Abed Bwanika, who insists on calling himself one of the key pillars in People Power Movement, has this morning announced that Bobi Wine is in private talks to surrender his People Power leadership and programs for integration into the broader DP 2021 strategy aimed at crafting a winning grand coalition to end President Museveni’s rule. Speaking on CBS’ Parliament Yaffe program ably moderated by Med Nsereko, Bwanika said his public defection to DP along with SDP’ Mike Mabikke last Tuesday was just the beginning of many more public endorsements of DP. “And the next big announcement we are working on behind the scenes will be the coming on board of Hon Kyagulanyi coming to join us in the new formation called DP Bloc. It’s something that is going to permanently change the way politics is done in this country,” Bwanika said. “I sometimes laugh seeing people failing to understand simple things. How do you [moderator] say there is confusion as to where my going to DP leaves People Power for which I have been speaking? Take it from me there is no contradiction between these two because we are the ones who started People Power and it’s our things. We are the architects. It’s ours and what you saw us announce as the DP Bloc is aimed at streamlining the programs of People Power and bringing it under proper control of the DP.” Insisting Bobi Wine will soon be announcing his grand defection to DP, just like himself and Mabikke did earlier in the week, Bwanika said “it’s helpful for him [Bobi] to do that because he has no structures of his own yet he needs them.” Bwanika emphasized his authority in People Power by announcing what he called “the meeting of People Power High Command” members which he said he would be hosting in his sitting room later in the day. He urged all the concerned PP high command members to attend in person ostensibly to intensify discussion on the circumstances under which Mr. Wine will be announcing his defection to The DP Bloc (as he repeatedly called it).
BUGANDA NO GO AREA
In what fellow panelist Betty Nambooze said was proof the new DP Bloc was beginning on false start and would therefore crumble like Beti Kamya’s Federal crusade of years earlier, Bwanika said the new DP Bloc would ensure that all MP and LC5 positions in Buganda go to DP. He said under the grand opposition coalition they are building, different regions of Uganda will be allocated or assigned to different political parties. “Buganda is for DP and that won’t be negotiable. The party is strong in Buganda and it’s the only one that can deliver opposition victory there.” He said as such in the coalition talks they are preparing for, DP will be fielding its candidates in all Buganda region constituencies and other opposition groups will be backed by DP to fill positions in other regions. Bwanika implied the DP Bloc will then have the obligation to direct hostilities to other non-NRM candidates fielded in Buganda “where we expect only DP and NRM candidates.” NRM panelist Robert Kasule Sebunya reminded Bwanika that legally, they can’t stop other interested Ugandans from vying for positions in Buganda because the law allows even if one is in opposition. Perhaps to accommodate DP President Norbert Mao’s sensitivies, Bwanika said Acholi is the other region that will be exclusively left to DP to field candidates for the opposition to tussle it out with NRM. This prompted Nambooze to remind him of DP’s thinness in Acholi where they have only one MP Leander Komaketch of Gulu Municipality. Insisting this was the new DP Bloc’ proposal on table, Bwanika showed more biases against FDC when he said they are proposing to leave Patrick Oboi Amuriat’s party with only Besigye’s home turf of Rukungiri and Nandala Mafabi’s Bugisu sub region. “It would be deceptive for DP to claim we have anything in Bugisu. Just like my own PDP, DP might have a few supporters who will be ordered to back FDC candidates. That is one area where FDC SG Nandala Mafabi is the opposition king and we can’t antagonize them there,” he said. “In our estimation Kasese and Rwenzori region is for Gen Muntu’s [New Formation] ANT just like Bunyoro and Ankole. We shall be backing ANT candidates there but if FDC proves to be stronger than ANT in those regions, we remain open to further discussion as long as they back off Buganda because that’s for DP without a doubt.”
SEMUJJU NGANDA DILEMA
Nambooze cynically asked what happens to strong character politicians like Yusuf Nsibambi and Semujju Nganda who are popular in Buganda but aren’t DP. “This one [Nsibambi in the studios] is already ours and for Semujju Nganda I don’t know. He will have to sort out himself because the position remains that whoever wants to stand on joint opposition ticket in Buganda must convert to DP,” Bwanika answered. This prompted Nambooze to accuse him and others of just acting out of excitement and desire to trivialize what is supposed to be a serious discussion among change-seeking forces. “We had Federo as a big demand in this region but the matter was trivialized by Beti Kamya and in the end, Museveni was able to get it off the table. I’m afraid my brother Abed Bwanika and others are on the verge of doing the same with opposition unity. There came a time when it was difficult to criticize or disagree with Beti Kamya without being seen as anti-Federo and we all know where she is now,” said Nambooze who Bwanika said has no moral authority to speak on DP matters “because you are always working for FDC.” Nambooze said this was immaterial and deliberately diversionary because focus should be on ensuring self-seekers and 5th columnists don’t hijack and trivialize plans for joint opposition front against the NRM in 2021. Bwanika, who DP strongman Dennis Majwala of greater Masaka likened to Nelson Ocheger a Museveni mole who for long pretended to be opposition, was criticized for rushing into such coalition talks without first consulting ordinary DP members. Sebunya said the illogical demands the Bwanikas are making from the start raises suspicion and he won’t be surprised if parties like FDC keeps their distance.
OKAYS M7 MAN AKENA
Bwanika intrigued fellow panelists even more when he enumerated regions that are to be left for the exclusive enjoyment of the pro-Museveni UPC faction led by Jimmy Akena. He listed these to include West Nile, Lango, Karamoja and Teso which is home to FDC’s POA. He said “it’s on record nobody can beat UPC in those areas…these are their traditional strongholds.” Nambooze said what the Bwanikas are promoting is conspiracy aimed at blackmailing progressive and forward-looking politicians in Buganda in order to cow them never to question what the DP leadership originates regarding the 2021 elections. Quoting Australian political scholar Wetherill Jay Wilson, Nambooze said the desire for political opposition unity shouldn’t be used to gag those genuinely raising accountability questions in the course of talks before reconciling with their past adversaries. She separately criticized Bwanika for distorting Apostle Paul’s Biblical message regarding Galatians. “Paul was a Jew and wrote 9 letters to the different audiences including the Galatians. I have been revising all these things because Mr. Bwanika has been distorting them for too long yet he is a pastor. St. Paul never told the Galatians to become sectarian and inward looking. No. He was a Jew who preached against sectarianism in salvation. His message was Christianity and salvation must unite and the word Galatians referred to foreigners [the non-Jews] whose discrimination [by the Jews] Paul preached against. Ps Abed Bwanika has been preaching a message directly contrary to what St. Paul intended,” said Nambooze renowned for her natural for knowledge and readership. Nambooze, who is the opposition spokesperson in Parliament, maintained that the DP leadership shouldn’t hide behind unity talks to avoid scrutiny on its anomalous decisions that pushed members like Mike Mabikke and others to leave the party in the first place. “If we reject the idea that some questions still have to be answered, we shall be doing conspiracy against some people and not genuine unity. Let’s not hide behind the rushed unity talks to sweep certain things under the carpet,” Nambooze asserted. Nsibambi, who chairs FDC Electoral Commission, said the DP Bloc initiative was a good move and denounced “information peddlers” whose rumor-mongering previously antagonized leaders and thwarted such unity efforts. He said such ‘peddlers’ thrive on taking false information from one party faction to another in order to get some money (he also called them bakadeyideyi). He also warned against reliance on radio phone callers who he said thrive on blackmailing leaders on radio “yet in parties like DP, such people have become opinion leaders.” For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164755.