'DP bloc' is a laughable version of botched KY-UPC alliance
The so called DP bloc has little chance of survival. No wonder, not long from when it was unveiled, its promoters are counting on external factors for direction.
By Milly B. Babalanda
The more things change, the more they remain the same, so goes a classic saying.
Just on the eve of the Uganda gaining independence, an alliance was formed between Uganda People's Congress (UPC) and Kabaka Yekka (KY) with the purpose of winning the elections of April 1962 against the Democratic Party (DP).
Indeed, the election was won, but due to the opportunism that characterised the decision to ally by the principals, without the input of the concerned party members, by 1964 the alliance had crumbled and the two "unlikely twins" became the worst mutual rivals.
UPC was led by Apollo Milton Obote who badly wanted to be Prime Minister to overcome perceived underdog status of northerners while Kabaka Mutesa wished to become an absolute monarch with federal status riding on UPC's back.
In fact, Mutesa was set up in a partisan political setting with the intention of totally desecrating his empire and he fell for it.
DP was led by Ben Kiwanuka who declined to renounce his nationalist values. Although he lost the election, he was to have the last laugh as the UPC-KY alliance crashed.
Unfortunately, the fall out was so severe that it led to the 1966 Crisis in which Mutesa was dethroned and exiled; Obote became an absolute dictator, hunted by Baganda mornachists.
There was nothing in common to glue the two sides together. Such was the extent of the backstabbing that each wanted the other dead and indeed many lives were lost during that time including Mutesa's. Obote nearly succumbed on a number of occasions.
In power, he didn't last long. Five years after 1966 he was deposed by a political novice, Idi Amin Dada.
Unfortunately, the general political landscape had been acutely scarred by the fraudulent alliance.
The price was to be paid by all Ugandans. They were taken advantage of; nobody had consulted them on the decision to ally yet the fall-out cost their blood and two decades of stagnation.
It was not until 1986 that there was rebate and the country was put back on track with the true prestige of the Ugandan in shaping national affairs fully secured.
Without the great deception of 1962, there would never have been the two liberation struggles that ended in 1979 and 1986.
Sectarianism would never have taken root because it started with Obote's kinsmen and those of Mutesa looking at each other as irreconcilable opposites.
It is laughable that the wounded DP is the one hosting this kind of joke yet they witnessed what happened back in time.
The so called DP bloc has little chance of survival. No wonder, not long from when it was unveiled, its promoters are counting on external factors for direction. They have no roots or vibrancy.
DP is ageing but does not grow chiefly on account of associating with every midget actor who shows up.
As a matter of fact, the UPC-KY alliance had a stronger foundation than the "stilettos" today's group is wearing; UPC was the most powerful party at that time, with Obote towering as a top flight politician in Uganda.
Mutesa was the king of Buganda, with "absolute" influence over his subjects and who could easily upset the national power terrain.
What are DP's credentials today? What are the credentials of People's Development Party (PDP) of Dr Abed Bwanika and Michael Mabikke's Social Democratic Party (SDP)? I understand that Mabikke had "sold" SDP to someone else, so he is literally a single agent.
Then there is a "people power"; any "people power" that does not acknowledge NRM is not people power because it is NRM with the power of the people of Uganda.
It is why NRM wins straight contests and can form a government without scratching for a coalition as it is in many democracies.
You cannot talk of democracy when political players cannot make up their mind on where they belong and what they stand for except that they want power and positions.
Not only does the clamouring confuse the populace but it breeds suspicion and counter suspicion.
When there is no cornerstone on which working together is hinged, unity is only a theoretical catchword. Coalitions form naturally.
They are not mechanically plumbed into a place because then, they will break apart at the slightest rattle of the fault lines.
The only pact that is worth counting is that of which NRM is a constituent member. The rest can pretend to ally and Ugandans can pretend to notice them, but there is no major shift in allegiance of the citizenry.
I urge young people not to get cheated or conned. Someone cannot give what they don't have. Power (which in a democracy is synonymous with numbers) can only be won and maintained by self-complete entities or by small entities with a chance to grow their individual strength while adhering to one another.
The writer is a Personal Assistant to the NRM National Chairman, and Senior Presidential Adviser