Christopher Okidi, the leader of Democratic Party’s (DP) Youth Wing has rebuked their opposition counterparts for celebrating the recent defection of its members.
A group of eleven DP Members of Parliament (MP) including; Mukono Municipality Legislator Betty Nambooze and Busiro East’s Medard Ssegona crossed to newly formed National Unity Platform (NUP).
This has since sparked off debate with some analysts presupposing that DP’s political end is nigh even before the nation goes to the polls.
However, while addressing party members on Tuesday, Okidi said celebrating such a move was a mistake.
“I thought that was disappointing because if a person leaves the DP to NUP, that is an own goal. And I have never seen any football tournament where people celebrate an own goal,” he retorted.
Even then, he said, this was not the first time the party was facing a mass exodus of its members and as such members must focus on the noble goal of rebuilding their political organisation.
“This is not the first time DP is experiencing defections. In 1964, twenty members crossed from the Democratic Party led then by the leader of Opposition Basil Bataringanya,” Okidi argued.
“Only six remained in the DP and these were one, Boniface Byanyima, Patel, Alex Latim, Martin Okello and Gasper Oda,” he added.
Coincidentally, former Kawempe South MP Richard Sebuliba Mutumba said that he was approached to join unnamed political outfits but deemed it wise to remain in his mother party.
“I was once a whip of the DP. I could not spoil a party that I have built. How can I get a machete, bow and spear and downsize DP? As a student of institutionalism, what kind of courage can I sort of create that I participated in the death of DP?” he wondered.
To Okidi, this incident might be a blessing in disguise for members to re-organize without the usual headache caused by malcontents.
It is understood that the Party has now set its eyes on revamping its Uganda Young Democrats (UYD) mobilization wing after years of infighting.
Youthful faces that are likely to feature on DP’s ticket include Okidi himself who is eyeing the Gulu East Legislative Seat, Sumayiya Muwonge and Grace Lanyero who are targeting the Kampala and Omoro Woman MP seats among many others.
In the case of Muwonge, it remains to be seen whether she can outmuscle NUP’s Shamim Malende and Forum for Democratic Change’s (FDC) Stella Nyanzi.
Gashumba speaks out
Meanwhile, speaking at the same even, political analyst Frank Gashumba dismissed fear that formation of the National Unity Platform (NUP) could deal a blow to other opposition parties in the forthcoming elections.
Gashumba said while a number of opposition politicians appear frightened because of NUP’s sudden appearance on the political horizon, its political candle looks dim.
For one, he pointed out that majority of politicians therein are only looking for political survival and not interested in transforming the organization into a formidable political vehicle.
“There is an MP who called me and asked me, ‘Gashumba how do you move with a Ganja taker?’ But now they are busy supporting the man they were calling a Ganja smoker,’” he pointed out.
“All these fools that are around him nowadays were calling him all sorts of names. They don’t want Bobi Wine; they are after lighting their political candle. They don’t love this country, they don’t like Bobi,”” said Gashumba.