By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Three years ago, as he left Forum For Democratic Change (FDC), Rtd.Gen Gregg Mugisha Muntu vowed to build a model political party that would set a standard on which other parties would be measured. The amiable General from Ntungamo said priority would be on building party structures (as if they are brick and mortar buildings) without which he said it would be impossible for parties to win any elections in Museveni’s Uganda.
Teeth grinding Muntu, eloquently asserted that he left FDC because there was too much defiance which wasn’t allowing room to people like him who prioritized building party structures.
Once out of FDC, Gen Muntu, who had just lost the party presidency to Patrick Oboi Amuriat (POA), went on a countrywide tour holding seminars during which he was supposed to have planted and watered party structures. While telling the country he was a humble and clandestine person who doesn’t have to be in the media all the time, Gen Muntu claimed that the impact of his structures would manifest on voting day in 2021 when his party would produce many successful candidates.
He rejected assertions by FDC colleagues that there is no way anyone can build lasting party structures in a country where you have a President (read Gen Museveni) who uses money and police brutality, the DISOs, GISOs and RDCs to disrupt and constrain party activities.
Muntu vowed to show such sceptics that it’s possible to move quietly and build vibrant structures in spite of the Museveni dictatorship. He kept talking of taking Gen Museveni by surprise while using his clandestinely-built party structures.
Infact, tough talking Muntu castigated those who preached defiance for posturing. And incidentally, this being Uganda, a country of politically very gullible men and women, many fell for his rhetoric with some abandoning their vibrant political organizations to go flock with him, who some cynics like sarcastically calling “Mr Structures.”
And finally, the day of reckoning came on Thursday 11th January and the hollowness of the Muntu rhetoric was exposed like never before. He was a candidate for President and Gen Muntu, who many simplistic analysts used to fallaciously say was a capable politician who was only being suffocated and constrained by Besigye’s defiance politics, scored 65,334 votes from the whole country equaling 0.65% of the total number of voters who participated and cast their vote. Now that was very embarrassing in a race where less prolific candidates like Joseph Kabuleta and 23-year-old John Katumba scored 44,300 (or 0.44%) and 35,983 or (0.36%) respectively.
That Gen Muntu has finally been demystified would be an understatement!
Away from his own personal humiliation, former Commander of Defense Forces (CDF) (UPDF) for 9 years and former EALA MP for 10 years, Gen Muntu’s claim to have structures, which he actually had 3 solid years to build without being suffocated or constrained by anybody in FDC, too has been exposed to have been a mirage and mere rhetoric.
How does one explain the fact that the party of greats like Abdul Katuntu, Winnie Kiiza, Kassiano Wadri, Ogenga Latigo, his greatness Paul Mwiru, Ibi Florence, Robert Centenary, Yokasi Bihande, Christine Abia, Gerald Karuhanga, Amanya Mushega, Miria Matembe, Kabaterine Shemambo, Nyakato Rusoke, Happy Nasasira, Angeline Osege, her greatness Alice Alaso, his greatness Wilberforce Seryazi, Jackson Wabyona, Idi Ouma, Ismail Kasule, Jackson Wabyona, his greatness Sewava Serubiri, Proscovia Naikoba, Rajab Kaaya Semalulu and others couldn’t produce even one legislator in a parliament of more than 425 directly elected MPs?
These are honourable gentlemen and ladies who had a whole 3 years, all the resources; all the good intentions and relevant connections to do nothing but mobilize for the electoral victory of their structure-based party!
Not even the likes of Gerald Karuhanga and Paul Mwiru, who were widely expected to prevail, managed to come near to keeping the hopes of Gen Muntu’s nascent ANT party alive. In Ntungamo, Gerald Karuhanga, who had done two terms as a Muntu-leaning independent, was felled by Yona Musinguzi of NRM and in Jinja, Paul Mwiru, a key pillar in the Muntu politics for decades, was sent to political Taiwan.
In Entebbe Municipality, the flamboyant Wilberforce Seryazi, who serves as the publicist for ANT, couldn’t garner even 1,000 votes. In Nansana Municipality, Rajab, a leading ideologue in ANT, trailed very badly barely coming anywhere near to scoring 1,000 votes.
In Busoga, youngmen like Ismail Badogi and Nasser Mubonde, who used to be strong challengers finishing closely behind NRM winners or giants, trailed very badly this time around.
The big question, which won’t be answered very easily, remains what exactly happened to the ANT party structures which the General from Ntungamo had three solid years to build, consolidate and use to deliver electoral victory? What went wrong?
We hope Gen Muntu, honest as ever, takes off time and comprehensively explains to the country why the anticipated performance by the structure-based ANT didn’t manifest. It can’t be about time (that it’s too early) because it didn’t take Kyagulanyi even 6 months for his NUP to blossom and manifest so much political might.
May be one time, as honest as he is, Muntu will agree with those who say you can’t organize a political party in Uganda where the son of Amos Kaguta is still in the poli-tricks of the land. And now you should all of you guys raise up your huts for oldest party, DP that stood the times.