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Today's Topic:
I Died Long Ago - Besigye

Red Pepper Online
Col. Kizza Besigye

FDC President Makes Shocking Declaration To Security Operatives, Paranoid colonel, Why Besigye has opened war on all his allies. During the April 17, 2007 Mabira demonstration, Col. Besigye made an interesting remark to security operatives.

You still remember how a day after the arrest of MPs Hussein Kyanjo and Anywar for organizing a save-Mabira forest demo in which an Indian was killed, Besigye called a meeting of opposition parties at Cardinal Wamala Hall at Christ the King Church in the heart of Kampala. Security was under instructions to bar Besigye and those of his ilk from entering the hall and the famous Kiboko squad was out for the first time to enforce that order.

Besigye arrived at the venue shortly after 11am in the company of DP President Sebaana Kizito, MP Erias Lukwago and JEEMA’s Kibirige Mayanja.

They found the venue sealed off by security operatives, most of them in plain clothes. The trio wanted to force its way through the barricade. In the scuffle that ensued, Besigye was badly manhandled and as he shoved the operatives he boldly told them: “Me I died long ago but I just want to leave a name. Even if you kill me I’ll die a martyr,” Besigye told them.

Then he pushed hard, overpowered the bewildered operatives and gained entry but after breaking his toe.

This remark shocked the security operatives who included it in their reports to their bosses. Contents of these reports have since been made available to the wider intelligence community.

Whether Besigye meant physical or political death, or both, depends on how you look at it. But over the past few months the FDC leader has developed an unprecedented level of paranoia. Besigye does not trust anyone anymore. His wars with Museveni were understood as inevitable family-political wrangles but how do you explain the following about-turn in Besigye’s behaviour?

A few days ago while appearing on KFM, Besigye accused all media houses including-and this is strange- The Monitor and KFM of being under the control of the state. He said all newspapers New Vision, Red Pepper and Monitor were no longer objective and were under the firm control of government. His interviewers could not believe their ears when he mentioned The Monitor because the paper has been his traditional ally - or mouth piece- and has not changed its stance.

Outside the studio, Besigye had intensified his negative campaign against the mighty Red Pepper telling his supporters at a rally in Mbarara to use it for the toilet. But interestingly our sales have gone up in that part of the world.

A few days ago, when FDC foreign minister Reagan Okumu came out to say he would vie for FDC leadership in 2011, Besigye retorted: “Who knows Okumu?”

At the weekend the FDC leader opened another war front on an erstwhile ally-the DP. Speaking at a campaign rally in Kalungu East on Saturday, Besigye said DP was in cahoots with the NRM to sell off city markets to further impoverish Kampalans. In a hard hitting, unprecedented speech Besigye accused the DP of betraying the opposition.

“Some of our colleagues have changed and are now busy selling plots and markets of poor people because of greed,” he told supporters on Friday at Bugomola trading centre.

After winning posts in the Kampala city leadership, Besigye observed, DP members with whom FDC had been working to fight the NRM, changed sides.
DP constitutes the majority in the Kampala District Council: of the 31 seats the party has 16.

The FDC leader said it was surprising for the Democratic Party to promise to fight for people’s land when they had oppressed many in Kampala and sold off plots that belonged to KCC.

“Instead of fighting for people, they are busy selling off their markets,” he noted. But as Besigye flashed the V sign, the audience flashed the clenched fist, the symbol of the DP.

And therein lies the problem. Why is Besigye developing a phobia? Here below we give you the answer.

The ugly fight for Buganda
Naturally and since time immemorial, rump DP has always maintained a huge influence in Buganda and the Catholic Church. DP under Sebaana has realized that by continuing to lend their Buganda-Catholic support to Besigye they are killing the party. So DP has resolved to regain its dominance of Buganda and will field candidates to take seats everywhere in the region even if this puts DP on a collision course with Besigye.

Besigye had wanted DP to leave the Kalungu East seat to FDC. His argument is that FDC has more support nationwide than DP (40 parliamentary seats as opposed to DP’s eight) and thus wanted the DP candidate Fred Mukasa Mbidde to stand down for FDC candidate, Joseph Kayemba, to increase the FDC’s strength in Parliament. DP flatly refused.

This has strongly infuriated Besigye because in withdrawing its support from FDC candidates, Besigye knows the FDC can’t win a seat in Buganda on its own. Thus your Nabilah Sempala, (Kampala women) and Beti Kamya (Lubaga north) risk losing their seats in 2011 if DP does not back them as it is now indicating.

