Renewed Uganda pressure group presidential candidate Lt Gen (Rtd) Henry Kakurugu Tumukunde says the reason an opposition coalition may be impossible is because even weak colleagues like John Katumba thinks they will win the 2021 election.
Tumukunde, a former security minister, is one of the 10 opposition candidates seeking to end incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s rule.
Others are Museveni’s and Tumukunde’s bush war comrade and former army commander Maj Gen (Rtd) Gregg Mugisha Muntu of the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), veteran opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye’s ‘protégé’ Patrick Oboi Amuriat (POA) of main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), singer-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine of National Unity Platform (NUP), and Norbert Mao of Democratic Party (DP).
Others are Fred Mwesigye, Joseph Kiiza Kabuleta, Nancy Kalembe, John Katumba and Willy Mayambala.
There have been efforts for a joint opposition candidate but these have been futile.
The farthest talks went was the Besigye-Bobi Wine led United Forces of Change (UFC) pronouncement, and the show of solidarity after the arrest of Amuriat and Bobi Wine when most opposition candidates suspended their campaigns.
There were also meetings in which the ‘main opposition figures’ – Amuriat, Muntu, Bobi Wine, Mao and Tumukunde – either attended in person or were represented.
They agreed to work together to stop police brutality and protect their votes in 2021 against any possible plot to rig them in favour of Museveni.
According to Tumukunde all opposition candidates think they are powerful and have a lot of support to win.
Tumukunde, who was part of those talks, now says all opposition candidates have failed the honest evaluation tests to the extent that even ‘weak’ ones like Katumba believe they stand a chance of beating Museveni.
“You will be surprised every opposition candidate thinks he will win election. It’s as bad as that. Even Katumba, I am sure, he thinks he will win election,” Tumukunde said during a radio show on December 06.
“So, it’s about how we evaluate issues as Africans.”