In the past one year of the Covid19 pandemic, the East Africa Community (EAC) has lost two sitting Heads of State, Pierre Nkurunziza who died on June 20, 2020, and now John Pombe Joseph Magufuli both at relatively young age of 55 and 61 respectively under clouds of suspicion that Covid19 could have known them down. Officially Nkurunziza died of ‘cardiac arrest’ while Magufuli is said to have been suffering from chronic atrial fibrillation for more than a decade.
By Ofwono Opondo
The sensational recent presidential loser, Robert Kyagulanyi, pulled out of his election petition in the Supreme Court, announced that he had gone to the court of public opinion and called for protests supposedly to ‘reclaim’ his stolen victory. Clearly Kyagulanyi is in a meltdown trapped in his psychodrama treading on a rat path previously used by Kizza Besigye and Kenya's Raila Amolo Odinga. So far, the public countrywide has ignored him, even when he took his crocodile tears to parliament on Thursday.
A year ago the pretentious opposition groups were reported contemplating an alliance to defeat the NRM, but perhaps more precisely dislodge President Yoweri Museveni, whose thirty-four years on the throne gives them itchy pimples. It is also two months since general elections concluded with NRM and President Yoweri Museveni’s triumph leaving the opposition shedding tears of deceit. While 333 incumbent MPs including 38 ministers fell, overall NRM retained overwhelming majority in the forthcoming house, 337 out of 523 seats.
The US, European Union, their new idol Robert Kyagulanyi the failed presidential contender have woven a conspiracy of blackmail against Uganda government institutions and officials, but fortunately they are not as yet getting far in the scheme. Since mid 2018 Kyagulanyi has driven a narrative that Uganda under President Yoweri Museveni is a dictatorship worth starving of US and European support and should be removed by force if necessary.
Reports of alleged kidnaps, torture, illegal detentions and disappearances are mostly false alarms but they are nevertheless embarrassment to the well-established track record of the NRM government and must be stamped out immediately. Every person arrested by security agencies must be accounted for in accordance with established procedures and laws of Uganda, offenders punished. Even cases of false alarm and mischief by people who go underground only to surface later must be dealt with.
Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a. Bobi Wine who entered parliament on a bye-election ticket in 2018 has been a gashing wind turned a violent storm that steamrolled the old opposition parties of DP, UPC, CP, Jeema, and belligerent Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) forcing the four time presidential contender Kizza Besigye off the road. NUP will now take the leader of opposition in parliament, and EALA slot from for the opposition, and most local governments in Buganda.
The general election results is slowly emerging showing the extent of the humbling, if not humiliating defeat of the boastful foursome of FDC party, Norbert Mao, and two retired UPDF Generals Gregg Mugisha Muntu and Henry Tumukunde Kakurugu. Muntu and Tumukunde are former President Yoweri Museveni’s surrogates seen by many in both the NRM historical lenses as having been rushed through the ranks with favours whose raw ambition made them diabolical turncoats.
The just concluded election was tough in many respects starting with the Covid-19 pandemic that has reshaped everyday life, and people accustomed to large political fanfare of crowd size couldn’t quickly adjust. The results, now getting behind us, and losers softly absorbing their loss, has given President Yoweri Museveni and NRM comfortable margins throughout the country although it also points to protest votes in Buganda and Busoga hitherto stronghold which the NRM must quickly deal with.
The sun is setting on election campaigns slated to end on Tuesday next week and Ugandans vote Thursday January 14 to choose a president, most certainly Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni and majority MPs from NRM going by all the credible opinion polls conducted so far. NRM already has fifteen MPs-elect declared unopposed by the Electoral Commission because opposition parties failed to field candidates against them.
The very difficult year 2020 dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic that greatly suppressed the local, global economy and everyday aspects of life is finally behind us. In Uganda we have so far registered fewer deaths although cases of infections are rising and worrying.