Besigye has been trying to wrestle Mengo’s support from DP because of the special relationship between the Kabaka, Edith Byanyima and Winnie Byanyima. But this too is a long shot. Besigye stands to lose much if DP reasserts itself in Buganda as it is doing now and this is driving the FDC leader mad.

The Muntu factor
Besigye and Muntu sealed an alliance in June 2005 when Muntu stayed at Besigye’s South Africa residence for two days. Although Muntu has his ambitions, he is not willing to try a shot at the presidency when he is not ready. His recent contact with Museveni has demoralized Besigye who fears the man might soon rejoin the NRM. Such a move would not be unprecedented. Levi Mwanawasa the current president of Zambia had originally fallen out with Chiluba. The two made up and Mwanawasa succeeded Chiluba.

Arap Moi was in KADU while Jomo Kenyatta was in KANU. But the two later formed an alliance that saw Moi become Kenyatta’s VP and successor.

Basil Bataringaya, formerly leader of the DP before he crossed with the entire opposition side to the UPC, was by the time of the 1971 coup almost certain to succeed Obote. He had become so powerful that he was the one Obote left with instructions to arrest Idi Amin, a move that led to the coup.

Jamil Mukulu the leader of the Islamic fundamentalist rebel group, the ADF, was a staunch Catholic. He converted to Islam and is now one of its leading jihadists.

The possibility of Besigye waking up and finding Muntu in the NRM has greatly demoralized Besigye further making the future of his party bleaker.

Waning overall support
Besigye’s appeal across the country has been on an alarming decline. He used to enjoy his biggest support in the north. But many FDC politicians there are giving up on him the reason Okumu is coming up to challenge him for the top slot. Many in the north are distraught that they vote him overwhelmingly yet he can’t even win in is home district of Rukungiri. They see their votes as wasted on a man long rejected by his clansmen. Some FDC leaders in the north accuse Besigye of being as rude as Kony. In West Nile the Alex Onzimas are going slowly on FDC and the Maos are closer to NRM than FDC.

Besigye had hoped to re-energize his leadership by winning the LCV chairmanship of Kamuli early this year. In fielding his vice president, the populist Salamu Musumba, Besigye was sure the FDC would win the chair. But she lost. If an FDC vice chairman cannot win a village chair how can the party win nationally? These thoughts have left Besigye devastated - feeling rejected by everyone thus the growing paranoia.

The colonel has been trying to ally with Amanya Mushega but the former East Africa secretary general seems bent on forming his own party, something similar to the UPM of the 1980s. Although Mushega attended the FDC delegates’ conference at Namboole and later met FDC strategist Sam Akaki at Najjanankumbi who advised him to seek a parliamentary seat, Mushega never went into the 2006 parliamentary polls because Odo Tayebwa refused to cede the FDC ticket to him in Igara East.

Some of Besigye’s henchmen are not doing well physically. Sulaiman Kiggundu the national party chairman has cancer of the intestines. He had been influential in selling Besigye to Mengo and the Muslim community but now he can no longer work at turbo range form.

Musinguzi Garuga, Besigye’s money man, has cancer of the throat. Geoffrey Ekanya recently told a CMI operative at Dewinton Road in Kampala that there was no money or anything to make him happy in the FDC. FDC secretary general Alice Alaso has quietly been looking around for a big job abroad-perhaps in the UN agencies.

All these occurrences disturb Besigye. In the end, the FDC leader has come to a conclusion that he should not stand for president for a third time in 2011. Instead he is seriously considering running for the parliamentary seat of Kyadondo East. Besigye has not built a house in his village of Rwakabengo. But he is finishing a mansion in Nangabo to be a proper resident of Kyadondo East so he can succeed Sam Njuba as MP of the area. You remember ageing Njuba had agreed to abdicate his seat for Besigye after the 2006 polls. The two, our intelligence now shows, have agreed that Besigye stands in 2011 for MP of that area. If this is not political death, what is it?

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Red Pepper Online
Under Blame: Kirunda

NRM Carelessly Dumps Busoga, A month long investigation into the politics of Busoga sub-region reveals that the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) has through carelessness and absence of a revolutionary sub-regional leadership frustrated the goodwill of the people. As a result of NRM’s failure to motivate a well intentioned people, the populace exhibits a deep sense of betrayal, which is the subject of today’s Intelligence Briefing.

Busoga has always voted as a single block. In 1962, all the 11 seats were taken by UPC; in 1980 out of all the eight seats, DP took seven; in 1996 and 2001 Busoga overwhelmingly voted NRM. In 2006, the solidarity broke up because of the excesses of the top leaders in the sub-region and people voted not opposition but ‘frustration’, as one disappointed Jinja opinion leader expressed it to us.

