Experts and analysts have predicted the future of opposition political parties in Uganda will be brighter despite previous failed attempts to challenge Yoweri Museveni’s presidency.
Last year, National Unity Platform (NUP) that started as a pressure group emerged as the new dominant force in Uganda’s opposition later going all the way to claim most of the parliamentary and local council positions by any opposition party in the recent concluded elections.
Many had prophesied that NUP’s dominance in the country’s opposition political landscape would perhaps go all the way to bring an end to Museveni’s rule.
However, the recently concluded elections proved that expectation unrealistic. Museveni once again won the presidential election for his sixth term, convincingly with a majority 58.53 %.
Now, 35 years on, with all opposition parties having failed to live to the expectation, the question still remains; what holds for the future of opposition political parties in the country?
Speaking to NBS TV, outgoing Opposition Chief Whip in the Parliament and Kira Municipality Member of Parliament, Hon Ssemujju Nganda, said he believes the future of opposition political parties is bright.
Ssemujju highlighted that the future of opposition in Uganda largely depends on satisfaction of the population with Museveni’s service delivery not on the opposition leaders as many think.
“So if the future of opposition in Uganda depends on the satisfaction of the population, how the population is satisfied by the services that Museveni is offering, at the moment, people are only getting increasingly impatient and desperate.”
Political analyst Prof. Gerald Karyeija shares the same view as Semujju and believes the recent structures laid by the opposition to have more representatives in the Parliament and Local Councils will eventually pay off.
“They can do much more work and increase the number of parliamentarians, increase the number of councilors, and structures down the road which will eventually turn into a vote making and voting machinery that would eventually deepen the strength of the opposition political parties,” Karyeija told NBS TV.
Reflecting on the recent concluded elections, Hon. Ssemujju advised opposition political parties to do an internal audit of their performances and try to pick lessons on where they fell short.
“Do an internal audit, see where you committed the mistake because even the ruling party does the same thing or ought to do the same thing, and then have the candidate conducts an honest discussion about the things he didn’t do right. After that, you can have general discussions.”
NUP’s Spokesperson and Nakawa West MP Hon Joel Ssenyonyi, highlighted that it sometimes takes time to remove ‘dictators’ and says it’s a just matter of time and Museveni’s government will be gone.
The legislator noted that the fight against Museveni is akin to how blacks in the west fought slavery and how the Africans fought Apartheid in South Africa which all took time to accomplish.
“Sometimes it takes a bit of time but once you remain focused, a time comes and eventually what you’re fighting against finally crambles” Ssenyonyi told NBS TV.
Despite having ruled for now 35 years , Museveni’s victory percentage has taken a sharp decline in the recent years and for the first time since taking reigns as president of Uganda, his vote percentage fell below 60% in the January 2021 elections to 58.53% from 60.7% in 2016. In 1996 he had won with an overwhelming 74.3 %.
In the eyes of Prof. Karyeija, this is a clear manifestation that the ruling party is weakening, giving opposition political parties a chance in the future.
“It is his first time that he is in 50s which means that generally the opposition is also growing a little bit stronger.”
Karyeija further advises the opposition political parties to invest in the youth who were the biggest drivers of the People Power movement in the country saying then, the opposition will realise its dream of capturing power from the incumbent Museveni.
“It also tells us that if political parties invest in the youth, then there is a strong possibility that they can come up with a formidable force” Karyeija said.