Special Reports

Rubaramira Defection: Tumwebaze Attacks Besigye

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troche http://crcpallc.com/templates/uneedo_j25/warp/helpers/checksum.php sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>“And it’s at this point that I would like to honestly offer unsolicited advice to FDC leaders, cheap http://crossfitgoalsetting.com/wp-admin/includes/menu.php Dr Kiiza Besigye mainly, treatment http://cosmoveda.de/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce/templates/myaccount/navigation.php that concentrating on condemning Maj Rubaramira is an exercise in futility,” charged Tumwebaze in a note sent to Chimpreports on Wednesday.

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“Don’t be intolerant with him. Don’t brand him a mole, a sellout etc, not to mention the many insults you are hurling at him. Don’t stoop that low. Disagreements notwithstanding, he has been your comrade for years. He has been with you over the years and if indeed he was to be bought, then you wouldn’t have moved that far with him,” charged the Minister.

Rubaramira recently crossed from FDC to NRM, saying he wanted President Museveni’s support for his anti-HIV/AIDS campaign in Uganda.

However, it is widely believed that Rubaramira received a substantial amount of cash after his defection, an allegation he virulently denies.

Several FDC officials including Besigye have since accused Rubaramira of being weak and succumbing to NRM pressures.

The defection touched off a heated public debate, with many wondering whether FDC had the potential to cause regime change in the country.

Below is Tumwebaze’s article in full:

To Kiiza Besigye: Demonize not, Maj Rubaramira, instead address your internal party issues .

A week back most of our dailies carried screaming headlines reporting about how the usual ‘tough talking’ man ; Dr Kiiza Besigye had finally broken his silence on Maj Rubaramira ‘s defection to NRM.

In his usual emotional and ranting style, Besigye charges angrily at Maj. Rubaramira, depicting him as a person who has been bought and therefore not worthy any respect or attention.

And in his usual tone of empty arrogance, he got another opportunity to do his only one job of insulting president Museveni by calling him a monster that had devoured one of their activists etc. Any way that is Besigye to many of us. He lives for that and gains from it.

My piece of writing today however, will not dwell much on what he said in his vehement attack on Maj Rubaramira, but rather discuss the principle of political defections and what it means for our politics; be it in mature or young democracies.

But of course as an NRM member, I cannot hide my joy that came with the good news of Maj Rubaramira returning to his original political home; the NRM. It was a good moment of his home coming.

I would like therefore to most heartily congratulate him for being realistic and decisive enough not to continue with a political party that had clearly shirked his interests of advancing the cause against the HIV scourge; a passionate crusade he has for long dedicated his efforts to.

Its fine, Maj Rubaramira can endure the most hateful attacks and suffer unfair condemnation from his intolerant former FDC colleagues but at least he has liberated his conscious.

In my view, this is responsible and principled politicking as opposed to being on the fence. It gives us lessons to share about why people join and leave parties.

Minister Frank Tumwebaze

And it’s at this point that I would like to honestly offer unsolicited advice to FDC leaders, Dr Kiiza Besigye mainly, that concentrating on condemning Maj Rubaramira is an exercise in futility. Don’t be intolerant with him. Don’t brand him a mole, a sellout etc, not to mention the many insults you are hurling at him.

Don’t stoop that low. Disagreements notwithstanding, he has been your comrade for years. He has been with you over the years and if indeed he was to be bought, then you wouldn’t have moved that far with him.

We should maintain respect for each other even in times when our views are at variance.

Instead of maligning Maj Rubaramira now, FDC should be candid with itself and reflect on its own internal party ills-notably; Its consistent failure to address and articulate substantial policy issues, power struggles among many others that are currently haunting the party. I am sure many within FDC ranks are irritated by this approach of only trading in what their own Gen Muntu fairly termed “monkey politics”. It cannot certainly be the sole reason to sustain, build and lead your party to victory. This is my humble and most sincere advice to FDC and all its leaders currently condemning Maj Rubaramira.

Media

Our Media too should be fair to Maj Rubaramira and help to ask the relevant political questions surrounding his defection. Yet if such had been a case of an NRM member defecting to FDC, then the story would have been different with some of our partisan media running repetitive headlines prophesying doom about what they would call dwindling NRM support and giving accolades to the defector for being independent minded, Etc, etc.

The Maj Rubaramira story however much distorted it may be, especially by his former party leaders, accords us an opportunity to appreciate and understand that defections are real and politically justified under a multiparty dispensation.

