Analysts have attributed the current factions and differences within Ugandan political opposition parties to selfishness and the strongman syndrome.
Ajuri County NRM Member of Parliament Hamson Obua is in fact pessimistic. Obua predicts, “Many political parties may die the same way KANU in Kenya died because they think that there is some strong man somewhere who is dictating terms and conditions under which the party must move.”
Buyaga West Member of Parliament Barnabas Tinkasimiire argues that many of the beleaguered parties are struggling because, “We have some political parties whose growth has been determined by President Museveni, whose maturity is determined by President Museveni and whose death is determined by President Museveni.”
Makerere University Political Science lecturer Ndebesa Mwabusya says lack of a uniting ideology is responsible for the perennial splits within opposition political ranks.
The latest split within opposition ranks came to public attention after Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) President Patrick Amuriat Oboi announced a reshuffle in the leaders of the opposition in parliament. Amuriat replaced Winnie Kiiza with new Leader of Opposition Betty Aol Ochan. The changes extended to parliament committee heads.
Leading FDC politicians like Abdu Katuntu, among those replaced, described the reshuffle as a purge. The purge was allegedly aimed at weeding out FDC politicians loyal to former FDC President Major General (rtd) Mugisha Muntu.
The differences have seen politicians from the same party now supporting candidates not approved by their party in the many by-elections currently being held.