The Strategic Tactics of Besigye: How the NRM Agent Exploits Opposition Fights for Political Advantage


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Retired Colonel Dr. Kizza Besigye, a four-time presidential candidate, has recently declared his political comeback with bold claims of removing President Museveni from power before the 2026 general elections. While many may see Besigye as a strong opposition politician, it is important to critically evaluate his political career and the underlying motivations behind his actions. It becomes apparent that Besigye’s role has been to present himself as a viable alternative for Uganda’s leadership while working diligently to prevent any political party from gaining significant ground against the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government.

Besigye’s Calculated Moves

Looking back at Dr. Besigye’s political trajectory, it becomes evident that his underlying mission has been to undermine opposition parties working against the NRM government. Despite multiple failed attempts at the presidency, Besigye has consistently presented himself as the only viable opponent to President Museveni. This maneuver is aimed at not only undermining the capabilities of other potential candidates but also ensuring that no formidable opposition arises against his NRM allies.

Manipulation within the Party

In 2021, when Mugisha Muntu was elected as the Party President of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), a natural contender for the presidential candidacy, Besigye refused to accept this outcome. He portrayed himself as the only viable option against President Museveni, thus disregarding Muntu’s abilities and fueling divisions within the party. Besigye successfully played Nathan Nandala Mafabi against Muntu, leading to the collapse of his own party. By supporting Patrick Amuriat Oboi, a relatively unknown member, as the new FDC leader, Besigye transformed his own party and masked his continued influence behind a facade of taking a political break.

Targeting Robert Kyagulanyi and the National Unity Platform

Besigye’s strategic efforts were not limited to his own party. He cunningly forged a relationship with Robert Kyagulanyi, the leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP), positioning himself as a senior advisor. However, behind the scenes, he planted spies within the party to gather information on NUP’s activities. Besigye enticed NUP into short-lived coalitions, well aware that such associations rarely sustain themselves. By sowing division and distrust, he effectively weakened NUP’s cohesion and stability.

The Creation of Factions and Divisions

With the FDC now in disarray and NUP experiencing internal turmoil, Besigye has successfully executed his mission of destroying potential political parties that could pose a threat to the NRM government. He skillfully spread rumors of corruption within the FDC, leading to the party’s collapse and the emergence of two rival factions. Similarly, he exploited existing suspicions between Kyagulanyi and Mpuuga, a former FDC member, ultimately fueling an ongoing rift between the two within NUP.

Besigye’s True Motive

Amidst these calculated moves, Besigye has declared his political comeback, vowing to remove President Museveni from power before the 2026 elections. While he presents himself as a loyal opposition figure fighting for change, his actions tell a different story. By continuously creating divisions and fragmenting opposition parties, Besigye is inadvertently clearing the path for the NRM government to maintain its dominance. His return to politics only adds to the proliferation of parties and the fragmentation of the opposition, ultimately serving the interests of the NRM.

Retired Colonel Dr. Kizza Besigye’s political career is marked by a calculated strategy to exploit opposition fights for his own political advantage. His actions, culminating in a declared political comeback, showcase his efforts to prevent the emergence of a formidable opposition against the NRM government.

By dismantling potential political parties and fostering divisions within existing ones, Besigye inadvertently serves the NRM’s interests and hinders Uganda’s democratic progression and growth of other political parties.

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