The major opposition political parties have moved to work together in an effort to outsmart the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) starting with the scheduled parliamentary and local council by-elections across country.
Opposition political parties met at Hotel Africana and signed an agreement to foster cooperation amongst themselves in any upcoming elections and any other efforts that would remove NRM and President Yoweri Museveni from power.
This meeting happened shortly after the Soroti City East Division Member of Parliament by-elections where the top two leading opposition parties Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and National Unity Platform (NUP) unofficially cooperated but lost the vote.
A few days after, three by-elections have come on card – Gogonyo County in Pallisa district, Bukimbiri County in Kisoro district and Busongora County in Kasese district. True to their words, FDC and NUP have shown flickers of working together.
First to actualize this new found love was FDC when it announced it was pulling out their person so that they can rally behind the NUP candidate Okoboi Joseph Opoloti. NUP would later also pull out their candidate Mutabazi Joshua so that they can support FDC’s James Oweneyi in Bukimbiri.
But while all was going well, something happened in Gogonyo County – the cultural leader of the Iteso, Emorimori Papa Paul Sande Emorot wrote a letter to Opoloti asking him to quit the race for the sake of peace and harmony among his subjects.
A few hours later, a document purportedly from Opoloti surfaced indicating he was heeding to his kings pleas and was quitting the race. The leaders of NUP said they hadn’t been informed of the decision and Opoloti was unreachable as his known numbers had been switched off.
By Monday, the Electoral Commission (EC) said they hadn’t been informed of any candidate quitting the Gogonyo race. This confusion in Gogonyo left both FDC and NUP egg faced. This also put the young union at an unwanted test.
Now, the future of this union is dependent on how these two parties handle the Bukimbiri County by-election which is already showing signs of unfairness and the usual deployment of security agencies to sabotage opposition.
A few days into the campaign, FDC has already registered incidents of sabotage by police. “Earlier today, the partisan police tried to block the FDC team at Kasharara while heading to Kukamujyemanya in Nyabwishenya Sub-county,” FDC posted on their social media pages.
It is expected that as Election Day, 11th August 2022, nears, what happened in Sorotu will happen in Bukimbiri. The FDC said: “The NRM continues to use state institutions like the police and the army to rig elections as it has been in the previous by-elections. We must stop this nonsense.”
Operating in such a hostile environment is not a new thing for both FDC and NUP and the end results are quite similar. However, with renewed efforts to work together, Ugandans are waiting to see if FDC and NUP can overcome the state machinery and all other election malpractices and win in Bukimbiri County.