A new phrase “people power” is catching like wild fire.
Some of the most recent cases where the phrase has been used is the FDC victory in the Rukungiri by-election, the reduction from 1% to 0.5% of the Mobile Money tax by President Museveni after a National wide outcry and very recently the victory of Asuman Basalirwa in Bugiri Municipality.
However much the phrase is making sense on some matters of national concern, it seems to be making little or no sense to the biggest question before them (opposition) “ousting President Museveni out of power.”
Most and if not all members that support the opposition political parties dream of that fateful day having to wake up to the news that President Museveni is not president of the Pearl of Africa and one of their own is the CEO of Uganda.
FDC party president Patrick Amuriat, former presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye, Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi and a vast majority of the opposition members have come to consensus that all the other attempts (fighting in parliament, elections, courts and exposing mistakes of the ruling party Etc) have become futile in trying to defeat Museveni and people power is the way to go.
This position could be a self defeating agenda because majority of the citizens are either contented with the status quo or are worried to antagonise with Museveni well anticipating the mess that would unfold after the antagonism.
This was self manifested in two major events; the 2016 elections and the Presidential Age limit Amendment bill.
As the campaigns were drawing to a conclusion, FDC’s grand and final rally was organized at Makerere University located in the central business District of Kampala where the opposition claims majority support.
On that eventful day, at 2:00pm on the Makerere Hill road Dr. Kiiza Besigye the FDC presidential candidate was arrested by the regime police, detained shortly at Wandageya police station and later transferred to Naggalama police station.
Kampala in general and Makerere University in particular FDC’s political stronghold did nothing to combat the unlawful arrest of their Messiah.
He was never accorded the opportunity to communicate to his Makerere rally.
Similarly, FDC accused the Electoral commission of declaring candidate Museveni as President yet Besigye had “won” the election.
The people power rhetoric either way did not help. There were no reported riots in the country unlike in the 2017 Kenyan Election where “people power” worked.
Unlike in Uganda, roads in Kenya were closed, trees burnt down and the Supreme Court listened to this outcry and nullified the election.
As for the presidential age limit amendment, the story is no different.
President Museveni with the help of his NRM MPs amended the upper age limit cap comfortably with no “people power” sabotaging the amendment process.
While a similar attempt was made in Burundi to amend the presidential term limit, the Nkurunziza government was engaged in serious running battles with police and violent protestors that resulted into the death of over 100 protestor.
Coming back to Uganda, such a sensitive time in the Ugandan political history should have provoked the revolutionary in the “people power” advocates to stage a fierce uprising that would have scared the NRM establishment or given the International Community proper ground for intervention and stop the amendment that may aid President Museveni to be president for life.
In a nutshell, the “people power” remains a street talk as regards capturing power from President Museveni.
The people could be contented with the status quo or see no future with the current opposition establishment or are worried of the possible outcomes that may proceed with the uprising which most likely is the true assumption.
The author is a political analyst.