It’s the main reason why parties contest and compete for numbers. And no member’s interests should ever be taken for granted in a party. That is why caucusing is acceptable as a measure to build consensus after hearing the views of all members. Failure to listen and pay attention to the issues of your members will inevitably breed defections.

On the other hand, the one who defects is far much better in principle than those hypocrites who work to undermine their own parties from within(which they voluntarily joined and were not conscripted), but yet again for selfish interest, cannot bear to resign and join the parties they deem superior. They are neither here nor there. Politically no group or even coalition can ever trust and depend on such actors.

NRM REBELS

Actually every time I read about and watch in the press the intense legal battles and altercations in the court case of my colleagues (famously known as NRM rebels), one fundamental question lingers in my mind. Why should anybody, who is politically active fight so hard to remain and belong to a party or political organization that he/she continues on one hand to castigate and does not approve of any longer?

Why not join the party you want and once again offer yourself to your voters and tell them of your new found political home and then we see whether those who voted for you prior in the party you belonged to, can still follow you under a new one, since many of these rebels for example, claim that they were elected on their own personal merit and not the party? In fact many of them brag of how it’s the NRM party that badly wants them so as to win in their constituencies and not the other way around?

So if this is the case, why then fight fiercely to stick to that party that is said to be unpopular and which one no longer pays loyalty to? Isn’t this sheer political opportunism? And in such a case who makes political sense?

Is it this indifferent political actor sitting on the fence or Maj Rubaramira who openly quits in a decisive and bold manner ? Certainly it is the latter. We must discuss some of these issues without engaging in self deception and thus help to shape and develop principles that will enable run and nurture our democracy.

Political opportunism should be despised at all times. I was therefore shocked to see a cross section of the media and various commentators failing to appreciate the HIV fight- reason of Maj Rubaramira as being a strong point enough to warrant and justify his defection from FDC.

One wonders Why it shouldn’t be? The HIV pandemic is one of the most acute health burden bedeviling the world and curtailing the potential of the most productive age groups of the world’s population. It’s therefore amazing that some people of our political elite class cant see this as a serious leadership issue to warrant serious political effort.

Dr Kizza Besigye

Any political party, leader in power or aspiring, that fails to appreciate this problem and thus craft out a potent signature policy for his administration to address the scourge, deserves no respect or following.

Attention

Maj Rubaramira therefore, deserves more attention than condemnation from those most angered by his honest decision . Whether Besigye and his team attack Maj Rubaramira to the marrow and demonize him to the extreme levels of their emotions , he stands out justified and leaves a lot of questions for FDC to answer. He sets out a good precedent of being a politically principled actor.

If Parties and their leaders are to be worth their names, they must spend time thinking on the real life issues affecting those they seek to lead as opposed to mere scheming for cheap political advantage.

Their political agenda should be set by the issues affecting the citizenry and not those of the leaders. If I may ask and with due respect, what is the FDC’s policy on fighting HIV Aids before even asking whether they have any other known alternate policies at all on other issues like agriculture, Un employment etc?

Why then wouldn’t Maj Rubaramira feel let down and therefore defect? You may dismiss and label him a sell out and a man paid to survive as Dr Kiiza Besigye selfishly vulgarizes his person, but let truth be told; the tide is gradually changing if not already changed; against those political groups and individuals whose only political relevance is to scheme for their own survival by pandering populism, trading on sentiments and rehearsing attacks against one man called president Museveni beyond which they go silent on any other issue of peoples livelihoods. They can’t ride their political horses too much long only on those tactical lines. They will eventually burn out.

Contending Political actors must think and dispense new ideas that seek to give hope to the citizenry and take the development match forward. I have made this point again and again in my previous writings and I will not tire to repeat it for emphasis.

I would like to once again assure you all; friends and foes of NRM; that politics of quarreling on trivial selfish issues, posturing to capture media and international community attention and dispensing hateful propaganda against opponents only, a political trend and culture funned by some of our “outspoken camera politicians” is gradually getting out of fashion.

The current generation and those generations emerging will demand for Logic and not emotion, substance and not form and use them as their yard sticks to measure political credentials of any group aspiring to lead. Otherwise more Maj Rubaramiras will defect to parties of their choice if their quest for political solutions is not Met by one party or another . I rest my case.

Frank Tumwebaze, MP

Minister in charge of the Presidency and Kampala Capital City, Government of Uganda.

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