However, what surprised us even more is that the failed sectarian and divided old NRM leadership maintains the guts of attempting to alienate the non-NRM but popularly elected leaders from the presidency and central government instead of endeavouring to win them over. Research shows that there are three factions in the Busoga NRM: the Kirunda Kivejinja (KK) camp; the Rebecca Kadaga (RK) camp; and the young generation (Young Turks) who despite their energetic, liberal and modernistic political outlook don’t yet have a single leader and have no access routes to the top national level party organs.

Research further shows that the KK camp is out fashioned as most of its leaders are historicals and aged and that the RK camp has ambitions of supremacy in the region and yet lacks the organisational acumen to achieve that.

Unexplained decline of Jinja town
It should be noted that Busoga, especially because of the historical importance of Jinja town, is the gateway to the entire Eastern region. Analysts told us that the malaise of frustration in Busoga is creeping into the whole Eastern region. Central in the long litany of Busoga’s complaints and frustrations is the status and economic development of their once glorious Jinja town. Jinja was in the 1960s earmarked as Uganda’s industrial centre and planned to become Uganda’s second city after Kampala. However, Jinja today is among the declined towns along with Masaka town.

Although the population has supported NRM for nearly 20 years, it is very disappointed that the NRM has never remembered to reward or empower them. The common word is that they are remembered when it’s time for elections and so in 2006 they decided not to vote NRM. Jinja Central Market has been gutted by fire twice and President Museveni himself has twice promised that the central government would redevelop it but up to now only Shs230m has been secured from the central government and it is very insignificant.
Several respondents said that the business community had wanted a private investor to develop Jinja Central Market to modern standards but the squabbling top politicians sabotaged the idea.
Since the coming to power of NRM in 2006, many industries relocated from Jinja to Kampala under unclear circumstances and that started the decline of the town. The famous Jinja Trade Fair Show Grounds were transferred to Lugogo in Kampala.The Democratic Party (DP) candidate for Jinja mayorship, Mohammed Kezaala in 2006 scored 68% votes against the incumbent NRM candidate, David Wakudumira (32%) because the Ugandan government had just secured a US$71m loan from the World Bank and budgeted it to develop Namanve Industrial Park in Kampala (‘Mukono’) whereas Jinja’s industrial area and large pieces of land remained unutilized.

The Jinja pier, which is larger and environmentally better, has been replaced in the volume of marine traffic by the Port Bell pier in Kampala which was even condemned by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA). The pier is more or less abandoned and the annual agricultural show event in Jinja which used to attract much attention is now as good as dead.

Jinja Regional Referral Hospital has been in a bad state for many years and electricity supply there is haphazard. Currently, the hospital has one functioning ambulance; itself donated by an individual, Hon. Nathan Nabeta the MP for Jinja Municipality East.

Dormant Busoga parliamentary group
We found it a generally held opinion that the Busoga parliamentary group is divided and therefore ineffective in mobilising the people for development or in lobbying resources for their area. The MPs are divided, are suspicious of one another and have never hesitated to point fingers even in public or before the President. It was also revealed to us that the group members deliberately sit on any promising young or new radical blood.
A major indicator of the performance of the parliamentary group is the neglect of and lack of respect for the cultural institution of Busoga Kingdom. Though many of the MPs are known to have climbed the ladders; thanks to the Kyabazinga (king), they only remember him and the institution when it’s political campaigns time.

Laissez-faire NRM party
It is evident that the majority of the population has no grudge with NRM as a party was it not for its failure to discipline its top leaders in the sub-region who have brought it into disrepute. Further research showed that the party’s organizational weaknesses in Busoga are an extension of the fundamental stagnation and inertia of the party’s national secretariat in Kampala. The secretariat is known to be bogged down by a power struggle between Secretary General Amama Mbabazi and Vice Chairman Moses Kigongo.

It’s beyond common imagination that a ruling party can fail to have a weekly press conference when many opposition parties manage to hold them. Analysts were also surprised that the recently restored website of the party could have been closed for so long and that even when it was still operative, it was not as updated as those of other parties.

One of the reasons for the rapid increase in popularity of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) nationally is their portrayal of NRM as a dormant party that can only survive by the personal efforts of Museveni. It has been observed by this research that NRM lacks sharp cadres in strategic positions or in facilitation that can openly without fear or shame defend the party and its programmes, link its upper structures with the grassroots masses, think ahead and budget for imminent challenges. (If you have information or comments relevant to this briefing, call or SMS 0782-959583 or e-mail

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