Fat egos clash as TDA vets joint candidate


Besigye, Oguttu and Mafabi at TDA meeting yesterday/ URN photo 

The Democratic Alliance [TDA] is today, Friday expected to announce a joint candidate who will represent the coalition of opposition parties and civil society organisations in 2016 general elections.

The alliance officials and the four candidates; Kizza Besigye, Amama Mbabazi, Norbert Mao and Gilbert Bukenya, are currently in a closed meeting at Royal Suites hotel in Bugolobi to select the one who will represent them.

The race is mainly between FDC’s Besigye and NRM’s Mbabazi whose “fat egos” nearly brought down the alliance.

There were chaotic scenes yesterday when FDC youth pulled Besigye out of the meeting asking him to leave the alliance.

The youth accuse TDA of putting Mbabazi above Besigye and “favouring him” through the selection process.

TDA secretariat director, Zac Niringiye, says it is a team that matters most and not individuals.

“TDA is what we have for hope of a future. It will work. We are focused on Uganda 1st!”

The alliance then resolved to shelve the Candidates Selection Committee report that ranked Mbabazi as the best aspirant for the alliance.

The alliance Spokesperson, Wafula Oguttu, told Journalists at the Royal Suites hotel in Bugolobi where the TDA Summit has been sitting since Wednesday that the committee had over-stepped its mandate when it graded the presidential aspirants.

Oguttu explained that the committee chaired by Livingstone Okello-Okello was not supposed to vet the aspirants but rather process nomination forms and forward names to the Summit which is to come up with a Joint Presidential Candidate.

Earlier, Oguttu was angry at media for reporting that the alliance was falling apart.

“So what happened to interrogation and inquiry skills in our journalism? Why so many of these selected and half truths about TDA and its processes? Why create stories about interviewing candidates which never happened?”

He said the selection of TDA flag bearer is the responsibility of the Summit and the Summit was doing that quite well.

Mao speaks

In his “Notes to TDA”, Mao who is one of the aspiring candidates said consensus building is employed to settle conflicts that involve multiple parties and usually multiple issues.

According to Mao, this approach seeks to transform adversarial interactions into a cooperative search for information and solutions that meet all parties’ interests and needs.

He said it was critical that the definition of success is made clear from the beginning of any consensus-building process.

“If some people are not in agreement and might be excluded from the final solution, participants have a duty to make sure that every effort has been made to meet the interests of the holdouts.”

He was afraid that such holdouts may become “spoilers,” — people who try to “spoil” or block implementation of any agreement that is reached.

“…with the main opposition leaders being influential former members of the ruling party, they struggle to offer a convincing alternative or to effectively criticise a system they benefitted from, or in some cases helped create,” Mao said in reference to Amama who is still an NRM member.


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