NUP’s Failure to Lead ‘the Struggle’ Forces Besigye Back to Pilot the Opposition – Munyangwa

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Former Member of Parliament (MP) for Kawempe North, Mubarak Munyagwa, has criticized the National Unity Platform (NUP) for its inability to effectively lead the struggle for regime change in Uganda. Munyagwa suggests that this failure is what has prompted the return of veteran opposition figure Dr. Kizza Besigye to the political scene, as he takes on the mantle once again.

During a political talk show on a local TV station on April 8, 2024, Munyagwa expressed his disappointment with the current leading opposition political party, NUP, claiming that inexperienced leaders within the party have become consumed by their newfound excitement. He accuses them of presuming that they are the first to face the challenges of being in the opposition, which, in turn, has caused the struggle for regime change to lose its momentum and devolve into personal conflicts.

“The new opposition thought the struggle began with them, and that pride crowded their sense of comprehension. Six months down the road, after the election, they had faded out into nothingness,” Munyagwa remarked.

Munyagwa emphasized that Dr. Kizza Besigye, the four-time presidential candidate who has long been associated with opposition movements, founded this struggle. He argues that Besigye could not simply stand by and watch it disintegrate while opposition politicians, particularly those from NUP, engaged in infighting instead of pushing for meaningful change.

Furthermore, Munyagwa criticized NUP and its president, Robert Kyagulanyi, pointing out that their influence is predominantly limited to the Buganda region. In contrast, Munyagwa claims that Besigye enjoys widespread support across the entire country.

“Wherever he goes in Uganda, Dr. Kizza Besigye will attract mammoth Ugandan supporters. My brother Kyagulanyi can only do that in Buganda,” he stated.

However, Ali Mulyanyama, the Mayor of Makindye division, countered Munyagwa’s claims, asserting that although they believe in Kizza Besigye and recognize his significance to the opposition movement, it is now Robert Kyagulanyi’s time to lead, just as Besigye had his own era after Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere.

In light of recent events, analysts are pointing to various operational issues and performance gaps within the opposition as factors that have led to Dr. Kizza Besigye’s resurgence. Consequently, there are expectations of a potential power struggle between Besigye and Kyagulanyi to determine who will lead the charge against President Yoweri Museveni in the 2026 elections. This anticipated showdown reflects the increasing significance of effective leadership within the opposition movement as they strive to bring about political change in Uganda.

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