Last week Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni picked nomination forms for renewing his 30 years hold on power.
His party, the NRM, has used all means to block whoever intended to contest against him in the party’s primaries.
The party parliamentary caucus launched the sole candidature scheme in February 2014 and has been promoting it ever since.
It was followed public outcry over wrongly perceived intention to be succeeded by his son in the so-called Muhozi Project – which actually did not exist but the rumor was generated for diversonary purposes.
Fresh on the long list of victims of his political agenda is his long time comrade, Amama Mbabazi.
Until recently, Mbabazi had stood as the only historical member whose association with Museveni was still intact after many others were knocked off at different stages of Museveni’s “life Presidency”.
When it was suspected that Mbabazi had intended to seek the highest office in the country, Museveni dropped him from the positions of Prime Minister and party Secretary Generalship.
His efforts to consult with the electorate were frustrated by the regime security machinery who arrested him and continue to harass and arrest his supporters.
He has now withdrawn from contesting on the party ticket but insists that he will remain a party member and will contest as an independent candidate.
Unfortunately, Mbabazi who is yet to come to the reality of Museveni’s “dictatorial tendencies” is preoccupied with legalities.
By the time he realises that autocrats follow no law, he will be politically ‘6 feet deep’.
Unless Mbabazi stops being shy from the reality of Museveni’s dictatorship and resolve to destroy Uganda thus adjust his approach to the ugly situation, he is in for a big surprise of his life.
He will be framed on criminal charges and sent to jail the same way Dr. Kizza Besigye was treated.
The current regime false pretense to tackle corruption is a smoke screen to frame Mbabazi while at the same time hoodwinking Ugandans that Museveni is serious with fighting corruption.
With both the regime cadre law enforcement agencies, Judicial officers, Museveni has all that it takes to finish off his political opponents.
The regime is very mindful of the fact that the masses are craving for change for which Dr. Besigye is riding on his popular nationwide mobilization tour and call for change through civil disobedience.
Parallel to neutralising Mbabazi, the regime has the uphill task of ensuring that Dr. Besigye does not come up as the main opposition party flag bearer.
Once Dr. Besigye is rigged out, he and many of those towing his line of civil disobedience will be arrested and charged with inciting violence/terrorism.
Gen David Ssejusa who is currently towing the Dr. Besigye school of thought will also be dealt with in the same way.
The regime will undermine the cohesion and strength of the much cherished opposition alliance (TDA) through fomenting of further division in the traditional political parties (DP and UPC).
Museveni has of recent been courting the northern region and its not by coincidence that the architects of the split in DP and UPC are Norbert Mao and Jimmy Akena respectively, who hail from northern region.
Norbert Mao has in the past been a stumbling block in opposition alliance to Museveni’s advantage and is set to do it again.
His being very crafty and ambitious coupled by his closeness to the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, makes him well placed to be used by Museveni.
Between now and end of November 2015, the regime will focus on the above mentioned behind the curtains political schemes while at the same time building capacity for the security forces and the power of cash as that main weapons for the final March 2016 showdown.
Papal visit and winning back the West
The timing is dictated by the impending Papal visit at the end of November 2016 which Museveni intends to exploit to boost his international image.
The same period will also witness improved cosmetic security and political freedom and tolerance by the regime.
The ongoing security swoops under cover of the Papal visit targeting unemployed urban youth will be intensified in order to deplete urban centers with the youth who may take part in civil disobedience.
Those youth will be subdued through arrests and detentions while others will either flee to rural areas or forced become less active through bribery.
There is a high possibility that after the Pope’s visit, the state will try to win back the attention of the West and more especially President Obama and the USA.
It happened in 2010 when the West had put Museveni in the spotlight over his intentions to seek another term and he had been shy to declare his intention.
After a twin terror attack in Kampala left over 70 dead, immediately President Obama made a telephone call to Museveni reassuring him of USA’s support in fighting terrorists.
Indeed in that confusion, Museveni simply embarked on campaigns without even declaring that he was to seek another term.
The murder of Muslim clerics and the lead Prosecutor Joan Kagezi and the on going trial proceedings are revealing a lot of anomalies by the security and law enforcement agencies.
Dividing opposition further
Once the Papal visit is over and the world has turned its eyes off Uganda, the TDA will have not held and some political parties will have opted out of the process leaving Mao’s DP and Akena’s UPC in the race.
The elections will be conducted in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.
Gen Aronda the Minister of Internal Affairs will play a pivotal role in the electoral process to ensure Museveni’s high score assisted by the Commission’s Secretary, Sam Rwakoojo.
Moreover, already Gen Aronda has been at the helm of preparing the voters register from the fraudlent National ID project.
He will also coordinate the stifling of the media before,during and after the election in conjunction with the Media Center, Uganda Communication Commission (UCC), the Election Security Task Force under Gen Muhoozi’s SFG and the regime Police in liaison with the Information Minister Gen Jim Muhoozi.
If Dr. Besigye will have been eliminated from the electoral process, the voter turn out will be very small and Museveni will be declared the winner.
This will be after security forces will have been deployed at every corner of the country unlike in 2001 when concentration was in Kampala city.
As usual opposition will cry foul backed by the West which will stop at only discrediting the exercise and calling upon the regime to form a government of national unity.
As the new government will be settling down and consolidating its victory, the opposition pressure will loose momentum and civil society activities will be highly curtailed thus many will gradually join the oligarchy.
Security services will be reorganised and restructured with many old guards either retired or depending on the situation relocated to other sectors.
Journey to EAC presidency
Towards 2021, Museveni will then focus so much on East African Community political intergration in the hope that he becomes its first President.
That is why currently there is renewed vigor to sensitize Ugandans about the community.
Depending on how best he manages to work with the new President of Tanzania who will have been elected in October 2015, he already has the support of Kenya and Rwanda.
He will work towards bringing on board South Sudan and Somalia in order to secure a military alliance under the guise of an economic block.
The Pierre Nkurunziza regime in Burundi is likely to fall in the near future unless Nkurunziza kneels before him and Paul Kagame.
There is no doubt Museveni will come out of the forthcoming elections as the winner and will continue to rule Uganda.
However, the current opposition leaders have the key to changing the trend of events only if they can switch to realistic approach to the task before them lest history will judge them harshly.
Sarah Nalukenge, the author, is a social and political commentator