Mao Should Let The End Justify The Means
We learnt long ago that Political Parties are formed to vie for power and capture it.
Once in power, the party must fight as much it can to retain power.
The success of a political Party is judged by its abilities in retaining power. Parties criticizing the strategies of the other is only part of the game.
Parties reflect an aggregation of ideas and convictions, which must contend to gain dominance of public space.
In Hon. Mao’s absolution of Andrew Mwenda’s blatant and cruel assault on the critical and monumental role that Dr. Kizza Besigye(KB) plays in changing the tempo and rhythm of politics in Uganda (read: The hazard of Besigyeism in the Opposition: Has Mwenda got a point? –Daily Monitor January 22, 2017), lies a conflicting perspective on Opposition strategies.
Mao claims that Dr. Besigye’s obsession with capturing power concentrates the energy of the NRM; engaging in the countryside, disperses the energy of the NRM and blunts its blows. Accordingly, Mao’s virile prescription is the attack from the flank.
Mao believes that when the Opposition succeeds in challenging the NRM from the flank, then the direct challenge focusing on the Presidency shall bear fruits.
This flank approach would have worked in 1980 where the government of the day was formed based on the number of Parliamentary seats a Party had won. Unfortunately, Museveni rules by the gun such that victory at the flank does not necessarily translate into defeat, or a reduction of his omnipresence over the army and thus, as President.
Hon. Mao’s prescription is therefore an under-dose from an expired medicine vial. The limitation of flank approach is an over assumption that the NRM is rigid, lacks fluidity and would not be concerned with defeat at the grassroot.
The struggle for liberation of Uganda needs both protracted and short-term goals, each with clear strategies and tactics.
Obviously, the flank approach is resource heavy, requiring money that all the traditional Parties and their followings do not have. Hon. Mao is aware that DP alone cannot field and fund candidates at every flank position in the country, not even in Buganda, or in Acholi.
UPC, CP and whatever Party simply lacks the resource capacity to out-do the electioneering, bribery, and vote stealing machinery of the NRM.
To counter this challenge, the Opposition must emphasize on the implementation of the law that bans vote bribery. Museveni has defended his flank and he will do so even at the forthcoming LC elections by bribery and coercion. To assume that Museveni is insensitive to his flank is a “strategy” suicide!
The strength of the flank approach is to reawaken the traditional support base of old Parties. Unfortunately, after 30 years of hegemonic Musevenism, most of the Party activists and enthusiasts in the countryside have died, aged beyond relevance, or disinterested themselves with politics of corruption. Yet, many in DP have lent their loyalties to Museveni.
Criticizing Dr. Kizza Besigye may be a past time because insects naturally eat each other when locked in a bottle.
Kizza Besigye’s defiance campaign is effective, albeit with some limitations. One of it is the treacherous Opposition members who double deal for breadcrumbs from the regime.
Besigye has exposed the regime sufficiently. It would be fruitful if Opposition players like Hon. Mao and contemptuous critics like Andrew Mwenda harnessed the opportunities to finish the dictator off, rather than slam-dunk on KB.
Let KB and his Party focus on their agenda; DP and Mwenda should focus on theirs. To suggest that Besigye should first stop, such that you start, is like pygmies engrossing in a height contest.
To reclaim Uganda, we need multiple approaches and broader collaborations. After three decades, we now recognize that no one strategy is superior to the other. As long as such approaches fall outside of challenging the military might behind dictator Museveni. Whoever can liberate Uganda from dictatorship, will be the real hero. Hon. Mao should let the end justify the means.