While Uganda’s main opposition political party FDC fought for its life over the past couple of weeks, a section of Ugandans both from the ruling party and hostile opposition camps must have been thrown into wild celebrations.
Those in power must have seen an opportunity to further their grip on power for another five years with minimal resistance while to some in opposition, it was an opportunity to replace the Najjanankumbi group at the helm of Uganda’s opposition.
The biggest question that Lukwago’s membership solved instantly is the Nabilah Naggayi Sempala issue.
The Patrick Oboi Amuriat leadership at Najjanankumbi had come under fire for blocking Naggayi, a party member from contesting for the Kampala mayorship, even when the party didn’t have any other member who had shown interest in running for the mayoral position.
Some sources at Najjanankumbi still insist that Naggayi’s move was merely intended to provoke the party into a media fight since she had for long left the party by implication.
When asked on whether the party would have a flagbearer for the Kampala mayoral election in 2021, FDC Secretary General Nathan Mandala Mafabi visibly struggled for an answer, raising a pertinent question that would have to be answered in future.
With Lukwago now an official member of FDC, Mafabi and his boss Amuriat can have a sigh of relief for a big question has already been answered.
The other contentious question within the party has been that of the party presidential flag bearer for the 2021 general elections.
With a few months to nominations, uncertainty over who would carry the party’s flag for the highest office of the land has left leaders and supporters scratching their heads.
It has been reported that the leadership at Najjanankumbi has been trying to court four-time presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye to save the day but the former FDC president has been playing hard to get each.
Even if Lukwago’s chances of representing his new family for the presidency at the next year’s polls are very minimal, his addition will provide the party with more options for the future.
It will also provide Dr Besigye with the liberty to take his time before finally announcing his decision with many party faithfuls optimistic that Museveni’s fiercest critic will accept to be on the ballot.
The talk of the official quitting of some party members over the past weeks will for now be cast in the shadow of the lord mayor’s addition to the party.
This means that Lukwago has joined the party at just the right time when the party needed some of his political seniority to take them through the current political tsunami.
Nonetheless, the problems at Najjanankumbi seem deeper than meets the eye. The current impasse seems to be sour fruits that have sprung from seeds of hate and intrigue sowed during the Besigye-Mugisha Muntu silent rivalry long before Amuriat took over as party President.
What is needed at the moment is just more than a one Lukwago but a comprehensive overhaul with Lukwago just but a part of the big strategy towards achieving that goal.