The Independent Coalition, TIC (pronounced “Tick”) launched on September 27th 2015 after a rigorous consultation process which deliberately avoided media attention.
23 independent presidential aspirants from as many districts of Uganda, different political leanings and different professional backgrounds signed a Memorandum of Understanding and agreed to field one of them, Joseph Mabirizi. So, the Mabirizi campaign will be run by TIC and he is bound to sell the TIC manifesto. The signatories to the TIC MoU are automatically but voluntarily members of the TIC- Mabirizi National Task Force.
Since the TIC presidential flag bearer was cleared by the Electoral Commission for nominations, we have been asked about the relationship between TDA and TIC. To us, TDA is a respected partner in democratic change. TIC will partner with all democracy seeking partners on the basis of mutual benefit and respect, but above all, on the understanding that Uganda comes first.
We are not in competition with TDA. We are complementary to TDA. We are not in competition with any other opposition formation either. We are, however, in smart and sharp competition with undemocratic elements within the NRM, the ruling party.
TIC, welcomes all efforts that aim at ensuring that the opposition in Uganda manage a smart victory in the 2016 elections. We underline the word smart, because this victory will not be like one most of us are used to. It will be a culmination of efforts of multiple opposition fronts- and the victory will not be claimed by one of them, but by all.
This victory will be a negotiated one. In our dealings with other political formations and actors, we are conscious that we shall work together, if not now, later. That’s why there is no room in TIC for name calling and spreading messages of hate.
There are so many well organized, experienced and well resourced political forces of Ugandans within Uganda and abroad. Political change cannot come unless these groups have been consulted in a concerted manner and a working arrangement agreed between themselves.
Uganda’s political space is no longer a preserve of a few individuals however well known they are. If it were the case, the matters at TDA would have been simpler to handle, but we all saw what happened.
At TIC we believe that we have to ‘scratch a little deeper’ than we are doing right now. The key to change is not where you wish it should be. It is where it really is. Together, we have to be diligent enough to find it, by first of all dropping all manner of arrogance of either individuals or political parties, organizations or pressure groups.
For 23 independent presidential aspirants, each one with the capacity to be presidential candidate himself, to collapse into one candidate was a big task. Harmonizing their various ideas into one coherent ideologically driven manifesto has been even harder. But we have managed to do so.
Under the movement system, ideology is easy to forge, since the ideologue (person) embodies the ideology him/herself. Whatever the leader at the top says- is taken to be right and final. He apportions all the blame and failure to all the others, except himself.
Coalitions do not work as movement systems, but as mobilization systems. Coalitions mobilize people who agree to be at the same footing, level or with similar interests and objectives. Thus, the ideology and rules governing the coalition should be spelt out, in a simple but strict manner.
Movements reduce the rest of the people to mere beneficiaries of the leader’s establishment. That is why movements create many grounds for discrimination, in the name of inclusive democracy. So they gather the disabled, youths, the elderly, the poor, women -to patronize them, otherwise it is the top leadership that takes it all and the income gap becomes inevitable.
Exalting these so called special interest groups by positive discrimination sounds noble, but it is what diverts funding from the main stream professional institutions and kills them off, eventually.
We have developed our ideology around unity – working for institutional representation. In the TIC government, teachers unions, other professional unions, the media, the army, the police, artists, farmers, faith communities, etc will be represented in parliament and in local governments.
Eng. Omar Kalinge is the Head of Bureau, TIC
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