Opposition Leaders are too Power Hungry to Unite, Says Tumwebaze

Minister for ICT, Frank Tumwebaze speaking to the press at Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday.

The efforts by the opposition in Uganda to form a coalition so as to remove President Yoweri Museveni from power are bound to fail, according to Minister for ICT, Frank Tumwebaze.

Tumwebaze told journalists on Tuesday that just like in the past, the opposition players in Uganda can not shoot in one goal due to their selfish individual motives. He said that the opposition lacks the issues to unite around but rather every opposition leader pursues their own interests.

“They can not unite because they have failed before, even with help from international forces. And they will fail again,” Tumwebaze said while responding to queries by the press at Uganda Media Centre.

Last week, former President of Uganda’s strongest opposition party (FDC), Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu separated from FDC to form his own political party. He says his decision was occasioned by the prolonged bickering within the FDC and the failure to reconcile what he called two divergent strategies.

Muntu’s departure from the party came at the height of sharp division in the top leadership of the FDC. Some of the party leaders broke away with Muntu but others still loyal to the party have accused him of being a ‘bad loser’ who couldn’t rally behind his successor, Patrick Amuriat after losing an election.

Muntu says he intends to cooperate with all other opposition parties since they share a similar objective, removing Museveni.

But Tumwebaze says that it is this same reason that an alliance in the opposition is impossible.

“Everyone of them [opposition leaders] is only looking to remove President Museveni. Meaning that without him, they can only fight against themselves. They don’t have issues they fight for but power,” the Minister said.

“It’s not a question of what issues we agree on and who can carry them. It’s a question of ‘I also want to occupy the seat’. We no longer have politics of issues but the politics of ‘Me’ the individual brand. That’s why they can not unite”.

In 2015, ahead of the 2016 general elections, there were efforts by former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi to form The Democratic Alliance (TDA), an alliance of opposition forces. TDA’s objective would be unity of all democratic forces and electoral victory in 2016 by fronting of joint or single candidate for the presidency, parliamentary seats and local council positions.

However, FDC’s Dr Kizza Besigye (four time Presidential candidate) and Amama Mbabazi both of whom were tipped to carry the flag for the alliance could not agree, and the process was failed. In the end, Besigye, Mbabazi ran separately for Presidency and lost.

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