Vianca Consults Ltd

International Political Strategists for Africa. African Political Consultants. Political Medicine Men African Strategists for African Politicians participating in African Politics

Operating as usual

02/07/2020

How to win Parliamentary and Local Government elections whether scientific or not.

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In 2021, Ugandans will be heading to a general election that will see leaders elected at the national, parliamentary and local government levels. The buzz around the country is revolving around what the Electoral Commission has called the 2021 Scientific election. Scientific or not, what the contestants are concerned about is winning the election and getting to serve the people or fulfill the mandate expected of the office bearer. In this post, I will only focus on the elections at Parliamentary and Local Government levels. I will discuss the Presidential elections at a later date.

As many aspects of our lives have been professionalized i.e. from funeral management to sports coaching and events management, political campaign management has lagged behind and remains largely a jua kali affair mostly in the hands of what some would call passionate smooth talkers in the community. As we prepare for elections in 2021, there is a feeling that a time has come for this to change and my firm Vianca Consults Ltd and myself find ourselves at the forefront of this revolution.

I agree that it is good to have a trusted person in charge of your campaign. On these shores, the search for a trusted person usually shrinks the fishing net to close family and kin or a tight friends' circle. Be that as it may, a touch of professionalism and method will do your campaign a whole lot of good and give you a more sure route to victory in the elections.

This is where I may be of interest to you. While, my firm is signing up candidates on a first-come-first-serve basis to manage their campaigns using modern techniques involving data science, cyber techniques and military intelligence-esque propaganda, we also feel that we have a duty to help those candidates that may not afford our services to run their campaigns professionally and with some kind of measurable and reliable methodology.

We have therefore developed a 10 day (2 working weeks) course on 'Running a successful campaign in a local election in the 21st Century Uganda'. This course is going to be delivered entirely online and will cost the participants only One hundred thousand shillings (100,000/-).

The course designers have drawn from a lot of experience organising and winning local (Parliamentary and local government elections) in Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Guinea-Bissau among other African countries.

On successful completion of the course, the attendees will have gained knowledge on how to professionally do the following;

⦁ Understand the role of Political Parties in parliamentary and local elections

⦁ Prepare for the election

⦁ Deal with research, strategy and targeting during the campaign

⦁ Establish and maintain contact with the voters

⦁ Identify local issues and crafting policy positions on the key issues influencing an election

⦁ Develop campaign messages that resonate with the voters

⦁ Become a powerful polical communicator

⦁ Build a campaign communications strategy

⦁ Handle and monitor digital and new media communications during the campaign

⦁ Mobilise resources to support the election campaign

The course is designed to benefit the candidates themselves, the campaign managers and local political consultants and strategists helping various political party candidates or independent candidates in this election period. Upon successful completion of the course, a Certificate will be presented to the attendee and they will always receive free mentorship from our team as they go about their work.

Admissions for the first intake are in progress and the Course starts on 6th July 2020. In order to be admitted into the course, please send an email with your phone number to [email protected] or WhatsApp 0782 442 375.

16/06/2020

Check this out...

A united opposition is the wrong approach - a candid note to Hon. Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) and Dr. Kizza Besigye

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On Monday 15th June 2020, supporters and sympathizers of Uganda’s feeble political opposition got some exciting news as a result of the leading opposition stalwarts meeting and agreeing to foster some kind of unity in the run up to the next General elections in 2021. Ironically or coincidentally, this came on the exact date of the 5th anniversary of the (in)famous proclamation by the hitherto powerful former NRM Secretary General and Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi that Ugandans had a choice to opt for more of the same or to change course. Even though there was no pandemic at the time, still the tight grip of Museveni on Uganda’s politics forced Mbabazi to use a video to announce his Presidential ambitions much like the new normal of today! Was it prophetic of the times to come? Well, read on…

In the recent past, I have either interacted with the main political actors in Uganda’s opposition or at best with their closest advisers and strategists. What continues to baffle me is the shallowness and casualness with which these gentlemen and women go about politics, given the importance of politics in the daily lives and prosperity [or the lack of it] of Ugandans. I do not want to bash the opposition at this stage, but I will explain myself in this article and then leave you to judge for yourself.

