By Ambassador Henry Mayega
National Unity Platform (NUP) and its right-thinking rank and file have been feuding over Bobi Wine’s galloping bravado that has manifested in form of a lack of knack to fully comprehend statecraft and international political dynamics. That Armageddon shaping up at NUP’s recessing political canvass is sucking out all the remaining elements of civility and it appears there are no visible signs of recovery.
First, a couple of months ago, NUP MPs turned down his plea to return the hot-button cash of Shs40 million given to all MPs for sensitizing their constituents about the Parish Development Model. Poor Bobi was snubbed not only by his MPs but by the Leader of the Opposition as well in an uptick of defiance. That in itself was a humongous signal of his lack of control over his Legislators. The massive fissures if not festering wounds that erupted thereafter between him and NUP’s members of the August house have neither healed nor recessed.
Secondly, Bobi’s inexperience in managing the entire opposition and his dismal performance as a national leader has conspicuously colluded to detach him from the rest of that political sector; for instance, the infamous assault on FDC’s Kiiza Besigye outside the CBS in Mengo by NUP goons some time back plus the incessant gross intolerance of the entire opposition have left swaths of the rest of that political canvass totally indignant towards the ill-famed and disreputable Magere cabal.
Many cogitate that the cabal’s supremo has been vacillating between one gaffe and another; NUP, according to those who promoted it as a “red coffee bean” and laced it with denominationalism, was supposed to be “the party with expertise at fixing our nagging and intractable gordian knots.” That competence thesis has been completely obliterated by the cabal’s quackery.
Approximately two years in, there is that growing sense amongst his ilk that he has lost his way, if any, vis-a-vis fulfilling his pledges to those he duped during the last electoral season. He faces a fledgling party riven by pre-existing if not simmering intra-party disenchantment partially because his MPs and others paid colossal sums to become flag-bearers while others were out rightly debarred from standing on account of lack of money; flag-bearer-ships were bought by the highest bidders.
Thirdly, Bobi’s bizarre if not grotesque support for the EU’s resolution against EACOP was most telling of his general lack of state and international craft. The FDC outsmarted him on the matter reasoning, partly, that the country had already massively invested in the oil sector and it could not afford the germless luxury of abandoning the venture. Lately, he has shrunk into a political pygmy unfitted to answer convoluted oil industry-related technical questions. This column understands that, privately, many upright NUP MPs, save for the few in whose DNA anarchy is perennially ingrained, are losing faith in him faster than he imagines.
Fourthly, his recent sojourning to Ukraine in an apparent contestation of Uganda’s neutrality towards the Russo-Ukraine debacle is grossly bizarre; our country will soon chair the non-aligned movement for a full year and common sense demands that we take no major cosmopolitan sides. It can, therefore, be someone with a cognitive deficit to ludicrously propound otherwise. Besides, Russia has religiously stood with us in both good and bad times unlike those who wronged us by colonially subjugating Africa; we can’t arrogate ourselves the irresponsibility of hating enemies of others– Uganda in particular and Africa, in general, will never do that bidding for our western lecturers. Bobi Wine and a few from his pedigree who recently visited Ukraine to commiserate with that country did so in accordance with the west’s playbook.
Fifthly, fledgling Bobi has always been gaffe-prone; his recent utterances in support of ADF’s former supremo, Jamil Mukulu were as preposterous as they were injudicious. His intention to impress his admirers and sponsors both at home and abroad simultaneously touched the raw nerve of the couth because that insurgent bunch has, globally, been declared a terrorist organization. The lack of international exposure should ideally be blamed for Bobi’s reckless remarks devoid of sensibilities earned with age and dexterity.
Sixth, Bobi’s abortive entry into the UAE to hold a “fundraiser concert” for stranded Ugandans; a gambit he assumed would reinvent him was instead most wacky and eccentric; his promoters with questionable intellectual resources initially tried to mobilize for his performances whilst oblivious of the legal requirements regulating such events. Fundraisers ideally go through an elaborate process before permission is granted. That pervasive incompetence on his part and by extension, his drillers, speak to the rejection they collectively suffered at the hands of Uganda’s bombastic voters during the January 2021 general elections.
Ambassador Henry Mayega
Uganda Consulate General