By Aliker David Martin
In 2016, former Secretary of State for United States of America (USA) Hillary Clinton announced her 2016 presidential campaign in a YouTube video.
How would you announce your presidential campaign?
January 31st, 2020 Hon. Brenda Nabukenya, the former Luweero Woman Member of Parliament, declared her intention to challenge Hon. Norbert Mao, for the Democratic Party (DP) presidency.
In a low key press conference on Friday, Ms Nabukenya said Uganda was suffering from multiple institutional failure to be addressed but DP under President Mao has not offered good leadership to liberate it from state capture.
She promised that, “If am elected the president of Democratic party, I am to build a strong coalition with People Power led by Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi(Bobi Wine) to unseat the incumbent president Mr. Museveni in the forthcoming general elections.”
The question that comes to mind is, how does a half a century old party join a movement of less than two years with no known national structures and experience to build on strong institutions?
This ideology is akin to that perpetuated by DP faction led by Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago that shunned Mr. Mao’s election as DP President since 2010.
Lukwago’s faction has since then supported Dr. Kizza Besigye in all his unsuccessful presidential bids and distanced themselves from the party despite all options for Unity.
It’s imperative to note that since last year, Uganda Young Democrats (UYD) have dismissed Hon. Brenda Nabukenya, accusing her of being above 30 years of age and illegally fleecing money from international partners using UYD name to do personal business.
As Ugandans ushered the New Year, Buganda Kingdom Prime Minister Charles Mayiga speaking at the kingdom annual end of year fete dubbed Enkuuka at Mengo, the seat of the kingdom, asked voters to support people who can articulate the kingdom’s concerns regardless of their political affiliation.
Mayiga told thousands of revelers who came from across 18 counties of Buganda to join Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II as he ushered in the New Year.
Could this be a clarion call for Ganda nationalism hence the action of DP activists?
The DP historically has been Buganda’s political mouth piece and Buganda’s vehicle for its interests.
However, as DP unlike in the past takes on a new image that is nationalistic in nature and pro-national issues and not necessarily Buganda’s focal interest; this unsettles kingdom extremists.
The DP has had a history of its leaders cooperating with that state whenever there was a prospect of a transition in government.
In 1964, when DP Secretary General Bataringaya Basil Kiiza crossed in parliament to Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) with five other leaders, personalities like Alex Latim from Gulu then Leader of Opposition (LoP) replaced him and Ginno Obonyo and Gasper Oder from Arua and others remained.
In the early 80’s when northern Uganda leaders described President Museveni as a bad leader for Uganda; Hon. Winnie Byanyima and Colonel Frank Kaka Bagyenda previously DP Youth Winger from Bunyoro in the 80’s convinced Dr.Paul Semogerere and Sebaana Kizito(R.I.P) to serve President Museveni as minister for Internal Affairs, Public Service and Minister of Cooperatives and Marketing between 1986 until 1987 and Minister of Regional Coorperation between 1987 and 1988, and for Housing and Urban Development from 1989 until 1991.
In all these years, Hon. Mao’s formative years in opposition had taken shape and practically defeated Hon. Noble Mayombo a government candidate in Makerere Guild elections between 1990 and 1991.
As an accomplished politician, it did not matter when this great DP leaders returned to compete against President Museveni for Presidency where they won more votes in Mao’s backyard with his support than they did in their own villages.
If this leaders had not side stepped DP to join government and worked towards building the system that destroyed this institutions over all this decades, certainly Uganda would not have this failed institutions.
The DP must rise above parochial ethnic interests if it is to ever be a national party with a national agenda. Other than that, it remains another Kabaka Yeka (K.Y) with a different name.
Finally, for DP to join People Power in its current form and as suggested by Hon. Nabukenya only makes Hon. Kyagulanyi a Buganda Project and not grant it a national appeal.
Hon. Nabukenya’s appeal lacks the same basic principles of truth, justice and equity upon which it was formed.
The author is an Opinion Leader based in Gulu. Email: [email protected]