Since 1996, Uganda’s opposition has attempted to unite against Museveni in the Presidential elections bar 2001 when there was not much talk of opposition unity largely due to the natural momentum and excitement resulting from the novelty of Besigye’s candidature and the Nasser Ssebaggala factor of Hajji alagidde. It is worth noting that at no election in which Museveni has been candidate since 1996 has the opposition (united or divided) ever won even 35% of Parliamentary seats on their side. If we take the widely held view that the Presidential vote has been rigged in favour of the incumbent all this time, has this been true for the majority of the Parliamentary seats? The answer is a resounding NO.

In fact, at no election has Uganda's opposition (united or divided) ever managed to field candidates in all Constituencies for Member of Parliament. Does this not dent their chances of even increasing their stake in Parliament? How do you explain to a voter who does not like the NRM in Moroto or Kibaale in a Constituency where there is no opposition candidate aligned with the leading opposition Presidential candidate that the opposition is serious about taking power and governing Uganda thereafter? I bet this is harder than selling a rosary to a Pentecostal pastor. You may want to ask why am mixing the Presidential and Parliamentary contests, but for you to understand it, you need to study the anatomy and physiology of Uganda's politics and political system(s).

In pushing for opposition unity, the so called opposition strategists often cite the 2002 Kenya General Election that saw Emilio Stanley Mwai Kibaki ascend to the Presidency at the expense of Daniel Moi's anointed successor Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. Pressed harder for other examples, they often return a stare with no regional nor continental relevant stories to cite. Again, the reference to this 2002 Kibaki win is born out of ignorance of the anatomy and physiology of Kenyan politics in the last three decades and this is where I am going to start my dissection and then I shall revert to the Ugandan case.

In 2002, Mwai Kibaki was the candidate of the National Rainbow Coalition that comprised of many parties headed (practically owned) by numerous ethnic kingpins. One thing was certain; each kingpin could guarantee victory of a size-able or respectable number of seats in Parliament from their region and as a result, the National Rainbow Coalition (NaRC) won the majority of Parliamentary seats in that election as well. Moi and Kenyatta's Kenya African National Union (KANU) Party lost the Presidency and also had the minority share of seats at the Parliament. In simple terms, barring internal disagreements within NaRC, Kibaki would never run into problems with the Legislature. If Besigye and Bobi Wine look at themselves in the mirror today, can they tell us frankly that they have a concrete plan to win the majority seats in Parliament in the 2021 General elections or better still to field candidates in all parliamentary and local government constituencies?? Your guess is as good as mine!

Stretching my argument a little further, I find the comparison of today's Uganda under Museveni and Musevenism to the 2002 Kenya under Moi pedestrian to say the least. It is a case of comparing apples to oranges if you understand what I mean. Daniel Moi was merely surviving politically since 1992, running a country in which he not only had minority support, but could not even have the ability to mask it. In today's Uganda where putting on face masks is mandatory and symbolic, Museveni is a dominant political player whose personality has directed Uganda's politics for over three decades and even if he has minority support as Kizza Besigye and his die-hard supporters believe – he has managed to mask it through a series of scientific rigging exercises at the ballot over and over. In short, for the last 30 years or so, what Museveni wants in Uganda, Museveni gets. This was not really the case with Daniel Moi between 1990 and 2002. Moi had to be pragmatic and go to bed with the enemy or steal the scripts and lyrics of the enemy at times in order to survive politically.

For the uninitiated, let me explain this; In 1992 Moi only managed to retain the Presidency by winning 36.4% of the popular vote and his KANU Party won 100 of the 188 seats available (including nominated members mind you). In 1997, he only managed 40.6% of the popular vote and his party won slightly over 50% of the seats in the Parliament (107 out of 210). You can see that at no instance in his last 10 years did Moi ever win 50% of the popular vote in the rigged elections nor surmount 60% of the seats in the Legislature. This put his odds of having a successor go through at the 2002 poll at a minimum and it was not difficult to see that a divided opposition was always stronger than him in 1992 and 1997, so the only logical remedy to Moi and his political scion at the polls was uniting the opposition.

