On August 28, 2023, the National Unity Platform (NUP) embarked on a countrywide tour purportedly to mobilise and officially open party offices, starting with Mbarara City.
In this tour, Robert Kyagulanyi, the president of the NUP, and his team do processions in towns, radio talk shows,address rallies, and open their new party offices. The team has so far covered four districts, which include Mbarara,Fortportal, Kasese, and Kabale.
While visiting these areas, the NUP team has delivered nothing new to Ugandans beyond the tired old talking points of smearing the first family, claiming that Museveni’s reelection in 2021 was rigged, promising to get rid of him, and reiterating the regime’s flaws.
“The regime in Uganda is focused on power; even when they receive a supplementary budget, it is allocated to patronage. We need to shift the focus away from one person and their family and redirect it towards the country,” Robert Kyagulanyi said in one of the interviews in Fortportal.
This comes after months of celebrations, including lavish weddings, beach parties, and overseas travel for the NUP’s top ranks.
The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) has maintained a great deal of support because they see the opposition as being unconcerned with anything beyond their own survival. The liberalisation approach of NRM gives people faith that their lives can improve if they put in the effort. As a result, there are plenty of individuals who are unhappy with the ruling party, yet prefer it to the alternatives. A bad administration, in their view, is preferable to an even worse alternative.
The happenings on the Kyagulanyi countrywide tour show that he has not learned from past experiences. The Ugandans who might be tired of NRM actually need ideas and suggestions that can solve their challenges rather than constantly reminding them of the problems they are facing, which they already know. Some of the people attending these rallies are actually excited to see Bobi Wine the musician and not Kyagulanyi the politician, and hence the numbers on the rallies may not necessarily reflect on the ballot in 2026.