Tackle root causes and not symptoms of FDC squabbles
Publish Date: Mar 14, 2014
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By Wataka Rogers

The recent political arguments and the bitterness spewn in the aftermath of the recent Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) appointments, the preceding squabbles between Gen. Mugisha Muntu and Nandala Mafabi raises some questions as well as sobering lessons.

Presently, the factions within the party are involved in some form of high stake “sports betting game” on the future of the party.

At stake is the future of the party, its legitimacy as a better alternative to the National Resistance Movement (NRM), which the opposition has, from time and again, accused of various excesses and lack of institutions.

Also hanging in balance, is the future of an entire country’s democratic institutional building in the context of opposition politics. There is a clear demonstration of cracks in the country’s largest opposition party occasioned by their incessant infighting and subtle greed.

Indeed, providing an accurate analysis of the individuals culpable in this divide, will involve looking beyond the self-righteous and self-serving statements made by the different factions in the FDC.

It is thus imperative to carefully reexamine the Gen. Muntu and Nandala Mafabi fallout and the complicity thereof of their claims in the light of their reactions in the not so distant past.

In the early wake of the fallout and eventual dropping of Nandala as Leader of Opposition.

Many potent defenses of the party in an attempt to salvage the situation were given in the various media forums, often overlooking the need to answer the critical questions like: Who will speak for the perceived pickets within the party? Can the party now work towards erecting an internal constitutional order that would preserve both the technical and moral necessity of strong systems? Can the different factions in the FDC, work towards reconciliation ratified in their constitution and the rule of law?

Important, to me, is the necessity to address the root causes other than the symptoms’.

In the aftermath of the FDC presidential election, Nandala cried foul play. Unfortunately, the act by which he publicly washed the party’s dirty linen in public became his undoing. His formerly serene, thoughtful sober and charismatic portrait was disfigured. It was instead, a very personal approach.

In the sweep of all these, Gen Mugisha Muntu appeared to be the more composed and serene figure, rightly, albeit occasionally extending an olive branch to Mafabi. Through shrewdness and the detachment from tawdry blame game from his opponent, he won the day.

Sadly, even the good old general now finds himself soaked from head to toe in the rain. I ask when it started raining on him.

My take is that his recent reshuffle bears the undercurrent of an orchestrated move to buy off the moderates while at the same time rewarding his supporters. The winner takes it all democracy, where the victor tramples the vanquished in an attempt to annihilate future competition.

This hard-line kind of politics that speaks and acts tough as the house divides will eventually be of detriment to the party. The baby was poured along with the birth water.

It will be practical and productive for the warring sides to shelve their interests and realise that the party’s survival is of more consequence than their individual ambitions. Unifying the party’s different factions is also a primary task for maintaining the party cohesion, democracy and rule of law.

This will have demonstrated to all and sundry, that action alone or words alone hardly count; no matter how right, they must be infused into laws and institutions.

The writer is from Uganda Christian University, Mbale Campus

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