Unlike in the classroom, life first tests you before it teaches you the lesson. And it is true too, that you will continue to seat the test until you learn the lesson.
This week the political opposition came up empty handed in their attempt to agree on a single candidate for next year’s presidential election.
The Democratic Alliance (TDA) last week, with four presidential flag bearer nominees --- FDC’s Kizza Besigye, DP Norbert Mao, Former vice president Dr Gilbert Bukenya and former prime minister Amama Mbabazi, it was hoped by mid this week they would have a single candidate they could rally around.
The NRM’s President Yoweri Museveni had already been duly nominated during the weekend.
Reports were that very quickly they had narrowed down the choices to Besigye and Mbabazi, which was not a surprise, but it also became clear that both men were unwilling to budge, to give way for the other and give up their ambition to lead a unified opposition.
They say we are wiser after the fact.
Beyond the individual personalities of the two men one wonders whether TDA ever had a chance at achieving this goal.
They say the seeds of any endevour's destruction will be sown at the beginning of the process and that light we have to ask, who is TDA?
TDA has projected itself as a pressure group that will force government into good behaviour, with the secondary aim of unifying the opposition under a single candidate ahead of next year’s polls. As time has gone it can be argued that the emphasis has shifted to the latter from the former.
The idea seems to have been that they would whip up popular discontent against the government which would force them to a negotiating table, where they would steam roll the NRM into a raft of concessions not limited to electoral reforms.
The idea was good but the execution may have fallen short.
"TDA did not muster any traction among the masses – despite their shrillest protests, and therefore made little to no impression on the government, the evidence being that in bringing constitutional amendments to the house a few weeks ago, the cabinet all but ignored TDA’s “Citizen’s compact”...
The truth of the matter is that TDA is a political elite grouping who have analysed our situation and have a proposed solution to the country’s challenges. They do not have a popular mandate, like parliament or other elective offices.
This is not a crime and is not necessarily a weakness.
The political movements of the world have been directed by men and women who take it upon themselves to crystalise the society’s problems for the masses and then rally those same masses to overthrow the status quo.
The trick of course is to sell the alternative view to the masses. This takes time, patience and persistence.
People dwell on the romanticism of the Arab spring or the Ukraine’s orange revolution or even our very own NRA bush war, they forget the hard work, disappointment and the numerous times victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat.
Truth be told TDA, this time last year was not in existence, is looking more and more like a desperate smash-and-grab attempt at State House without paying the price that high endeavour demands...
I would like to be wrong, if only because this country needs a credible opposition, not only made of high profile, charismatic individuals but in addition the opposition we look forward to is one which not has men and women of substance as their flag bearers, but who are also backed by organised operations which can project their will nationwide.