People Power pressure group and National Unity Platform (NUP) spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi still doubts journalist Andrew Mwenda’s quest to challenge Bobi Wine for the party’s 2021 presidential flag.
“If he is serious, really, about joining the party, he is welcome; but clearly it looks like he was just trying to make a joke out of this and the joke has fallen on him,” said Ssenyonyi on August 07.
Mwenda, a hitherto critic of Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine’s People Power and NUP, surprised many when he registered as a NUP member and announced he would challenge its sole candidate Bobi Wine for party flag.
Read: Why Andrew Mwenda is challenging Bobi Wine for 2021 NUP Presidential flag
With many, like Ssenyonyi, doubting his move to opposition politics, and some branding him a mole sent to spy on Bobi Wine, Mwenda Mwenda told state broadcaster UBC that he wished to become the “defender of these people.”
“NUP/People Power has a strong brand name, strong brand presence and strong emotional: those are important assets that Bobi Wine has built.”
But Mwenda argued that NUP didn’t have prominent, experienced and skilled Ugandans to help it rally voters.
He also claimed that he was better than Bobi Wine at fundraising, and even more popular than him.
Mwenda further bragged that he understands public policy, Museveni’s strengths and weaknesses and has more international connections.
“Museveni is a very strong formidable opponent. He is a very hard nut to crack; they underestimate him; he beats them every day,” Mwenda said.
“When you are going to fight him, you must be aware that you are up against one of the most celebrated, intelligent titans of politics in Africa.”
It is these gaps he hopes to fill by fishing more prominent people from political parties such as the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) which President Yoweri Museveni leads.
Mwenda has closely dealt with Museveni, his NRM government and members of the first family.
Ssenyonyi said he “would be happy if he is serious because he has been saying all manner of crazy things about [People Power, NUP and Bobi Wine] and singing praises for Museveni; I guess because he knows which side of his bread is buttered.”
On working with Museveni, Mwenda said he was “deeply aware Museveni is the president of Uganda and there are very many good things we can achieve by working with him, instead of working for him.”
“The problem with those extremists is that they think to work with Museveni means working for him; they think compromising with Museveni means being compromised by Museveni,” he explained.
“They think appreciating Museveni’s achievements also means endorsing his failures. That is the inability of a certain crop of Ugandan opposition leaders to intellectually understand the complexity of reality.”