OP-ED

Col Besigye goes back to Kampala empty-handed – who really controls the streets of Mbale city?

Steven Masiga (photo/File)

Op-Ed:- Rumours are flying around Mbale town on who actually commands Mbale city politically; Is it Hajj Mansa Musa, or Muhamood Masaba? How about Honourables Nandala and Nambeshe another observer enquired or is Col Besigye now a spent force that attracts nobody’s attention?

Or he is a man armed with an old message which people have listened to severally and now nobody wants to listen to such, an old and empty rhetoric, or people in the city are preoccupied with issues of hunger and other personal needs and have no time to listen to politicians of whatever shade. 

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Is President Museveni recouping Mbale City from the opposition? or Was it due to inadequate preparations, or his old allies denounced politics? Was there even a need to deploy police with such numbers? This is among the issues I will discuss below .

A few days back Col Besigye was in Mbale town and none of his usual bases like Mbale Garage, bothered to move nearer him.

I recall with nostalgia and lamentation how old women and men could abandon their meals merely to see and listen to him. Children could equally shunt their mother’s breasts to have a better glimpse of Col Besigye, lactating mothers could first attend to Col Besigye before breastfeeding their infants. How about herdsmen they could rather have their monthly salaries deducted by their masters to cater for costs related to abandoned animals eating and damaging crops of neighbours but at least see Col Besigye, you could see malwa joints deserted by alcohol consumers just for the sake of seeing Besigye first. 

 Political pundits believe many people no longer trust Col Besigye or don’t view him as capable of taking over the present leadership of the country, I can personally encourage Col Besigye to first sort out his house in order before coming to the public, I like it to a husband quarrelling with his wife, sort that out internally before coming out to court others to support your cause, Col Besigye should address internal party issues in FDC before coming in public.

How did Col Besigye lose the popularity he once enjoyed around the country, a man who could address millions of supporters was unable to even manage to mobilize 200 people to his rally. Was it really even necessary to allocate him all that huge space at the cricket grounds in Mbale city, a small hotel somewhere could have saved his face.

How can Col Besigye reinvent himself in order to regain his hitherto original popularity? He has given his best and four futile attempts with no success certainly the masses will lose interest.

The biggest hurdle that Col Besigye comes across is being a homeboy with General Museveni, without being a tribalistic president Museven ‘s birthplace of Ntungamo and Col Besigye’s birthplace of Rukungiri is about 20 kilometres apart, which makes many Ugandans think this is boys, from the same District and makes no sense politically to someone in Acholi or bugisu to substitute somebody of Ntungamo for another one from Rukungiri as this is just in the same place.

Further trouble to Besigye is when even young Ugandan voters, come to know that he was General Museveni’s personal Doctor and minister of state in the NRM, old wine in new wine bottles I may be tempted to say.

Therefore I cannot  see a new party that Col Besigye is struggling to form overshadowing FDC or delivering what FDC could not deliver then in 24 years it has struggled to take on the presidency 

The writer is  a researcher from Mbale tel 0782231577

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