IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: Can Besigye’s Opposition Overthrow M7? – ChimpReports

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: Can Besigye’s Opposition Overthrow M7?


pharm "sans-serif"; font-size: small;”>Besigye had invited a few newspaper editors for a chat. Wines were passed around and delicious plates of chicken thighs served. Slowly, check I approached Besigye, who was enjoying Fanta soda. “You man how are you? These days you have reformed, I see very good articles about our party (FDC). Keep it up,” he told me. He had earlier accused me of penning negative articles about FDC. In fact former army commander Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu had accused me of serving “the interests of a collapsing regime.”

“Let me tell you young man. I worked under Museveni for decades. I know him in and out. The stories you run in that newspaper are not true. They are being given to you as leaks from State House security. I know there is a desk there doing the dirty job,” Muntu angrily charged at me.

“We know all their tricks. We shall bring them down. What we are discussing now is not how to get power but how to control it. Time will tell,” Muntu added.

And since 2006, Besigye has been talking of a Tsunami that will sweep Museveni away from power. In early 2000s, State said he attempted to wage a guerrilla war from Congo to kick out Museveni. But the group was later smashed under command of fallen military chief Col. Noble Mayombo.


Therefore, what have these opposition leaders been up to since 2006?

After losing the 2006 polls, Besigye started re-strategising. He humbly moved away from reckless wishful thinking to planning city demonstrations. Unlike in the past when he used to read war books, Besigye started moving out to do research. He studies how revolutions occur.

This was to be confirmed later by Mugisha Muntu. “Let me tell you, if we manage to get 100,000 youths on Kampala streets ready to die for a cause, I am telling you Museveni will pack his bags and go. The regime is even scared of its shadow. They are worried we shall prosecute them for their crimes but we don’t have any intention to do that. We do not believe in retribution. Museveni is sitting on a powder keg,” Muntu told this investigator in a chat at the Najjanankumbi office.

With time, Besigye started getting acquainted with causes of revolutions in France, Iran, China, South Africa among others.

According to Besigye’s friends, the FDC political dynamite came to realise that Museveni has been re-stocking armouries to strengthen his military might since the President is politically at his weakest. Any attempts to use arms against Museveni would be suicidal if they lacked full international backing.

“We shall not return to court if Museveni rigs this election. We shall take the matter to the public court,” he told a mammoth gathering at Nakivubo immediately after his nomination for 2011 polls.

At that time, according to informers in FDC, the party kicked off a massive recruitment drive of youths in the country. The operation was led by MP Reagan Okumu and Muntu.

The youth were under the Black and Red Brigade. Most of the youths live upcountry.

According to plans, these youths were to be ferried to Kampala to lay their lives down in a post-election resurrection. This undermined efforts to mobilise more of their supporters to throng the polling stations and vote for KB.

In fact, I am 100 percent sure that if all Besigye’s supporters had turned up on poll date, KB would have swept the poll. FDC has flatly failed to mobilise and convince people that if they cast their votes for KB, they would get rid of Museveni. Majority especially in villages know that Besigye can’t move Yoweri Kaguta (YK). So winning this psychological war remains a stumbling block for Besigye to capture state power. Even protesters “are not fully inspired” to shed their blood.

Here are four reasons why Besigye is still a long way from uprooting Museveni from State House.


One of them is the nature of opposition leaders. For example Muntu who is chief mobiliser rarely surfaces in walk-to-work protests. Most MPs like Abdu Katuntu, Odonga Otto, Reagan Okumu and Nabillah Naggayi are always conspicuously absent in party activities. This dampens the morale of opposition followers. In this walk to work, hundreds have been asking. Where is Muntu? At one time Milton Obote described this as “leadership from behind.”

The masses need focused leaders for “leadership.” Other leaders have quit the party such as Beti Kamya, Alex Onzima and John Butime which has weakened an already sick man called opposition. This has been worsened by political cannibalism among opposition leaders. Had the likes of Norbert Mao and Otunnu joined hands and resources in 2011 campaigns, Museveni would be history.

But because of suspicions and power greed among themselves, they could hardly form a joint force. They forgot the adage “united we stand, divided, we fall.”

The second point is lack of funds. FDC live only on alms. “There is a state of fear to an extent that one can’t locally raise funds,” Besigye told scribes two days ago at Ridar Hotel in Seeta, Mukono. This has been exacerbated by economic upheaval in Europe and United States. The donors are now broke chaps, pre-occupied with self-sustenance.

A Jewish scribe who covered protests in Egypt told me one needs at least $2m to sustain a serious, well planned, focused and motivated mammoth of 500,000 revolutionaries on streets per week! In the case of Uganda, according to Anne Mugisha’s post on face book, opposition did not even have money for food and drinks for arrested walk-to-workers and airtime to coordinate a legal team! Yet, Museveni, by a mere phone call, billions are poured in to fuel his protest-smashing machine!

The last cardinal factor is that opposition lacks well-oiled links with international donors. There are hundreds of tycoons (King Makers) in Europe who are willing to release millions of dollars to facilitate regime change for favours such as trade opportunities, oil deals among others. Opposition has not exploited this. Besides, US still relates with Museveni very well for his role in Somalia. By allowing crushing of protesters in Uganda, US is paying a political price for UPDF’s pacification of Somalia which the super power failed.

Museveni’s military adventurism has also impressed US which, sources say, could be used to put a full stop on Sudan tyrant Omar El Bashir.

For starters, Besigye’s intention in walk-to-work is to cause an economic war. When Ugandans start to sleep on empty stomachs, they will rise up, said an informer.

As I write this, Tourism Ministry has lost about 25bn in the last five months because of walk to work. In a year, it brings in $400m. Every ten tourists to a country create one permanent job, according to World Tourism Organisation. The lack of foreign exchange has weakened the shilling. Besigye is aware that if the economy collapses on its face, Museveni will have no option but step down.

Needless to say, with Besigye suffering from serious eye defects, cash inadequacies and militarisation of police, he is left with only one option:

To instigate an internal rebellion in NRM so that when it crumbles, he can easily sweep a post-Museveni poll. Should he fail, observers will write a political epitaph: “Besigye who nearly ruled Uganda!”


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