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Muntu Don’t lash Your Tongue at Everyone

By Ofwono Opondo

 Aug, 22, 17

The bombastic FDC is coming tumbling down as its new round of internal elections seems to suggest that it is not about credible internal democracy, although we wish them the very best to be a viable alternative able to check NRM’s excesses. FDC is built on an ugly effort to stoke hate politics around the country that much of Uganda’s problems like poverty and unemployment, and citizens’ other grievances are all attributable only to President Yoweri Museveni’s leadership.
Watching FDC president, Mugisha Muntu lately, reveals a dangerous, desperate and worrying trend of an angry enthusiastic hero, and hostage at the same time in a political bubble called the FDC. Previously presumed measured, Muntu these days comes off more as an erratic and unstable leader. The policy platform “Uganda leap forward” he launched in March 2015 is dead under water and he no longer even remotely refers to it. Reliable information indicates that Muntu is being supported by the Kizza Besigye faction to retain the FDC presidency so as to be lockout of the presidential flag-bear position in 2021.
We should assume that the angry outburst this week over FDC defiance team who he accused of locking him out of their campaign even “when I have name recognition” and have taken a bullet, reflects Muntu’s true feelings about himself, FDC and other Ugandans who he thinks don’t appreciate his credentials. Muntu doesn’t grasp how raucous those statements sound to most Ugandans now accustomed to thirty years of Museveni’s tolerance to divergent opinions. While anyone can have a bad day, but each time Muntu appears squeezed to the wall, he can’t resist the temptation of angry outbursts.
In many instances, including in television interviews and social media platforms, Muntu lashes out in ways that are counterproductive to his presumed credential as a tested fighter. It is instructive to compare television interviews of Muntu recorded years ago with those being conducted these days. As a senior military officer, many expect Muntu to be level headed and take in strong criticisms, but alas.
I don’t qualify to talk about peoples’ mental health, let alone the mental health of people who want to be presidents of Uganda, but I feel, there isn’t much difference between Muntu and a Besigye, when it comes to anger management.
Sometimes we rationalize this aberrant political discourse as political strategy to galvanise political bases or make supporters believe that they are courageous. But, Besigye and Muntu, if they were playing political chess games, would have gotten some things done faster and better. Under them as FDC presidents, FDC has failed to attract good support, and increase numbers in elected organs like LCs and parliament partly because their unjustified angry outbursts turnoff voters.
Their approval ratings would be rising and not falling as seems to be the case. It is proof that when political turncoats collect together out of raw personal anger rather than principled disagreements, they cannot be good leaders for a nation because they will want to drag the rest of society to their past. It is becoming clearer that some of them followed Museveni to the Luwero Triangle apparently without fully knowing the long-term implications of building a revolution as they claimed.
The useful and clever comrades, first fell off one by one by the political wayside. First, came Besigye, and then John Kazoora, Muntu, Winnie Byanyima, Jack Sabiti, Augustine Ruzindana, Amanya Mushega, and Miria Matembe, et etal. Now, nearly of them have been retracting their support for Besigye. They are waking up a little late having done some damage to our national politics. The posse of FDC and its top leadership is not only angry and extremist, but of radical sectarianists who if given the slightest chance to govern this country would run amok with raw power.
It is becoming apparent to them that Besigye has short-changed them with every breath, and even people who wouldn’t do business with him or wouldn’t lend him money, supported him for president. While some like Byanyima, now his wife, got in early, others like Muntu, Ruzindana, Kazoora, Mushega and Matembe hung back in the NRM until Besigye secured a foothold as topnotch figure in Uganda’s lame duck opposition politics. Having panicked in the false belief that Museveni was about to fall politically, they embraced Besigye. Their political minds now seem constantly diseased by a Museveni phobia, and have enabled them to hold him personally liable for many of Uganda’s current national malaise like poverty, backwardness, corruption, wars and institutions they claim don’t function well, and speak as if they haven’t played significant roles themselves.
Besigye has been such a shoddy candidate, frequently flashing insincere smile with the false hope to hoodwink many Ugandans who believe in the myth that anyone with blind courage can solve intractable national problems as Napoleon Bonaparte was thought of. While this myth appears to be so strong and bypasses any logic, FDC will fail because its leaders have the simplistic view that government should be the solution to every problem, and that ordinary citizens have no personal obligations.