Many opposition supporters and analysts have described the recently launched People’s Front for Transition (PFT) which is headed by the opposition honcho, Dr. Kizza Besigye as a waste of time, with no ability to affect President Museveni’s leadership.
The Nile Post spoke to the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) deputy secretary general, Harold Kaija who is also the deputy spokesperson of the front on this and more issues.
The Inter Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) has once again written to the National Unity Platform (NUP) seeking for a physical meeting in a bid to persuade the party to join the Forum. What is your take about the move?
NUP is the leading political party in parliament and if it fails to join such a platform, it will create a big impact. The platform for dialogue needs all the stakeholders. If the stakeholders abandon the platform then, there is no dialogue.
Moving to ask stakeholders in the country to come and sit on one table would be a good move because it helps you to forward your grievances and raise the issues that would help Uganda as a country. One day we will have to sit in one room and discuss issues that matter for this country.
In fact that is the reason why we are having a red card front. The red card front is supposed to talk about transition.
The transition is not discussed in the news. People can sit and say Uganda is on the roadblock, to the point of no return, how we can rejuvenate our country.
I appreciate the move of calling on colleagues to join the platform.
Having launched the People’s Front Transition, NUP as the leading opposition party in Parliament refused to join you. Where does this leave the struggle of removing President Museveni from power?
They didn’t tell us that they refused and we had good faith as I have told you. NUP has never told the leaders of the front that they will never join the front .They said they have some issues dragging them behind and they wished us well and that is what we want. Along the way, they may sort out their problems and we shall meet at one point because there is a crisis in this country which we can’t ignore.
If there is a problem, can one person solve it alone?
If you can do it alone then you give it a try but if you can’t solve it alone then, you join hands with other colleagues and then we agree on what we must do to make sure that the crisis is solved.
Some opposition leaders accused the PFT leadership of sidelining them right from its inception and the leadership only came in after, something which angered many of them.
No, that is wrong but of course everything, somebody starts. You are part of Next Media group .Were you there from its inception? So people must start and if it is a good idea, then others join and everybody must be in what they started.
There has been criticism from the opposition supporters and analysts regarding the front with a lot of unanswered questions. How are you dealing with this kind of situation?
Uganda has limited analysts. When you look at them as far as analysing issues are concerned, they lack a lot of things. We have few analysts and I think we should call them opposition commentators.
An analyst is someone who has to understand the issue and can even make comparative analysis, what you are saying is the things they say.
You will even find out that their knowledge is only about Uganda. You can even ask them if they have ever read anything about the front, they will tell you no. Then what are you analysing.
Most of those we call analysts are very subjective people .They are emotional ,if they like you,they will say yes and if they don’t like you they will say what you are doing is not right.
Beside the removal of president Museveni from power, what are the other objectives of the PFT?
The object of the front is to identify the crisis in the country which we have articulated today and to mobilize Ugandans to be part of their country. To disengage the National Resistance Movement and rescue the institutions that have been captured by NRM. We must agree that there is no institution which you can say is independent.
When you talk about the police, the parliament, the executive and the judiciary, all institutions work for Mr. Museveni. We must have a transition and I want to discuss that much because I would preempt what the front will discuss. Next week the front is going to discuss transition.
Opposition seems to be disunited on a number of issues, how can it confront the issue of removing President Museveni from power with this kind of bickering?
Let me tell you, there is a possibility that the opposition will unite and based on the situation in this country, we need to be united.
We don’t work with people because we are friends, we work with people because we share the same aspiration on some issues. If that is achievable that would be a good thing.
Many people think that FDC is scared and threatened by the emergence of NUP. What do you think?
You see, when you talk about being threatened by the emergence of NUP, what does NUP have? Our goal is that Mr. Museveni and his government retire. It is until we get where we are supposed to go, we shall never relax. We want to be the party that will take over power.
Uganda has a long list of treason cases that have never lived to see the light of day. Do you think the state uses treason charges to harass the political actors who disagree with it?
That question, me and you know the answer. Those are to trumped up charges intended to silence those making noise. To intimidate those willing to seek for bail and also to curtail the movement of those who are actually in the struggle. I am only surprised that he has only come out now [about scrapping bail] because that is what I expect from him. He has nothing to add to the country but he wants to keep around, so nothing can stop him from doing it.
The First Lady Janet Museveni launched Anti-Corruption Campaign 2021. What do you make of it? Do you think the campaign will bear fruits this time round?
That is the joke of the year. People who are corrupt are not being arrested, this is really a big joke. Corruption is about systems. Some of the ministers that we have today were once convicted of corruption. There are many corrupt people in the government and when we talk about corruption we are joking.
The Auditor General told you that billions of Covid-19 relief funds have never been accounted for. So this is a joke. You remember the anti-corruption walk, all those who were involved were corrupt people.