TOP
Monday,October 19,2020 03:38 AM

The Other SIDE OF THE COIN

By Vision Reporter

Added 15th January 2001 03:00 AM

IF the ongoing presidential contest is equated to a boxing match, pugilist Yoweri Kaguta Museveni won Round One on Nomination Day.

IF the ongoing presidential contest is equated to a boxing match, pugilist Yoweri Kaguta Museveni won Round One on Nomination Day.

Who's winning the fight? The writer takes you through the nomination events with incisive queries With Paul Waibale Senior IF the ongoing presidential contest is equated to a boxing match, pugilist Yoweri Kaguta Museveni won Round One on Nomination Day. The mammoth crowd that turned up to witness his nomination at Kololo last Tuesday surpassed the crowds that turned up for his six opponents all put together, a clear indication of the route the electoral process will take. In a desperate bid to camouflage his defeat in Round One, one-time presidential aspirant Alhajji Nasser Sebaggala, who quit the race after failing to satisfy minimum academic requirements for nomination and joined Dr Kiiza Besigye's bandwagon, made an outrageous claim: That most of those who turned up for Museveni's nomination were not Museveni's supporters but Sebaggala's who merely went to get a share of the money that was dished out by Museveni's agents. There are at least a number of pertinent questions to ask. First, why did Sebaggala fail to advance any evidence that money was being dispensed openly at the crowded Kololo Airstrip? If he is suggesting that the money was dished out at the points of departure, how could Sebaggala's supporters be so naïve as to subject themselves to the scorching sun for over six hours after they had the money that was all they wanted? There were antecedents to the nomination exercise that deserve rewinding. One of the more interesting ones was the battle waged with the Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) to gain a certificate of clearance to present to the Electoral Commission as one of the legal requirements for nomination. Unfortunately, by the advent of the first nomination day, Sebaggala had failed to satisfy UNEB that the documents he submitted to the Board, allegedly obtained in Britain and the United States of America, were equivalent to Uganda's A-level certificate. Evidence to that effect had to come from the ministries of education in those countries or bodies responsible for regulating examinations, akin to UNEB. Sebaggala's supporters, who had been promising violence to recount any adverse decision by UNEB, acted as they were expected, They marched to he UNEB headquarters at Ntinda demanding for UNEB Secretary Bukenya's blood. Efforts by the Police to disperse them were encountered by flying stones and bottles seized from a passing lorry carrying soft drinks. The confrontation yielded no fruits. Sebaggala never got the clearance certificate and had to resort to forging an alliance of convenience with Besigye to maintain a forum for propagation of noise. One wonders how much Athenian should be accorded to the alliance comprising Besigye, Sebaggala, and DP stalwart Dr. Paul Ssemogerere, in the light of the factors relating to the status quo. Interestingly, Ssemogerere who professes to be a die-hard multipartyist at the helm of the Democratic Party has abandoned fellow DP member Francis Bwengye who has been nominated a candidate to join hands with Besigye who categorically says he is still a member of the Movement. How can Besigye and Ssemogerere combine the aspiration of the Movement with those of the multipartyists in general or DP in particular? What option do DP members have regarding the presidential polls? Should they cast their votes for Bwengye, once DP secretary-general and now president of a faction of the party supported by DP diehards like Wasswa Lule, Zachary Olum and Drametu who are vice-president and secretary-general respectively? Or should they vote for Besigye, a self-acclaimed Movementist, merely because Ssemogerere whose leadership of DP hangs in the balance, says DP members must abandon their party and vote for Besigye. My advice is that DP supporters have only one alternative to circumvent the confusion in their party. The answer is to vote for Museveni to ensure the steady continuation of the numerous programmes he has initiated. Another problem facing the Besigye alliance is the fact that he has in his manifesto vowed to fight corruption and fraud which, he says, is rampant in Uganda. The question I find pertinent to ask is: How will Besigye carry out his anti-corruption/fraud gospel when he has by his side Sebaggala, a prison graduate who was convicted for money laundering in an American court. Does he expect the voters to take him seriously? In any case, Museveni has the unassailable advantage of track record to preach about while his opponent have only wild promises to make, While President Museveni points to achievements such as Universal Primary Education (UPE), Besigye promises scrapping graduated tax, Aggrey Awori floats the inconceivable idea of establishing a vehicle assembling plant in eastern Uganda. While Museveni points out that the number of universities has increased from only one to 12 since the Movement ascended to State House, Besigye talks of non-issues such as trimming the size of the Cabinet. Ends

The Other SIDE OF THE COIN

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author