MASAKA, UGANDA; The National Unity Platform-NUP leadership is split over the approach that can appropriately be used to dislodge President Yoweri Museveni from power.
Although the party contested the election results in a petition that was prematurely withdrawn from court, its leadership is now faced with divergent approaches of how to proceed with the struggle to end Museveni’s rule.
The apparent clashes of opinion publicly played out on Tuesday afternoon, during a memorial mass of one of the party’s activists Frank Ssentenza Kalibbala, who was knocked dead at Busega roundabout during the campaign trail.
Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro, the Deputy Spokesperson of NUP used the platform at Kasanje village in the Nyendo-Mukungwe division to castigate party leaders who obtained different leadership responsibilities in parliament and other levels. He said this was weakening their spirited political movement.
Mufumbiro argued that although the party supporters and the public are fully charged to cause a change of leadership, the leaders have instead taken a back seat and have not appropriately fostered voices of change as represented among the electorate. He demands that leaders activate a confrontational method of work and an alternative approach to further weaken the NRM government.
Mufumbiro also wondered how the party can frustrate its supporter’ expectations, by simply looking on as two of their MPs Mohammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana languish in prison, on what he claims are politically motivated charges.
Mufumbiro made the statements in the presence of party Secretary General David Lewis Rubongoya, the Deputy President for Central Region and Leader of Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba, and several party top notches including Members of Parliament.
But Mpuuga hastily hit back in disapproval of Mufumbiro’s confrontational approach of removing Museveni from power, saying they have preferred a more strategic approach of capturing other than creating false hope to the highly enthusiastic support base that is yearning for change.
Mpuuga indicated the current leadership is so committed to offering proper guidance and leadership of substance in the turbulent times when they are faced with a stubborn, ruthless, and tough competitor capable of unleashing violence against his opponents.
On the other hand, Mpuuga cautioned the party leaders at all levels to desist from public confrontations, but rather seek the approach of internal dialogue to address their contradictions.
Contradictive ineffective approaches to unseat president Museveni from power is not novel to opposition parties in Uganda. In the buildup and post-2016 general elections period, the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC, which was the main opposition party at the time was faced with a similar dilemma.
During the tenure of retired Major General Mugisha Muntu, the party failed to agree on a common approach of challenging president Museveni, as members were torn between two divergent factions, with one believing in building and strengthening party structures from the grassroots as the other led by Dr Kizza Besigye believed in defiance and confrontation.
The failure by the party leaders to agree in principal affected their much-needed cohesion and eventually split, which later led to the creation of a new political party, the Alliance for National Transformation-ANT.