Monday, February 27, 2017

Trials and tribulations of #Uganda politics for the #EALA seats - read #Museveni gravy trains

This is how Museveni has reduced us to the point of fighting one against each other and he laughs. Were it not for the fact that FDC won the elections of February 2016 for a fact, I would not even care. I have an opinion on this. Of course. I always have an opinion and my opinions are really good, except when they are not.  FDC really needs Ingrid in Kampala and I dared not look at her leaving for Arusha.  I am just heart broken at how this all has shaped out.  Let Doreen (other iron lady) speak.

Does FDC leadership even know how much we are torn apart?  Then let no FDC member go to EALA if it causes this much strife.  After all what has EALA done for Ugandans in the last 16yrs?  ZILCH!


All odds are stacked against Ingrid Turinawe in her pursuit for a seat at the Arusha based East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) but the FDC Secretary for Mobilisation is one calculative politician that has mastered the art of entering political contests knowing her weaknesses, but expecting to triumph against all odds.

Betrayed by her senior party leaders, undercut and savaged by her betrayers' followers, blackmailed by her opponents and hated by the top brass in the NRM, Turinawe, understands that her candidature for EALA is at her own mercy.

Ingrid Turinawe is a leader of extraordinary character and exceptional courage. Before her thoughtful consideration to offer herself for EALA, Turinawe had served for Fifteen months as FDC Secretary for Mobilisation. In the 15 months she has served in the Office of Mobilisation, her personal drive and ingenuity have pushed FDC's visibility higher, improved its public ratings, and positioned FDC as an alternative party of choice from NRM or its political allies, albeit of course, with the blessing with the whole FDC leadership.

Turinawe was replacing FDC Party President Gen. Gregory Mugisha Muntu, who had served in same position for 10yrs. Before then, she had served the FDC Women's League Chairperson for a decade, forming the most vibrant women's political wing in Uganda- almost suppressing the Civil Society women movement.

To be politically fair to Turinawe, aware that politics is inherently unfair, where is the FDC Women's League which cannot mobilise Mama Kits to distribute  to expectant mothers to save 19 women dying daily in labour?.  

Rukungiri district council is yet to get a resolute Speaker since Turinawe retired from Local Council politics to pursue national political engagements. Ingrid Turinawe is fiercely loyal to causes and she gives her to all to tasks before her. Those are has dominant traits.

Turinawe understands FDC and what the party stands for. She is a product of Reform Agenda.  From the start, without any form of negotiations, FDC nominated and sent to Arusha two representatives i.e. Gen. Mugisha Muntu and counsel Wandera Ogalo. They served with distinction. To this day, both men are still active FDC members- or at least none has publicly renounced their membership.

At expiry of their term in 2012, FDC elected Augustine Ruzindana and Anita Among in a hotly contested primary election. The party's candidates were sidelined due to political TREACHERY that has come to be deeply rooted in Uganda's complex political structure.

In 2017, FDC, by decision of the party's highest organ, elected Former Kaberamaido Woman MP Ibbi Florence Ekwau and Secretary for Mobilisation Ingrid Turinawe, both who got the highest votes tally as nominees for available Nine EALA slots. Their names were duly forwarded to parliament, vetted and approved as FDC candidates.

Gen. Mugisha Muntu knows better that FDC has sought to retain a two seats advantage at the East African Legislative Assembly in Arusha. If there was any contrary political arrangement for representation according to political parties numerical strength in parliament, reached through any means-negotiations or consensus- it was only known to him or he personally brokered it without authorisation from the party.

So five days to the elections, the FDC president chose to stoke controversy by unilaterally writing to the Clerk of parliament withdrawing Turinawe's name. He gave instructions showing Ibbi Florence was the "Sole" FDC candidate, a position strongly supported by his Deputy Vice President for Eastern Region Alice Alaso and The Minority Leader (commonly called The Leader of Opposition in Parliament) Winnie Kizza.

Even if Gen. Muntu had Ibbi Florence as a candidate of choice, as a leader, he is not obligated to engage in political treachery against his party, Secretary General and not against his Chief Mobiliser. The letter he wrote to parliament showed he acted amateurishly and vindictively. It demonstrated favour toward Ibbi Florence and hate against Ingrid Turinawe. The letter showed lack of respect for official party positions and contempt for the party's chief administrator Nathan Nandala Mafabi.

Gen. Mugisha Muntu's defence of writing the letter to parliament as an "oversight" is less convincing. Ignorance is no defence. A leader of Gen. Muntu calibre often times known for self glorification should know that he must jealously defend his party's interests, protect his contemporaries and understand that publicly undermining peers or showing favouritism is suicidal.

The spillover effect of Gen. Muntu's actions is what every leader should avoid. He has generated unnecessary negative public scrutiny of the party he leads, caused some members of the public and some FDC supporters to publicly question his leadership capabilities and credentials and projected FDC as a disorganised political party.

Worse still, Muntu has intentionally or unknowingly caused unnecessary blackmail unto his chief mobiliser Turinawe, who is to a large extent the engine of the party. She has been subjected to unnecessary ridicule from both genuine opponents and haters yet it could have been avoided. Suffice to say, Muntu should have been generously polite or magnanimous, not to appear to be at odds with his chief mobiliser.

So Ingrid Turinawe will go to the NRM dominated parliament to campaign seemingly isolated by the senior party leadership but only recognised by parliament as one of the two legitimate FDC EALA candidates. No politician wants to be in Turinawe position where she directly goes into an anticipated hostile environment expecting to come out victorious. It is a very tall order but equally humbling, when heckling is expected.

But Ingrid Turinawe thrives under intense hostility. That is when she puts her best to shine. She goes to parliament as an underdog to prove that win or lose, with all odds stacked against her, she will leave her mark at the alter of the Legislature- that is so far away from the unrestricted vast space of activism-where most MPs horned their political carriers.

As a mistress of psychological and physical warfare, she will campaign aware that some of her immediate neighbours decamped and attempted to isolate her from her dear party she has vigorously mobilised for, but also aware that some of the MPs on the other side and partly the public will appreciate and understand that she is for Uganda and has Uganda's interests at heart.

Into parliament, Ingrid Turinawe will carry her greatest attributes: passion, fearlessness, courage and mental and emotional strength to demonstrate that those who have MOCKED HER AND INTEND TO MOCK her presentation at the national grandest stage, will miss the strategy of how the weakest can triumph over the mightiest.

To have gone through five days of hell, and to reach parliament to make her case as FDC and not independent EALA candidate, Ingrid Turinawe is a winner against all odds.

Nyanjura Doreen- FDC NEC Member

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