Dr Kiiza Besigye and Amama Mbabazi both know that unless they unite all opposition forces into one opposition group, they stand no chance of defeating President Yoweri Museveni in an election.
We had assumed that it was out of the realization of the above that the two opposition presidential candidates initially had agreed to engage in intensive efforts to create a united opposition that would lead to the emergence of a common candidate behind whom all opposition groups would rally in their collective push to capture state power.
Looking from outside, it had looked like the Opposition had finally wizened up and had decided to seriously challenge for the leadership of Uganda. But typical of opposition politicians of Uganda, talks just collapsed as fast as they had begun. Reason? They could not agree on who should lead them in their struggle to occupy State House.
Now, Besigye and Mbabazi, the strongest among the opposition candidates, have decided to each go it alone and as expected they have already started dividing anti-incumbent forces and it is clear the Opposition is beginning to weaken due to internal in-fighting. The ruling NRM party faithful must be praying the opposition remains divided until they fall.
We the voters know that politics is a game of numbers. We know that for a party to win, it must garner more votes than the other competing political parties. And we also know that to mobilize enough supporters, it takes mobilization of all the forces who badly want to defeat the incumbent party that they are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices.
It is therefore mind-boggling to see two experienced politicians who have been fighting for power all their adult lives collapsing before the finishing line. Isn’t it perplexing to see Besigye who has for years been telling the whole world that he had won the previous elections he had participated in, but has always been denied power, using the same method yet expecting different results?
Besigye needs to decisively win the next presidential election. This means he will have to garner more votes than he is been winning in his last two attempts if Museveni has to surrender power to him. How does he intend to do this now that the race is jammed among almost the same voters?
As for Mbabazi, knowing that alone, he can’t defeat Museveni, why doesn’t he let Besigye be the opposition flag bearer and after they have won the election they can then kill each other?
Who benefits when both Mbabazi and Besigye lose? Why are they behaving as if Sevo has ‘paid’ them to keep Opposition divided so that he can comfortably win? No wonder Winnie Byanyima, wife to Besigye, called them ‘Plotters’ when expressing her disappointment at the method of work of the two men. Besigye’s wife, calling him a plotter!
Anyhow, she tweeted: “….See the men plotting 2 rule Uganda. Embarrassing!” Byanyima was questioning why men including her husband were discussing the future of Uganda without involving women in their entourage.
Does this divided and criticised opposition outfit look like one that can really win power from Sevo?
The truth is, as long as Besigye and Mbabazi agree to work together in a reasonable power-sharing arrangement, not only are they going to lose the next election, they will simply have deservedly begun their journey into political oblivion and subsequent extinction.