It is all clear to us now that we have a mouth-watering race to State House in 2021. Bobi Wine is the first confirmed candidate on one end, while another Most likely to join in is the incumbent Yoweri Museveni.
The road to 2021 is still quite far from us, so much can happen between now and end of next year, much to the benefit of either of the two candidates in the race, or like the 2016 race, we could be in for another FDC shock, coming in and snatching the opposition baton.
In preparations for the 2021 race, Bobi Wine named an army of coordinators to drum up people’s power support. Mostly politically hungry youth, no veterans and some NRM always want-away legislators.
Museveni on the other hand, had the CEC sit and endorse him far from the city, different party structures have endorsed him with exception of the National Executive Council (delegates conference) that sits in Namboole before the year ends. Of course, their resolutions will b a cut and paste from what we have already seen.
Also using the power of incumbency, under the wealth creation campaign, we can state that Museveni is warming up for a campaign trail, he has gone around the country twice this year; to meet the armed forces and now to meet the respective government and NRM leaders. Even if not to campaign necessarily, this shows his intentions.
Bobi Wine has not been seated either, he has attended burial ceremonies of all he knows and doesn’t know (from a political perspective), been in different churches and community events, expressed his intentions both locally and internationally. So, ladies and gentlemen, we are set to roll.
However, given Bobi Wine on the ballot and Museveni on the same ballot, the latter will be in State House by midday and he will win tidy.
We can start with the coordination team, can this team headed by MP Mbwatekamwa, who is still not willing to cut loose from the NRM surely upset a well-chosen Museveni team in Ankole?
Will the team in Kigezi survive the wrath of Mateke, Nsaba Buturo, David Bahati or Rugunda? The bugisu team led by an unstable Nambashe and that of Busoga without a Kadaga whose word is final, (and she comes with the Kyabazinga too), plus the likes of Isaac Musumba who literally rule Kamuli?
The team will be outrun from the word go, that themselves may need to coordinate for their personal political positions. They will fall off, switch sides, and the NRM machinery will bypass them without brakes.
Museveni, according to a previous poll has lost support and now sits under 50%, he took the poll seriously and started a number of upcountry trips. His support base remains untouched, the youth have never been with him, theirs is a president they haven’t seen before, but rarely do they decide anyway.
When Museveni came to power, those he found aged 70 and above have since died. Those he found aged 60 and 50 are now in the evenings of their lives, those who were at 30 and 40 are the ones silently in their houses, holding onto their votes and will walk slowly to the polling station and vote the man with a hat. They have no energy to debate on social media or even make noise in public.
Those Museveni found at 20, are now aged 50, most of them have seen this nation before and are not willing to let it go for less. Those who were aged 10, are now 40, they are neutral. while those who were 5 years and below want to have an experience they have never had before.
That is where most us fall, we have heard from our elders and we want to see how different it can be, but this curiosity ends as we walk to the ballot paper, the votes are either invalid, spoilt or we actually end up ticking the ‘right’ candidate.
Museveni’s campaign is one of hard work, backed by the availability of presidential privileges and the POWER OF INCUMBENCY. In that, he can travel to 10 places while you still address a single gathering in the town center.
He can fly over places while you still figure out how to reach there, he can reach the last voter more than twice, while you are still convincing your first voter. In other words, he can traverse and comb this country 100 times faster than any of his competitors.
Besigye has competed against him a record number of times, and he has slowly been building his reach. Now even in the remotest of the villages, you will find a campaign poster of Besigye.
Amama Mbabazi’s back broke after realizing he had to be everywhere, and this will happen to Bobi Wine too.
Even with the good roads built now to enable better movement, you will be completely fatigued if you drove from Kampala to Kabale and you need to be in Masaka the next day then Jinja. Museveni will be there and even make time for personal meetings back in Entebbe.
Does Bobi Wine have the capacity to snatch away Museveni’s support base? Does he have the capacity to out-travel Museveni on a campaign trail? Does he have the resources to outspend the incumbent? Does he have the capacity to stop his people from selling out? Does he know how far an incumbent can stretch to retain power, what is he going to do about it?
There is no doubt whatsoever, that a novice in Bobi Wine, whose only excuse and stronghold is an unstable youth college, will give Museveni a free walk to the statehouse by midday.
The Writer is NELSON BWIRE KAPO an Independent Contributoror