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27.09.2021 Feature Article

Chameleon's new friendship with NRM should be a big lesson for NUPs

Chameleon's new friendship with NRM should be a big lesson for NUPs
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FDC must, arguably, be the most civilised party in Uganda. I’m surprised most of their members aren’t making a big deal out of Jose Chameleon’s defection to NRM, as NUP members did with Owekitibwa Joyce Ssebugwawo’s. I remember warning them (NUPs) at the time -- that there are a lot of NUPs sitting on the fences just waiting for the right time to cross, but as usual, they only concentrated on mindlessly celebrating FDC problems – Christmas had somehow come so early for them.

For the record, Jose Chameleon, like the former 10 DP MPs, officially joined NUP in August 2020. He was denied a chance to stand as NUP candidate for Kampala Lord Mayorship this month last year, and he has presumably left NUP in the same month this year. It means he has been a NUP member for, at least, 1 year, as long as Hon. Beti Nambooze and others, have.

Going by the reasoning of some NUP members I have so far interacted with, they seem to think that one only becomes a member of the party by word of the mouth, which isn’t true. Political parties’ membership aren’t like converting to another religion, or supporting a football club, where I’m a Chelsea fan but I don’t have a Chelsea FC membership card. One has to register and get a membership card to be a recognised member of the party, which Jose Chameleon did. Otherwise, just saying that you support a certain party, or donate to it, or you have it at heart, it doesn’t make you a member. I’m sure Jose hasn’t yet officially joined NRM party because I didn’t see him getting the NRM card while getting a car. So, technically speaking, Jose is still a NUP member till he’s officially expelled by his party, or when he gets a NRM card.

Moving forward, I request NUP members to stop thinking that they have brought anything special to the opposition politics. Whatever problems NUP is facing, FDC and other parties have faced them before. NUP, itself, isn’t anything special by any standards – you are just a doll party started in 2004 by Mr. Kibalama and others for reasons best known to themselves. So, its leadership should try and work with FDC and stop demonising Besigye. Just recently, Erias Lukwago was nominated to become the FDC vice president in Buganda, but the messages I read on social media from NUPs were astounding. I don’t know why they think they must continue their wars with the FDC leadership,like, forever.

What NUPs must know is that today's Italians aren't Romans, today's Greeks aren't those of the 5th century BC, and today's Chinese aren't the ones who invented gunpowder and "rockets". Same goes for the Egyptians, Aztecs, Mayas. What matters is who is on top of the heap NOW, and in Uganda’s case, its NRM and Museveni on top, and will do everything possible to keep the opposition in a bogus state it is now.

By Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba, UK

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