Any one who has not lived in a fictitious Uganda, but has been here in recent memory knows that Museveni has been very clinical in handling the election outcome (call it rigging if you like) and at no point of his rule has he ever been portrayed as weaker than the divided opposition. In short, the raw numbers in the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 suggest that a united opposition is not the easiest nor even one of the viable ways of removing Museveni, but a weakened and divided NRM is! This means that until such a time when the NRM is weakened and divided so as to fail to marshal 50% plus one of the votes cast for its perpetual Presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni, there is almost no hope for seeing a new face at Plot 1 Entebbe occupying Government (State) House. This ugly reality had better hit Besigye and Bobi Wine and their strategists early enough before many Ugandans are taken for another round of political circus that does not return any tangible results save for sloganeering and singing.

Now, let me turn to the anatomy of Uganda's politics. The 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda was framed by noble men and women who abhorred the idea of concentrating power within any one individual or institution. As such, they modeled the Constitution largely along that of the United States of America. That is what it is on paper at least, but in practice, this Constitution can result in a dictatorship in more ways than one.

The first option is where you have a strong personality in the Presidency who also enjoys fanatical blind support within his party that controls over two thirds of Parliament. In this case, we cannot avoid having a dictator for President. This is the situation that Yoweri Museveni created and has sustained over the years. In such a case, we can only pray for the benevolence of such a dictator President so that Otim and Nakawuki can realise some development in the country.

The second option is that of a strong Political party that wins majority seats in parliament, but fails to produce a President. In this case, if the party continuously whips its members against the position of the seating President, or against public interest, then we end up with a Parliamentary dictatorship. That way, Otim and Nakawuki would only pray for benevolence of the leadership of the majority party in Parliament. I must hasten to add that this is more of a hypothetical situation, but not an impossibility in totality.

The third option is where a President emerges from a minority party in Parliament or even comes as an independent, but goes to bed with the majority party in Parliament and he rules according to the whims of the majority party. Take for example, the NRM loses the Presidential contest to ANT's Mugisha Muntu and they retain the control of over two thirds of Parliament. That way Mugisha Muntu would have to govern at the whims of the NRM and when I say NRM, I guess you know that NRM is Museveni and Museveni is NRM. In practice. This is hypothetical, but also not an impossibility. A trial run in neighbouring D.R Congo is still going strong. It cannot be ruled out completely.

What I am labouring to show you is that for one to be President in Uganda and cause any meaningful change, they MUST also have a political vehicle that can control Parliament effectively. In the absence of that control at Parliamentary level, there may be a change of guard – largely of theoretical value at Plot 1 Entebbe, but no change at all as the country would be taken into an extended tenure of Musevenism since it only appears that the ruling NRM is the only vehicle capable of marshaling majority seats in the Legislature in the coming elections. Do I have to remind you that Bobi Wine has no registered political vehicle at the moment and Besigye is simply a lord in a weakened and deflated FDC? I hope you get what I mean. What do these two gentlemen bring to the table of a United opposition?

The billion shilling question for Besigye and Bobi Wine therefore is; Without a clear plan and capacity to win the majority seats in Parliament, how would the united opposition candidate effect meaningful change in Uganda?? If the question is just about removing Museveni and giving Bobi Wine or Besigye the chance to also 'eat', then I agree with them that we need a united opposition going into the 2021 Presidential elections, otherwise, politically awake Ugandans like yours truly will continue despising your politics and only view you for what you seemingly are; wheeler-dealers hell-bent on legitimising the Museveni hegemony and dynasty.

I have had to cut short my article to avoid writing a book in place of a Facebook post, but I will deal with the physiology of Uganda's politics in a separate article.

I humbly submit that if they continue hoodwinking Ugandans with this false narrative, Museveni will continue taking Kizza et al for Pizza!

Photo credit: The East African

26/05/2020

Are planning to run as President, a Member of Parliament, District Chairperson, City or Municipal Mayor in the Uganda General Elections of 2021? If the answer is yes, then give us a call. We need to prepare you for victory

07/10/2019
05/10/2019
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12/07/2019
Vianca Consults Ltd updated their information in their About section. 12/07/2019

Vianca Consults Ltd updated their information in their About section.

Vianca Consults Ltd updated their information in their About section.

Vianca Consults Ltd updated their phone number. 12/07/2019

Vianca Consults Ltd updated their phone number.

Vianca Consults Ltd updated their phone number.

What you can get for only UGX 350,000/- 22/12/2017

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