Multi-party Politics in Uganda

Watch I MiniBuzz I Passengers discuss the state of multi-party politics in Uganda

Uganda’s oldest political party, the Democratic Party (DP), is embroiled in power struggle and confusion after its vice president for Buganda, Betty Nambooze, challenge the Norbert Mao leadership. Mao is the president of the DP.

Namboooze had attempted to call a consultative meeting that would start the process of impeaching the party president over suspected alliance with the ruling NRM party.

In the FDC party the affairs are no different. There infighting between a faction loyal to former party president Dr Kizza Besigye and another loyal to party president Mugisha Muntu. There was more polarization in the party when two candidates for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) were presented to parliament for election. The party lost as it did not win a seat at EALA.

Uganda Peoples Congress party which was once in power has two factions too. One faction is led by Jimmy Akena and another by Olara Otunnu and Prof. Joseph Bbossa.

The NRM party has its own rebel MPs who are always opposed to party positions. The NRM through its chairman has done much to undermine the opposition political parties by fishing members of the opposition parties into the government.

Ministers Beti Kamya, Betty Amongi, and Susan Nakiwala are members of the opposition Uganda Federal Alliance, UPC and DP respectively.

Need to know information:

  • In the recently concluded EALA elections the NRM party sided with UPC and DP candidates who were eventually elected edging out the FDC.
  • Uganda reverted to multiparty politics in 2005 after holding a referendum due to pressure from foreign donor countries.
  • At independence in 1962, Uganda was governed under a multiparty system with UPC and KY forming government and DP forming the official opposition.
  • Multiparty politics was banned in Uganda during Idi Amin rule who overthrew the Obote led UPC through a military coup.
  • After Amin had been overthrown by Tanzania and Ugandan exiles in 1979 there were multiparty elections organized in 1980.
  • When President Museveni and his NRA came to power in 1986 they banned multiparty politics claiming that such politics had divided Ugandan along religious and other social lines.
  • But in 2005 this ban was lifted as Uganda accepted multiparty politics again.
  • However, many political analysts have argued that Ugandans were not well sensitized about the effects, advantages of multiparty politics.
  • Some people view those who don’t belong to their political parties as enemies instead of seeing them as people with alternative political views.
  • Some people have been blackmailed whenever they try to secure jobs in the public sector, they are labeled sabtours.
  • Some people mistakenly think that being in opposition means opposing everything that those people in government suggest even the good programmes.
  • Being in opposition means you give alternative policies and programmes that can move the country forward.
  • All political parties subscribers are Ugandans with equal rights


  • There are over 50 political parties registered in Uganda but less than 10 are widely known
  • All Ugandans supporting different political parties have equal rights



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