Gen. Muntu, arguably a more honest man, was and has been subjected to constant attacks by Besigye's lieutenants as being an NRM mole
By Ronad Angarukamu
The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has since its founding in 2005 seen senior founding members getting more and more silent, despite it remaining the biggest Opposition party in Uganda.
Whereas many have since realised, written and openly talked about these things, Gen. Muntu had over the years kept silent on them, atleast not in open, not until in his speech at Namboole on election day of their party president when he openly attacked Col. Kizza Besigye over the latter’s under hand methods to fail him.
And amongst the most senior founding members of FDC, Mugisha Muntu happens to have been the only one remaining that could stand up against Besigye. Besigye's calculation of his personal project seems to be working out at the expense of institutional building.
Gen. Muntu, arguably a more honest man, was and has been subjected to constant attacks by Besigye's lieutenants as being an NRM mole. But both men, Dr Besigye and Gen. Muntu served together in the bush war that brought the current government into power and together served in government.
Infact, Dr Besigye, having served in more political positions as the minister and national political commissar of the movement system (an equivalent of the NRM Secretary General), has served more at the political front of promoting NRM than Muntu who served in the military until retiring.
One should question how come the likes of Amanya Mushega, former FDC strongman and Member of Parliament Augustine Ruzindana, Maj. John Kazoora, Prof. Ogenga Latigo etc have been silent and yet have not announced switching to new political shades.
The late Eriya Kategaya briefly joined the Besigyes' opposition bandwagon into forming FDC, but his stay in the new political 'home ' was short-lived before coming back to his political family of NRM. Was he quick to understand Besigye's game plan?
Has it taken Muntu all this long to understand this personalised Besigye project or he was working hard to be nice to people that have repeatedly indicated to him that he is not trusted and cannever be accepted as one of them?
And with another calm turned radical Eng. Patrick Amuriat Oboi, having been vigorously campained for and heavily financed by Besigye and handlers at the helm FDC as party president and Nandala Mafabi as secretary general, the game plan of having Dr. Kizza Besigye as FDC's candidate for life is sealed.
Gen. Muntu and like thinking minds will have choices to make - Joining new political homes or humbling down under Besigye's firm grip. Going by Muntu's statement:
"In the coming days when the dust has settled, we will have to think long and hard about what this distrust means and why it persists. At a personal level, I will have to make several decisions. I ask for your patience, prayers and understanding", joining a new political home looks an option Muntu has decided on to take.
Let's give it time and watch!
And as these events unfold, the ruling party, NRM, strategists are watching and laying their traps into these opposition gaps.
Strategically, NRM is much safer having Dr Besigye at helm of Opposition than Gen. Muntu.
Muntu is much more sophisticated and focussed at institutional building from grassroots and his impact can be felt in the medium to long term, unlike Besigye who looks at building a personal brand at expense of the institution. In politics, institutional support matters alot.
Political strategists know this fact. Since 2001, Dr Besigye has been losing to the incumbent President, Gen. Museveni and NRM.
In the 2016 presidential election, Dr Besigye refused to join an alliance with other opposition parties, fearing the possible rise of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.
The former knew well that his position as the opposition king maker will be taken and this comes with losing donor funds.
To many, claims that he has been rigged is now like a song, same tunes and rhythms since 2001 with same promises of Tsunami and regime change. Challenged on how he was going to protect his victory in case he won the 2016, Besigye did not give a credible response.
Indeed after the election, Ugandans saw him attacking Police stations and faking a 'swearing in' celemony. I do not know whether his right hand man, Erias Lukwago, was the day’s chief justice!
Neither did Besigye or FDC party and lawyers file an election petition with the Supreme Court, as the constitution provides, as Amama Mbabazi and go forward did. He went to the roadsides on Kampala streets to claim his 'victory'.
Eng. Patrick Amuriat has vowed to reclaim Dr. Besigye's 2016 election victory. But we are in 2017 and closing to the next election of 2021.
NRM party is already calculating for 2021 through age limit lifting.
Uganda's opposition is simply stuck and burdened with the individualism and personality in Col. Besigye.
The writer is an information and communications analyst