Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has launched the Platform for Truth and Justice pressure group within the Democratic Party (DP). He said it will enable the party capture political and State power in 2016 (Daily Monitor, July 30, 2015).
Lukwago, together with some DP giants Sebuliba Mutumba, Moses Kasibante, Latif Ssebaggala, Sam Mukaku Lubega and former DP national organising secretary, Charles Musoke Serunjogi, have come out to follow in the political footsteps of Ben Kiwanuka, who led Uganda to internal self-government in March 1961.
It is very painful in the hearts of DP members that the party has not taken state power since Independence in 1962.
Lukwago has got one God-given quality that once he embarks on doing something, he captures the people’s attention and support.
Lukwago says the pressure group is aimed at restoring DP values such as truth and justice, fundamental human rights, rule of law and constitutionalism.
He explained that they were neither a faction nor a break-away movement, but a pressure group within the Democratic Party like the Uganda Young Democrats.
The big question is will Lukwago deliver the Baganda to State House in 2016 or 2021?
Lukwago has emerged at a critical time when there is a firm and genuine desire among the Baganda that this is the time for them to take state power, either in 2016 or 2021 after President Museveni retires from active politics because of old age.
When you analyse the set-up of the political parties in Uganda, you find that it is difficult, if not impossible, for a Muganda to contest for state power through the NRM or FDC or UPC.
It is only the Democratic Party, because of its origin and history, where a Muganda can contest for leadership of Uganda.
People outside Buganda are challenging the Baganda, saying: “Mwe Abaganda, mwe mubade muleeta abakulembenze, mwe mwaleeta Obote mu 1962, era mwe mwaleeta Museveni mu 1986, kati ekiseera kituuse mwereete mweka mukulembere Uganda.” (You Baganda have been bringing presidents of Uganda. You brought Obote in 1962 and you brought Museveni in 1986, now bring yourselves to lead Uganda.)
It is surprising that Baganda, who have so many highly educated and qualified people, are somehow complacent and not bold enough to come out aggressively to compete for leadership.
In 2011, Ms Beti Kamya, leader of the Uganda Federal Alliance and who advocated for federalism, Abed Bwanika of PDP and Sam Lubega were completely ignored.
Again, the Baganda have been complaining that westerners have dominated the political scene for so many years.
Now we are waiting to see the kind of support and encouragement they will give Lukwago who has come out to take them to State House either in 2016 or 2021.
The westerners have put five fighters in the political battle for 2016. They have President Museveni, Rtd Col Kizza Besigye, Mr Amama Mbabazi, Prof Venansius Baryamureeba and Gen David Sejusa.
Lukwago has answered that challenge by saying: “You cannot win a battle unless you go into the battlefield.” He is in the political battle and the voters will be the deciding factor.
Lukwago faces a big challenge within his DP. The party constitution clearly stipulates that only the president general will be nominated by the party’s delegates’ conference to be their flag bearer in the national elections.
That automatically leaves out Lukwago who is not the leader of the Democratic Party. He will have to contest as an Independent candidate in 2016.
The second challenge is that Lukwago, or any other challenger, will find it extremely difficult to defeat President Museveni in 2016 because of the way he has entrenched himself in power since 1986.
According to the way political planning is done in Africa, and elsewhere in the world, Lukwago has done very well to come out now to contest for the leadership of this country and he stands a good chance of winning in 2021, especially if his political think tank applies what we call the “one to four political plan”.
If he continues with what he has started, by 2021 he will have acquired massive and unbreakable support throughout the country.
The writer is an elder from Kyaggwe, Mukono District