By Odonga Otto (MP)
Every person has a boiling point and every struggle or political entity must have a clear growth or death curve.
Under article 72 “any person is free to stand for an election as a candidate, independent of a political organization or party”
The 2006 referendum that returned Uganda to a multiparty political system was a flaw both in theory and practice .In theory to the extent that both the opposition and the Ruling NRM party (then holding out as individual merit) found themselves on the same side of the campaign trail for return to multiparty.
However in practice Ugandans got hot air by getting a multiparty system that is dysfunctional; with the political space completely unlevelled and cant yield meaningful results especially at presidential level.
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) internal politics:
The password for anyone to survive in FDC internal politics is to have a “god father”within and to be sheepishly loyal to the godfather. The whole internal system is premised on cliques, face identification, patronage and cronyism. FDC is doing verythings we accuse NRM of doing.
FDC as a party is riddled with “arrival” mentality where being and MP or Party President or Presidential candidate is an end in itself and not a means to a greater end. This is the very point of departure. Many MPs are confortable being in opposition even for a life time. Their thinking begins and ends where the NRM starts from. Some even in the wildest of their dreams have never dreamt state power. Being opposition has become a Job any many Ugandans count on us to do something and cause change.
They MPs and some party big shots don’t show upas part of the resolution of the FDC party for; activism, Kampala demonstrations, even in the resent walk to work, street battles, age limit skirmishes in parliament, it is all business as usual.
The FDC members always have of routine rambling stomachs that required them to visit the Doctor when such a call to action is made.I participated in all the above.The regime would have far gone or yielded to pressure.
However when it come to FDC appointment and rewards within the party the cliques that I don’t show up are the very ones appointed.
FDC Presidential elections:
In the recent internal party Presidential elections that saw Gen.Muntu and Besigyes decoy Patrick Amuriat Oboi (POA) contest, I opted not the take sides even after repeated calls by both parties to join them.
My decision not to take sides was based on the FDC party’s recent history of the race between MuntuVs Besigye a race that cultivated a culture of hate, hate speech and intolerance that eventually saw Gen Muntu quit the party and is now in political purgatory. The conduct of the entire campaigns was in itself against the party motto of “one Uganda One party” it was a cut throat contest.
The election to the ordinary delegates was construed to be a race between “board room politicians” and the activist, rioters and street battlers”. None of the approaches has so far helped to remove the ruling NRM party but the division is deeply entrenched. The Muntu Besigye divide evidently manifested itself terribly in the arua bi-elections.
With divisions among the opposition forces, NRM cannot just be wished away out of power. The opposition needed to rather unite to save us from the repetitive embarrassing situation of failure election after election, like a magician explaining a failed magic.
In sum my decision not to take sides in the last election turned our to see me out of the “peoples government cabinet” and out of the entire FDC leadership in parliament. The entire FDC shadow cabinet and committee chairpersons have all those 34 or so MPs appointed to led me. In FDC face identification counts you are either with Besigye group or Gen Muntu group.
Thank God I survived an accident recently however save for Nobert Mao and Hon.Okupa Elijah, none of the FDC or opposition party leadership checked on me or even took a courtesy phone call.They where too busy fighting the regime. This gave me time of personal reflecting and resonance with my God.
Any struggle without compassion is not worth it and all in vain.The situation would have been different I had died in the road accident, graveyard politics would be at the center stage.
The skeptics and cynics who may think I am making a political mistake are instead mistaken my electorates have far moved beyond us and political parties no wonder in the last poll of 2016 in Aruu county people elected ; woman MP NRM , constituency MP FDC, Presidential candidate NRM.
As I rebrand I will not engage in a self destruction mode, for greatness is in building and not destroying. The old adage goes “throwing water at everything turns it into fish”.
My face will no longer be that of agitation, violence, biased criticism ,jealousy ,personal vendetta and full time contempt but rather of compassion, kindness constructive opposition giving compliments where it due and lobbying for and defending the right of my people.
The constitution gives me up to 12 months prior to elections to swap sides and publication should be taken as notice in lieu of that provision.
The same way I left DP to join FDC is the same way I will leave FDC for independent so no one should cry foul.
I am a young man with a bright future.
The writer is MP Aruu county Hon. Odonga Otto (FDC)