By Jamila Mulindwa
Since the 1950s, Uganda has had a number of coalitions in the political field for different purposes. Some were to fight colonialism, join governments or fight governments. This has not changed since; in recent general elections we have seen the opposition make many coalitions with the intention of winning against the NRM.
These include among others; the Inter-party forces for cooperation (IPFC) democratic alliance (TDA), Inter-party coalition (IPC). The common factor is that all have failed to achieve their set goals in one way or another.
Seasoned politician Francis Babu, says it’s possible to have functioning coalitions in the country but the sectarianism is affecting the efforts.
“Uganda we are sectarians putting religion or tribes first, parties based on this fail, we must unite.”
He adds that the selfishness of those in and intending to be in power is another reason many of the coalitions have collapsed.
“The problem isn’t that we can’t have a coalition but we are selfish”.
Babu says it’s one of the reasons more and more people are joining parliament as independents.
His comments come as the Democratic Party has announced a new coalition with some of the core opposition political parties.
Abed Bwanika former presidential candidate and opposition figure says unlike other cases where there was no structure, this time they have one.
“We want every party that is in the coalition to take lead in the regions it’s strong in”.
Bwanika says this will give chance for every party to have candidates “We know DP is strong in Buganda, FDC the Kigezi region, UPC west Nile. With this, no party will be left behind.”
The aim is to complement their new strategy of one to one they have developed. Bwanika elaborates “in this strategy we want one opposition member to stand against one NRM candidate”
This they hope will minimise their resources also avoid dividing their votes in case the opposition lines up more than one candidate.
The opposition also intends to borrow a leaf from NRM by involving their electorates in the primaries. This according to Bwanika will help to select the right candidates.
However, with the FDC having declared that it will not join any coalition it remains to be seen if this new DP strategy will work out.