Kampala- Makerere University law professor Oloka-Onyango has said none of the seven Opposition presidential candidates will take the 2016 presidency even if the people voted them to victory.
The law lecturer says although Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye, and Independent candidate Amama Mbabazi have a good chance of winning the election, their victory will be curtailed by possible violence orchestrated by ruling NRM party.
“I do not believe that any Opposition candidate in Uganda today can win this election, which is highly in favour of the incumbency… [If that happens], then you will have chaos or a military coup,” Prof Oloka-Onyango said during a debate on the 2016 elections at Centre for Basic Research offices in Kampala on Friday.
Museveni to hand over?
However, when Mr Museveni was campaigning in Arua District about two weeks ago, he assured Ugandans that he would retire to look after his cattle if he is defeated in the 2016 elections.
“If I lose elections, how will I be in power? I have got my job, I am a cattle keeper. I am not power-hungry but mission-hungry, so I have got a mission of economic transformation of Ugandans. But I cannot be intimidated by people like [Dr] Besigye, who do not have a mission for Uganda,” Mr Museveni said in Arua.
But this also contradicts what Mr Museveni told Ugandans earlier this year. He told residents in Rukiga, Kabale District in January, that he would not hand over power to the Opposition.
“The Opposition are like wolves lurking around to tear Uganda apart. I will not allow them because I have support of the majority of Ugandans and my army. Why can’t they tell Ugandans alternatives on wealth creation instead of preaching the gospel that I must leave power? If I go, will you get out of poverty? I will not give them chance,” President Museveni said.
During the Friday debate, Prof Oloka-Onyango said if there was the possibility of the winning Opposition candidate to take over power, Mr Museveni would not be treating the 2016 election as a do-or-die affair by monetising it, pegging basic services deliveries like water to how people vote, using security forces to curtail Opposition candidates or using structural bribery of voters and intimidation.
Also, Prof Oloka-Onyango dismissed speculation that Mr Museveni will fail to get the 50-plus vote required for him to be declared winner. He argued that this cannot happen because “the elections are clearly not free and fair”.
FDC spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda concurred with Prof Oloka-Onyango, saying: “This is what we have been telling people countrywide. We entered this election not just to distribute T-shirts or put up posters…any omission by EC is what we are preparing for,” said Mr Ssemujju when contacted for a comment by telephone yesterday.
Another Makerere University lecturer, Prof Mwambutsya Ndebesa, alleged that “election results” are decided by a “certain group” other than the Electoral Commission.
The Electoral Commission has on several occasions dismissed this claim, insisting it has the original and final say on the outcome of the elections.
“We are moving in what we call political fog. We are headed to a political accident,” Prof Mwambutsya speculated.
Mr Mike Sebalu, an East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) member and spokesperson of Mr Museveni campaign team, when contacted yesterday termed Oloka-Onyango’s remarks as “speculative” to assume that the President can fail to hand over power to another leader when he is defeated in the elections.
Will NRM win decisively?
He said the only advantage the President enjoys is that he commands the majority support across the country and all “indications are there to show that he [Mr Museveni and NRM] will win decisively”.
“We have already got 20 MPs and Local Council 5 chairpersons unopposed. That shows that in those districts, the Opposition has no structures and candidates to associate with. How do you then expect them to win?”
“Even the argument that Mr Mbabazi will eat into NRM support is speculative. He failed to get any serious NRM MPs or LCVs when he left but instead he is eating into already weak DP structures,” Mr Sebalu, said.
Prof Oloka-Onyango took a swipe at Mr Mbabazi for failing to apologise for many failures of the ruling NRM party that he has been part of for the last 30 years.