By Moses Mulondo
Opposition leaders have disagreed on how to remove President Yoweri Museveni and his NRM party from power.
During the Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue at Collin Hotel in Mukono, the Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA) president disagreed with the UPC president Dr. Olara Otunnu on the most practical method that can enable the opposition to remove the NRM from power.
Otunnu argued that even if the electoral and constitutional reforms the opposition is pushing for were successfully passed the country would not be able to have free and fair elections if the impunity by those in public offices is not tamed.
But when Kamya’s turn to make her presentation came, she said, “The reason I disagree with Otunnu and other opposition leaders is that whereas they think impunity of the president is the problem, for me I think the problem is the constitution which gives too much powers to the president. We need to overhaul through a referendum to take away those powers. Without that, even the next president whether it is Kamya or Otunnu can behave in the same way because of too many powers.”
She listed state institutions like the judiciary, the Police, Bank of Uganda, Auditor General, Solicitor General, KCCA, Oil Regulatory Authority, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Law Reform Commission, Uganda Revenue Authority, Army, prisons, Judicial Service Commission, Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda Investment Authority, and many other officials like RDCs, Human Rights Commissioners, and many others.
Kamya argued “the judiciary, Police, EC, and Bank of Uganda to create a level playing field since the President controls them as he appoints them. You cannot stop the President from accessing our money in Bank of Uganda because he appoints the governor. ”
Revealing that she has so far collected 900,000 signatures for calling for the referendum, Kamya appealed to other opposition leaders to support the move arguing it is the most practical method for removing the excessive powers the President enjoys.
To further solidify her view that it is impossible for the opposition to defeat the NRM in the current situation even if an independent electoral commission was in place, Kamya made a mathematical equation by counting all the local government positions from LCI to LCV including NRM grassroots executive committees and others including at least one family member for each resulting into 4million votes.
“You see, by the time we go into an election, NRM already has about 4million votes. This combined with the state resources at their disposal and control over state institutions, there is no way they can be voted from power,” Kamya argued.
Three-time presidential candidate and former FDC president Dr. Kizza Besigye also made similar remarks while addressing FDC youths at Hotel Africana arguing that even if the EC commissioners were all FDC members NRM would still win because of its fusion with the state institutions.
Explaining that the only way through which the NRM can be taken out of power is through protests like what happened in Egypt and Tunisia, why he has made up his mind to boycott the 2016 elections, Besigye told the youths he would never participate in any election under the NRM government.
Because of this view, Besigye has avoided participating in all the recent joint efforts by opposition leaders and the civil society to push for electoral reforms.
Considering it a dangerous move that is likely to demoralise the opposition supporters, the FDC NEC chaired by the party President Mugisha Muntu recently discussed these utterances of boycotting the 2016 elections by Besigye and some FDC youths.
After a presentation by the opposition shadow attorney general, the FDC NEC resolved about three weeks ago that it would participate in the 2016 general elections against all odds.