Ex-LoP Kiiza, is there a need for another political party?

Friday August 10 2018

Asuman Bisika


By Asuman Bisiika

I have been dismissed or fired or sacked very many times and I can (in my own small way) relate with the social and personal disruption a dismissal (or a reshuffle for that matter) brings. More if that dismissal or reshuffle is from a high stakes position like that of the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament (LoP).
That is why I appreciate and understand the initial expression of contempt, defiance and disapproval by MP Winnie Kiiza when she learnt that party headquarters had relieved her from the position of Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.
My personal take is that the timing of FDC party president Patrick Oboi Amuriat’s reorganisation of the opposition’s shadow government was ill-advised. The party has just passed through a series of by-elections whose returns were not flattering. There was the ‘Mbale Incident’, whose consequences call for the rallying of all forces of goodwill.
Kiiza the LoP, is at the centre of a Supreme Court appeal process challenging the ruling of the Constitutional Court on age limit (which I now call the Mbale Incident).
For the disclosure of conflict of interest, Kiiza is my sister. Her uncle Matiya Muttahi and my father worked together in Kijuura Tea Estates as nyampara (supervisors) of causal labourers. They (Matiya Muttahi and father) later became blood brothers (batta omukago). Kizza’s father, Modesto Muke, was one of our teachers at Kisiinga Primary School in the late 1970s and early 1980s).
As I said, I don’t support Amuriat’s reorganising FDC leadership in Parliament. Not because Kiiza is my sister (and a resident of Kiburara), but because the reshuffle was inopportune.
That said, I also do not approve of Kiiza’s seeming public defiance against her party leadership in protest of her replacement.
I also do not approve of the reasoning some social media activists (particularly those from Kasese) are putting behind Kiiza’s seeming act of defiance. I also do not want to associate myself with the sense of despondence, devastation and the feeling of betrayal expressed by some people from Kasese.
The argument that FDC party headquarters has betrayed the people of Kasese by replacing Kiiza as LoP is misplaced.

I know legislator Abdul Katuntu from my short stint on Capital FM’s Capital Gang in 2003 or thereabouts. I have lately been seeking to meet him to no avail. We set a date and for one reason or another, we fail to meet.
For a paper I was writing for an American think-tank, I had identified Katuntu as a deep thinker on whom I could bounce the idea of creating a new political party. Now, the trend things are taking in the FDC point to the likelihood that another political party may be formed.
If another party were (IF3) to be formed, the likely leaders (sponsors) would be former FDC president Mugisha Muntu, Kiiza and Katuntu.
But is there a need for another political party in the country? What question or challenge would another political party answer? As a stubborn friend once said, “if Jesus is the answer, what is the question?” And I dare say: If the formation of another political party is the answer, what then was the question?
FDC is popular in Kasese. The popularity may be a protest vote against the National Resistance Movement (NRM). But in spite of the ‘vote popularity’ we tend to assign Kasese MPs, we should remember that it is still about the people (who are unlikely to warm up to a new political force). And Kiiza should know that any slip up would send her to early retirement.