By J.J Opondo
Perhaps I should stress a very important observation here that what’s affecting UPC is that the transition from current system should be automatic whereby all our comrades worldwide to abandon the conditions they are in and run into the arms of our founder members without the offer of security in terms of structured living.
For the time I operated within 6th floor, I witnessed the ugliest political culture and I didn’t know till I did self-reflection and soul searching.
Suffice to say is that, UPC has either by culture inherited Musazi and Nadiope’s nostalgic political culture of uncongouable sin of intrigue.
The idea of capturing political power and formation of government isn’t enhanced and it’s seen far from being worked out.
After all, this (capturing of power) should have been the primary end of the existence of UPC.
Here still, it appears we are either familiar with this system since it was bequeathed to us and many other forms of leadership deficits UNC or UPU had at the time of and before Independence.
With this practice over belief in the effectiveness of UPC’s own procedures won’t chase the elephant away in 6th floor.
Periodically, there is pressure for change to a system that would at some point create internal cohesion to allow paradigm shift from the status quo.
This endless intrigue within has produced all manner of contradictions and variables that are anything but simple and straightforward failure to tap and harness potential youthful population to serving selfish interest here and it lingers in the minds of many that it was only our late Patriarch who had the magic to jungle these inherited intrigue since I K Musazi was overthrown in Mbale conference in the eve of 1959 and all our own internal elections more so recent one in 2015 had similar elements like that of Mbale and it was done under 2008 constitution using 1971 its constitutional framework and 1960, 61,62, 1980 and 2010 delegates and the same created a major problems that has plunged the party into mere family inheritance, reason it never produced a clear winner.
Although there are precedents for governing in this way, nobody can tell at this stage how such an arrangement may turn out in subsequent elections.
UPC has gone, therefore, within a span of 10 years (2005-2015) from a position of political stability to a period of perilous uncertainty.
Dr. Otunu’s move to strengthen his hand with a projected larger majority candidates and support in 2011 elections including Buganda, 2015 internal party elections proved to be a terrible miscalculation.
It’s now very clear that part of a skeptical and critical electorate are unhappy with this flawed elections – in particular, its controversial outcome resented the entire membership.
Complacency and opportunism. All this apparently contributed to the resurgence of the political intrigue UPC has never seen from one moment to the next, Party which was already offering inducements about increased public discontent with Museveni’s regime, the population now believes that UPC will not win power, restore national democratic ideals and or implement its promises.
Since it is still the largest party, however, my only hope is that, UPC have the constitutional right to contest in democratic elections under enabling political environment, win and form a government, not least because UPC would anyway probably be unable to do so if it continued to join forces with its enemies.
Add to the mix the un celebrated alliance with Museveni, the majority party members will never accept this and we must openly oppose it since even late Obote himself wouldn’t.
Amidst the intrigue and deal-making in 6th floor which surely followed, we believe that there is generally a lesson yet again for UPC members to guard against overconfidence and never to take the electorate for granted.
The rise of factionalism and widespread dissatisfaction with the old establishment policies and practices, brought in by these characters, ought to be a warning to the political class in Uganda that should take serious note of this latest overthrow of sitting party president.
We have seen the demise of several post-independence African states party’s discredited for blatantly pursuing its own ends while ignoring the concerns and demands of the rising post-independence and cold war politics.
We have every confidence in the honesty and overall integrity of the new youth governments across Afrika, but we nonetheless urge it once again to act at all times scrupulously in the interests of the whole continent and more so our country.
If we failed to do so, UPC will pay the price at the next elections.
Perhaps, the example of political events across Afrika must concentrate our minds to stop political intrigue within UPC and we begin to think outside the box.
Which way UPC takes, independents and small parties will continue to threaten traditional political support and conducting internal party elections and cultivating discipline to cure intrigue will be defining moment for our wider interest for UPC to hold political power to form a new government.