Bobi, don’t accept to be held hostage by oligarchs in DP bloc or any opposition party
By Ssemanda Allawi
Following last week's announcement of his co-ordination team where key figures of the so-called DP bloc did not appear, mainstream media and social media was inundated with lamentation and talks of betrayal with some key politicians in opposition accusing Kyadondo East legislator Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine of side-lining them.
In DP, the party's secretary-general Gerald Siranda threatened they would think of disciplinary action against their members who were given responsibilities in Bobi Wine's People Power Movement.
Former presidential candidate and People's Development Party Abed Bwanika and SDP's Michael Mabikke all senior members of DP bloc questioned Bobi Wine's authority to appoint co-ordinators of people power claiming DP Bloc had popularised Bobi Wine and that he did wrong to make a decision without their input. Actually, they prophesised doom for People Power and Bobi Wine claiming THERE IS NO people power without DP Bloc.
As a student of history, DP's bitterness reminded me of 2016 TDA talks. FDC decided to quit the talks accusing DP's Mao and SDP's Mabikke of leading efforts to make Go Forward's Amama Mbabazi TDA's sole candidate.
Now, few months after DP bloc showed their support to Bobi Wine's People Power, they are turning against him. So I ask; is DP party bad at negotiations or simply allies fear them of cutting deals? Why is it that every time they champion political talks they are left alone? Did Bobi Wine foresee a cobweb of politics to shorten his political ambition by DP Bloc chiefs by presenting their party leader to contest in 2021 polls than Bobi Wine?
Put differently, DP's bitterness confirms that in their now seemingly failed marriage of DP Bloc and People Power someone was swallowed and the bitterness on DP's side is as a result of political constipation. So who swallowed who? Did Bobi Wine Swallow Bwanika and Mabikke? Did he swallow DP and Mao: or DP and Mao were scheming to swallow Bobi Wine?
In my analysis, Bobi Wine was not swallowed but survived. On the other hand, DP Bloc missed opportunity to Swallow the awaken Bobi Wine and they are now politically constipated since their "special purpose vehicle" as they have been calling it departed without them on-board. And does this mean the end of Bobi Wine and his People Power?
The good news for Bobi Wine is that, he will not become a president; but rather will be made a president, but not by DP bloc. Like other opposition parties, DP Bloc is full of crawling oligarchs yet Bobi Wine now seems to be a project of class. Therefore, if Bobi Wine is to occupy the top office of the land, with or without DP Bloc oligarchs, he will be made president by the poor and common Ugandans for he is their project. He is a project of what Frantz Fanon called a project of Wretched of The Earth. And this way, because of Bobi Wine henceforth, anyone in the Ghetto or other local parts of Uganda will start to dream big. A child from the ghetto will also aspire to become president.
But why did DP Bloc Oligarchs turn against Bobi Wine? Or why did he turn against them? Bobi Wine, does your father have a name? or his name is like us whose fathers reside in ghetto and Kampala slums; in public meetings they are normally called "others." Sometimes oligarchs would call them "Nani" nani afande, Nani Driver, nani gate man. Put differently, they really had no names. In other words, Bobi Wine being a project of ‘others' or what some oligarchs would call bayaye or drug addicts, his father had no name and he is like many of us. Really, the mere fact that he can aspire to become a president itself is enough to inspire us. It means anyone of us really can become a president!
Bobi Wine, therefore, don't ever regret that DP Bloc oligarchs shunned you for making decisions like any other man without consulting them. You don't have to feel ashamed of your past as someone who stayed and lived in the ghettos. Because you entered into parliament as someone from Ghetto, many were inspired. If you make it to presidency as a Ghetto man, many of us in slums will be inspired to dream big. Actually, you're a symbol of struggle which should give us hope that even when your father like Bobi Wine's has no name, once you work hard and dream big, you can aspire to occupy the biggest office in the land.
Bobi Wine, to succeed as a common man's project, you need to know this: 1. Mark Twain taught us that to politicians are like dippers; they must both be changed often for similar reason. Therefore, to become President, you will have to always change politicians around you. If you do not change them, you will risk to be suffocated by the stench that sometimes comes from them. This is why I unapologetically congratulate you for changing DP Bloc politicians that have been known to be around you.
The second and very important point is, you have to always engage opposition politicians. But remember that in politics, it is not easy to buy a politician. What is manageable is to rent one. Put differently, some of politicians you have now are in one way or the other rented, always know that once they get better pay or feel that their rent has expired, they will betray you in blink of an eye.
Lastly, Bobi, don't accept to be held hostage by oligarchs in DP bloc or any opposition party. While you may work with them on or for common interest[s], you should not forget that you are a project of common people. I mean the poor people, those in slums and ghetto; People whose fathers have no names. Never accept to be enslaved by promises of oligarchs.
Actually, we have learnt that street traders and slum dwellers can take you higher than plans of oligarchs be in DP Bloc or tribal oligarchs. Bobi, always remember that yes, you will not become a president. You will be made president. And it's not DP bloc oligarchs to make you president, but rather traders on streets and many of us whose father have no names and our colleagues in slums and ghettos!
To DP boc, I may have sounded harsh, but curse me not for I was guided by the scripture in the holly Bible that says an open rebuke is better than hidden love (Proverbs 27:5).
The writer is a PhD candidate of International Relations & Diplomacy and author of Global Governance and Norm Contestation: How BRICS is Reshaping World Order