Inside Opposition meeting to field one candidate

Sunday July 26 2020

 

By Jacobs Seaman Odongo

A meeting that sought to get Opposition presidential aspirants and party leaders to unite and agree on one candidate to challenge the incumbent ended in failure.

A fly on the wall who attended and recorded the Wednesday meeting at Watering Hole, a pub that will be opened in Jinja in 2026, said at least three presidential hopefuls could not agree to step down, leading to a stalemate.

“It was hard getting these men together in the first place, but we should have known how tougher it would be,” said the source, who said the meeting was attended by Bobi, Muntu, Mao, Kabuleta, Mabirizi and Tumukunde.

Others were Basalirwa, Akena and Amuriat but Besigye was conspicuously absent while Kyalya was left seething like an overused sugarcane disc plough at the entrance where she had been blocked by mean-looking guards.
The recording our fly on the wall provided goes as follows:
“Why is Amuriat here instead of …” asked the convener of the meeting Gashumba.

“I’m the party president,” Amuriat replied before Gashumba had even finished his question.
“We invited Besigye not his handlers passing for party president,” Basalirwa said.

“We? Who are we here? If you invited Besigye then you should know in what capacity. If you invited FDC then I’m good to be here. Is Besigye running for president in 2021?” Amuriat fired back.

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“It’s a good thing that Besigye is not here, otherwise I wouldn’t be here if he had come. Let’s make the most of it before he shows up,” Muntu said.
“Maybe Besigye didn’t receive a meal card?” Mao said, sending everyone into laughter.

“That’s not funny, Mr Mao,” said Gashumba. “But let’s get started. We can only remove Museveni with a united voice and vote. We must agree on one candidate and selflessly support him.”
“As long as it’s not Besigye, I’m okay with it,” said Muntu.

“It can only be Bobi and we all know why,” said Basalirwa.
“I, Mabirizi, have experience facing Museveni in the ballot. I stood with him in national debate and I believe if there is anyone he fears most among us here, that man is me, Mabirizi.”

“It’s possible to run against Museveni four times and still lose. Experience in challenging him means nothing on the ballot. If you doubt, ask Besigye,” Muntu said.
“What’s that fixation with Besigye?” Amuriat fired back.
“He’s not here because he knows we wouldn’t pick him but he is going to stand,” Basalirwa said.

“I couldn’t breathe in NRM and thought it would be better here but now look. Why spend all our time discussing a man who isn’t here? At this rate we will look and sound like women speaking about their men’s side dishes.”

“There will never be a better chance to remove Museveni than what I’m presenting. I beseech you all to rally behind me and victory will be ours,” Bobi said.
“Only generals constitute the pall-bearers and right here I see only two men who qualify to carry Museveni’s casket when that time comes,” Tumukunde said.

“This isn’t the army mess where you throw your entitlements at will. Soon you will start saying you fought in the bush and such. We don’t need pall-bearers to win over the voters, we need a man offering hope for the people,” Kabuleta said.

“That’s me,” said Mabirizi.
“It can only be Bobi,” Basilirwa added.
“You are treating generals with disdain,” cried Tumukunde.

“Generals belong to the barracks,” said Mao. “Did Gashumba think this was his funny YouTube channel to invite people who throw entitlements like that?”
“Let’s just agree on Bobi and we move forward, okay?” Basalirwa said.

“Amuriat, your phone is ringing. Answer but don’t tell Besigye the location,” Muntu said.
“It’s actually Kyalya, she has sent several texts saying we can’t lock her out in Busoga,” Amuriat said.
“Let’s take a tea break,” Gashumba said as he suspended the imaginary meeting.

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