On the road to 2011 general election, the political temperatures are rising, and political parties must respond. In Karamoja, the climate greatly dictated people’s lifestyles. The same would be expected of Uganda’s political parties on their way to 2011 polls.
They must have been tiding up on the way to the forth coming general election. Lately, the media reported an agreed pact by the opposition political parties -led by Forum for
In another report, National Resistance Movement (NRM) towel was dragged down when one of their senior party officials got pinned down for involvement in dubious deals -something that would damage NRM bid for 2011 presidency. Meanwhile, the same sources said the President had dissociated himself from the troubled officials -and allowed the law to take its course.
It is a time when political parties begin packaging, branding and re-branding their manifestos for the political market. The question of whether we shall have something new rather than the old same stories would be there for Ugandans to answer.
But 2011 could be a time when people are much fatigued by elections since 1996. More so, could be fed up of voting same opposition political party candidates without success, yet at the cost of standing in long queues for hours.
And with the same excuse being that elections were rigged. How to raise people’s hope and confidence amidst fear of election rigging and voter buying, this time round, would be another challenge to the opposition political parties.
Still, It is a time Ugandans would need to see their concrete achievements both, as a political party in power and, as one preparing for victory in the forth coming general election. The incumbent, still, must have an inch in those achievements because the visible changes occurred during his reign. This, in turn, would demand that the opposition begin their speeches by first; to appreciating the ruling regime for the strides taken to make Uganda what it is today.
However, the presidential candidates -without military background would have to find and extra point to make. Much as people refuse to accept, Uganda is a new Nigeria -where time and again, a presidential hopeful must be an army general. The same message could go to the young generation aspiring to become Uganda presidents.
The strategy of forming a coalition, still, remains an inevitable one -on the part of the opposition political parties, if they are to pose any sort of challenge to the ruling NRM. Democratic Party’s deviancy in the face of the fact therein -was simply being unaware the purpose or simply lost touch with it -as an opposition, it was selfish, and above all; childish.
You cannot be asked to take a safer path, where there are no landmines, such that no harm is inflicted along the way to your home -and simply say no. Such actions were not only self-defeating, but showed that the person is just stubborn for no reason. How can you spend over 46 years without knowing how being power feels like and, then, you continue demanding more on katebe?
More still, it is around the same time when political parties check their resource base and make active mass voter consultations to boost voter confidence and trust. And use the same opportunity to disperse members of the research desk to asses’ political party strength -which could be ideal.
As of now, Ugandan politics would be said to have reached a fairly good level -when Ugandans shall no longer be afraid to indentify with the political parties they support. At the same time, they would could have the freedom to vote alternative political parties, where they do not belong -but without necessarily defecting.
Media support could be another very basic component to add in the presidential bid plans. There should be no excuses of media control. Simply, media access must be met. Older political parties might have been very intelligent, then. It is unbelievable to note that they at one time owned party newspapers. If they had not mismanaged their own assets, they could be, by now, richer than President Museveni’s NRM.
While DP had The Citizen -as its private media, UPC owned The People. Now, their views are only limited at political party offices. Even with press conferences they make, not everything is included in the final new print -a luxury (of exclusive information relay) they enjoyed with their own newspapers. Yet, also, at the times of elections, there could be a conflict over media access. The question, still, remains are political parties prepared for 2011 general election?
With police laws, unless permission was denied on acceptable grounds, matters of reaching out to the masses at this time are a must-execute. Amidst any bias by Uganda Police, it could be a matter of self-service. The police, then, would be labeled a failure, and having turned against the people they must serve.
It is, also, a time for making friends across ideological lines -without having to be aggressive or confrontational. These people may sympathize and vote candidates out their political parties. Indeed, there have been cases, where family members refuse to vote their own father!?
The court business, too, must be evaluated. Having to say going to court would be the alternative, can be a waste of time. After all, it has never worked for anyone. The focus, instead, could be to register election victory -as simple as that. Any otherwise, would be show of no political party purpose in the exercise.
Besides, there must be readiness for the cost of getting to victory. Very expectedly some fanatics could get hold of arms and shoot at anyone to intimate and divert voter purpose. And if unlucky, it could be, this time round, a presidential candidate. If in Makerere University strike, there could be a maximum of about two deaths, national elections could have more -given the different population sizes and seriousness of the contest.
However, political parties must remain stead fast, and choose to play a safe game of non-violence -yet focused on demonstrating the need for victory. The local terrorists could be left for time to tell their fate -naturally (spiritually) or artificially, judgments exists and no one is safe upon inflicting pain on another.
Jacob Waiswa Community Psychologist +256774336277 or 0754890614 DECISION MAKING AND SITUATION MANAGEMENT -DISHMA http://www.situationhealthanalysis.blogspot.com
Graphics Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda