by Geoffrey Ochwo
“We have 37 registered political parties. My estimation is that we will have about 10 presidential candidates,” said EC Chairman Badru Kiggundu.
There are of course many parties in Uganda, but the smaller parties listed below will be going at it alone, separate from the coalition joining the Inter-Party Cooperation. It was difficult to locate any concrete political issues related to each party other than the desire to get Museveni out of office. And except for the Uganda Federal Alliance, these parties seemed to be based on political personality rather than concrete political issues.
Note: Because of the large size of the Democratic Party, we have kept it out of this article.
Uganda Federal Alliance
Beti Olive Kamya, Uganda’s MP for Lubaga North, used an opinion piece in The Monitor newspaper on April 27, 2009 to announce her new political organization, known as the Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA). Ms. Kamya’s opinion piece was titled “Make Moroto the administrative seat of government”.
“Our mission is to see that there is devolution of power so that much of the power is vested in regional governments and very less of it is left to the central government, we shall propose a federal government based on linguistic and geographical demarcations such as Bunyoro, Bukedi, Acholi, Buganda, Busoga, Ankole, Rwenzori, Tooro and Kigezi,” said Kamya.
UFA’s plan is to light a federal fire which will spread to the entire country and cause a political revolution.
”Many Ugandan politicians are obsessed with the removal of President Yoweri Museveni, but the war UFA is going to wage will be against the current over-centralized repressive system. This is because even if we get a new president under the same system, no revolution will be realized ”said Kamya.
Peoples Progressive Party
Peoples’ Progressive Party (PPP) was registered in 2004. It was the second political party to be registered after the National Resistance Movement, when Uganda opened up political space to allow party politics.
The Party was registered as National Progressive Party (NPM), duly adopted on 7th April 2004. In its fourth meeting held in Kampala on 28th December 2005, members of the Party unanimously resolved to change the Party name to Peoples’ Progressive Party (PPP).
The mission of the party is “to building strong national democratic institutions that will ensure the achievement and sustainability of unity, democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights, peace and prosperity.“
Until June 2008 when the Party held its first National Delegates Conference, the party operated under the guidance of a veteran politician Jaberi Bidandi Ssali, acting as its interim chairperson. Bidandi was last month elected the PPP president and a flagbearer in the 2011 presidential election.
According to the party’s website, “There was need to develop a Party whose members are ready to respect constitutionalism, rule of law and good governance premised on principles of democracy, respect for human rights, national unity and reconciliation.“
Liberal Democratic Transparency Party
The Liberal Democratic Transparency Party (LDTP) is now headed by Kampala Mayor Al Haji Nasser Sebaggala. He was elected unopposed to lead the Liberal Democratic Transparency Party (LDTP), a party that has been formed after singing a Memorandum of Understanding between Sebaggala’s Progressive Democratic Party and Hood Ssempebwa’s LDTP.
“Democracy, which symbolizes the notion of the people’s rule, is under siege. It is hard to preach democracy to children abandoned on the streets, to hungry and unemployed people who have nothing, people to whom no one pays any attention, who nobody respects, who people with money treat as second class citizens. What democracy can exist in a society of exploiters and the exploited?” asks the Mayor.
Sebaggala asserts that the current political system is corrupt and built to serve only the wealthy. This can only be solved by installing true, liberal, transparent political and governmental policies and practices.
“As a new party, it is our moral obligation to free our people from deprivation, exploitation and the moral and material poverty,” said the Mayor.
People’s Development Party
The People’s Development Party (PDP) is headed by Dr. Abed Bwanika. PDP members elected Bwanika in April as their party president and a flagbearer in the 2011 presidential election. Bwanika stood on an independent ticket in 2006 and lost his presidential bid to NRM Chairman Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Bwanika also claims that since President Museveni told people in 2006 that he was campaigning for his last term in office, many people told him to let Museveni win in 2006 so that they can vote him (Bwanika) in 2011. He received only around 66,000 votes in 2006.
Bwanika is also a pastor who has come out in support of laws criminalizing homosexuality in Uganda.
Forum for Integrity in Leadership
Forum for Integrity in Leadership (FIL) like any other political party in Uganda also met to choose their party president. Mr. Emmanuel Tumusiime, who has been the chairman, was unanimously elected during the party’s second delegates conference held at St. Augustine Students Centre at Makerere University recently in June.
Tumusiime now has to face NRM chairman, Museveni and other opposition presidential candidates in the 2010 general elections.
“For me, I am going to be a servant of the people and not a politician,” Tumusiime said adding that Ugandans need better services than they are now. Tumusiime is a businessman, a farmer and a preacher at All Saints Cathedral.