The change the opposition have promised to deliver, is not the change the country needs!

Can the opposition offer anything better?

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NRM’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and FDC’s Kiiza Besigye

The events in Zimbabwe the other week sparked celebrations across the nation, Africa and world over. The coup that deposed the 93 year old went as planned by the army, no lives lost, no property destroyed, it was a text book coup. The world waited anxiously for what lay ahead, when the dust settled, the people realized that nothing much had changed. The same faces in Mugabe’s cabinet remain. That got me thinking of my mother land, the pearl of Africa, Uganda.

The National Resistance Movement government headed by Yoweri Kaguta Museveni came to power in 1986 after a 5 year bush war. During this time, the NRA, the military wing of the NRM recruited fighters mainly from Museveni’s south western home area. Among the recruits was Kiiza Besigye, a young medical doctor who took on the role of Museveni’s personal physician. Winnie Byanyima, a flight engineer with Uganda airlines who smuggled intelligence to the rebels. Amama Mbabazi who was the head of the rebels political wing. Gregory Mugisha Muntu who went on to become army commander of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces.

Fast forward to today, 2017. Dr Kiiza Besigye is a four time presidential flag bearer for the Forum for Democratic Change, a party formed when him, Winnie Byanyima and a host of NRM cadres who walked out of NRM. Gen Mugisha Muntu is the former party president of FDC. John Patrick Amama Mbabazi is away from the public eye after a failed presidential election against his former boss, Museveni! All these names are the strong hold of the current political opposition.

They were all once under the wing of Yoweri Museveni. No doubt they were mentored by the old man himself. In last year’s elections four of the seven presidential candidates were directly involved in the NRM bush war. There is a Swahili saying that says “mtoto wa nyoka ni nyoka” meaning “a snake produces a snake.” All the political ideology this group of ex NRM cadres carries influence of Museveni. As things stand, it is one group that is in power and the other group which isn’t. They all suckled the same ideology breast during the bush war. Let’s not kid ourselves, we all keep traits we learnt from our teachers, parents and mentors.

If Ugandans really need change, we should look at someone who has no history with the current regime. Trouble is getting someone who hasn’t worked with the NRM regime is going to be difficult. Given our history of war and coups, and the way the military is personalised to Museveni, it’s hard for someone who has no military background to assume the highest office in this land.

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