Writer: Simon Peter Asiimwe

Eleven Members of Parliament who previously subscribed to the Democratic Party (DP) on 13th August defected to a new controversial party National Unity Platform (NUP). The controversial (due to its acquisition) party is headed by Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.

The MPs who have crossed include Mukono municipality MP Betty Nambooze, Busiro East MP Medard Lubega Sseggona, Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga, Bukoto East MP Florence Namayanja, Bukomansimbi Woman MP Veronica Nanyondo, Kyotera Woman MP Robinah Ssentongo, Butambala County MP Muwanga Kivumbi, Kalungu West MP Joseph Ssewungu Gonzaga, Makindye Ssaabagabo MP Ssempala Emmanuel Kigozi, Makindye West MP Allan Ssewayana, and Moses Kasibante.

Others who have crossed to NUP today include Former Makindye East MP Michael Mabikke Sseninde, Wakiso district chairman Matia Lwanga Bwanika, DP spokesperson Kenneth Paul Kakande, Former Luweero Woman MP Brenda Nabukenya, DP chief mobilizer Jose Chameleon, and Abdallah Kiwanuka, the former Mukono North MP, aspirant.

Some of these politicians who crossed are former DP Bloc vocal campaigners that put most of their effort on attacking former presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye and the Forum for Democratic Change.

Their ‘disguised campaign’ that comprised of the Democratic Party, People’s Development Party-PDP, and the Social Democratic Party engage other people and political organizations
to ensure that they all agree on an opposition candidate to contest against the ruling National Resistance Movement.

What was weird about the planned nationwide DP Bloc reunions was that they never targeted the ruling NRM that they claimed to oust nor its leader President Yoweri Museveni but rather appeared to have a vendetta against the FDC and Dr. Kizza Besigye. It all appeared as a team that was position itself to contest for positions in the 2016 elections.

The hypocrisy about this group it never targeted positions and constituencies that are dominated by NRM but rather those occupied by their ‘fellow opposition’ leaving many wondering was who they were working for. Was it in the interest of getting to power or to maintain the status quo?

During an event held at Africana hotel in April to sign a memorandum of understanding with the People’s Democratic Party (PD) of Dr Abed Bwanika and Social Democratic Party (SDP) of Mike Mabike and officially unveil the DP block, it was clear that their target was Kizza Besigye rather than the party in power.

Dr. Abed Bwanika who has on several occasions contested for the presidency and lost miserably is quoted as having said that “I have heard one person who has now perpetually become a
presidential candidate and wants to become one again. I have decided, whether I will remain alone, I will ensure that Ugandans don’t vote that presidential candidate again.” The same Abed Bwanika saw an affidavit claiming that Museveni had won the hugely contested 2006 presidential elections.

At the same event, Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi in an open attack against Dr. Besigye was quoted as saying that “Don’t talk about democracy and stand four times and on the fifth time you tell people democracy doesn’t work. We believe it works. On that point, I will assert that democracy actually works and anybody who despises democracy is despising the people of Uganda.”

I do not know if he still holds the same belief depending on the small things that he has been subjected to ever since he declared his desire to contest for the presidency. President Museveni was recently quoted as saying Kyagulanyi was ‘beaten properly’ following the Arua incidence.

Back to the defection of the DP ‘politicians’ to NUP, it was not surprising as some of these individuals supported John Patrick Amama Mbabazi in the 2016 general elections who made it categorically clear that he was and is still a member of the NRM. Were they struggling to replace NRM with NRM?

Then there comes in MPs like Betty Nambooze who has previously said that ‘People Power’ that mysteriously turned into a political party was a mere campaign platform for some politicians that will not survive passed 2021. Which Holy Spirit touched her that in a split of a second, she had switched to the same platform. Is she there for mere political survival or for
the purported change of national leadership in the upcoming general elections?

There are already reported tensions in NUP with the new entrants reported to have negotiated for sole candidacy, something that has not gone down well with the team that claims to have stood with Kyagulanyi long enough to deserve the constituencies.

With just a few weeks remaining for NUP to announce its party flagbearers for positions in the 2021 general elections, it remains to be seen on who will be handed the opportunity since the party will not primaries, another query in a party that allegedly stands for democracy. Will the political nomads stay or they will try and secure another home in which they can have it all without any competition.

Leah Grace Oketcho, is a highly talented Communication specialist, gifted in leadership with over 3 years of leadership and management experience at different levels. She is a team player and has demonstrated ability in mobilizing and organizing others to achieve desired goals. Oketcho is well vast in the art of creating alternatives for ways to get results. She has over the years grown in the art of corporate communications and also participated in the development of performance management materials for various professional institutions. Leah received training in research, scripting, international relations, and data analysis as well as public relations. She is passionate about solving public health related problems. She has offered training to youth in oral and written communication, people management and mentoring, editing and documentation skills, public speaking.

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