Lukwago, Saleh will destroy NRM

Author: Phillip Matogo. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • What is wrong with Gen Saleh and Hon Lukwago meeting?  

KAccording to Alliance for Campaign Finance Monitoring (ACFIM), President Museveni is estimated to have spent a minimum of $231m (Shs773b) in the 2016 campaigns.

Kampala Central Member of Parliament Muhammad Nsereko said this week that there was nothing amiss regarding Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago hobnobbing with Gen Caleb Akandwanaho alias Salim Saleh.

“What is wrong with Gen Saleh and Hon Lukwago meeting even if it was secretly? What is wrong? There is nothing wrong as long as Lukwago stands by his values. Assuming Lukwago is the one trying to woo Saleh onto this side. Why can’t you look at that side of the coin?” Nsereko asked. 
I agree with Nsereko.

Lukwago should attempt to woo Saleh away from the party he putatively subscribes to, the National Resistance Movement, as it is a shell of its former self. 

Filled to the rafters with self-servers, it no longer has a secretariat. Instead, it has a salariat. This means its functionaries are there to earn a living and not to partake of any vision ensuring Ugandans earn the same. 

However, some of these self-seekers are not exactly there for money alone. Some of them are there to undermine the ruling party from within. Lukwago, if he were to join the NRM, would probably be of this ilk. This is not new. 

In 1964, after the return of the so called Lost Counties to Bunyoro, the Mengo Establishment instructed members of its party, Kabaka Yekka (KY), to infiltrate the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC). 

This clandestine plan was led by Abu Mayanja, who crossed over to the UPC with other KY members in July 1965. 

This, on paper, turned the UPC into an elective dictatorship as it dominated parliament thus: UPC had 74 seats compared with Democratic Party’s 9, KY’s 8 and one independent. 
Yet UPC’s ascendancy was more apparent than real. 

The party was divided into three incongruities with John Kakonge leading the “Left” or radicals, Milton Obote helming the moderates or center and Grace Ibingira being the poster boy for the Right. 

The Right managed to have Dr. E. B. S. Lumu elected Secretary General of the party, which was significant since he was a prominent KY member and avowed foe of Obote. 

With such infiltrators, KY’s Daudi Ochieng was able to take aim at Obote, his cousin Adoko Nekyon, deputy army boss Idi Amin and Felix Onama, then Minister of Defense.

Ochieng accused the four of looting gold, ivory and coffee from Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo) and other illegal acts. 

When Obote turned to his cabinet for support, he found his own ministers Ibingira, Lumu, Balaki Kirya, Mathias Ngobi and George Magezi ranged against him. Hence he arrested them on grounds that they were all plotting against him. We all know what happened next. 

These arrests, which occurred on February 22 1966, set in train a number of events which culminated in the abrogation of the constitution and Obote’s eventual fall. 

The opposition closing ranks with government ultimately led to the stalking horse phenomenon, ensuring that Obote and his associates rode ungently into the sunset of their political careers. 

I see the same happening today as everything goes wrong, seemingly by accident, but actually by design. The enemy is within the ruling party, splintering it into various streams of unquiet dissent which cannot be sluiced by President Museveni’s much vaunted political skills. 

These NRM dissenters are always on hand to collapse NRM policies, then sing hosannas to the president whenever he defends an evidently wrongheaded course of action. 

As the ground shrinks beneath the NRM, then, we are reminded that the original NRM revolution ate its children long ago and all that remains is a childless thus futureless shadow of what might have been. 

Phillip Matogo is the managing editor Fasihi Magazine. 
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