Dr Col Kizza Besigye’s defiance and alternative activism has been described as a necessary but consequential to the longevity of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) as a party.
Political analysts say unless Besigye subjects himself to FDC party structures, his activism will sink the party.
The defiance campaign can be traced back to the 2011 walk to work campaign where Besigye became a thorn in the flesh of government over rising commodity prices.
In 2012, Besigye decided to step down from FDC leadership but his activism continued.
He has since launched at least eight campaigns all aimed at “liberating power” from the “dictatorship” back to the people.
In March 2016, he launched the “I can’t breath” campaign after the 2016 elections and consequent detention.
In June 2016, he launched the “Free my vote” campaign.
In 2017, Besigye announced Walk to Work Part 2 before announcing the “People’s government” in the same year. This saw some of the FDC party executive appointed in the structures.
In 2018, the FDC founding president announced the “Tubalemese Campaign”.
In 2019, Besigye launched “Tweraneko” campaign and last year came up with the “Red card front”.
While his activism has created some form of political awareness, some analysts say it is sinking FDC as a party.
Political analyst Dr Gerald Karyeija says through Besigye has copied and pasted President Museveni long popularised: creation of different power structures.
“Besigye needs to subject himself to FDC party structures. If he is interested in party building, he should subject himself to any activism projects within and not outside of FDC otherwise it doesn’t strengthen FDC at all,” Karyeija said.
Karyeija blames this on Besigye’s preference to be in a leadership role.
“By virtue of his influence and affiliation to the FDC, [some people] will be those willing to follow Besigye wherever he goes, even if he goes back to NRM,” Karyeija said.
However, some opposition politicians say Besigye’s style of politics is what is needed in these times.
Democratic Party’s Richard Ssebamala argued that every opposition party’s engine should be activism.
“There has been no activity in the FDC they have been quiet [and] Besigye can’t wait for them,” he said.
FDC party spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said as a party they welcome his activism.
“FDC has its own activities and so does Besigye,” he said.
Ssemujju said for the opposition to strive and change leadership in the country one force is not enough
But at what cost, where does this leave the party supporters and what impact does it have on the FDC?