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Following the success of 'the octopus' in predicting the result of various World Cup matches, Tumusiime K. Deo wonders what role the cephalopod might play in Uganda's elections.

So the animal called the Octopus has performed excellently in predicting the winner of 10/13 World Cup games in South Africa! With such a level of perfection, everyone may soon be calling on prophetic Octopus to predict their future. However, can this magical animal predict the winner of the 2011 Ugandan Presidential elections?

Well, whereas the accuracy of the Octopus may not be in doubt, the necessity of employing this animal may not be warranted especially considering the unfolding events ahead of the much hyped elections. I watched the Police break down a peaceful Democratic Party rally with bullets and tear gas, and wondered whether at this rate it’s not obvious that the opposition is still unwelcome on the country’s political scene. DP President Norbert Mao had just uttered the Party’s old slogan of “DP Egumire” or DP is rock solid, when the anti-riot police pounced on him and his supporters, but why?

I really wonder who gives police such orders to disrupt any opposition rally-they have not done it once or twice but it has now become a routine. So, why would anyone even attempt to contest in an election where they are unwanted? Of course at this rate, we are only going to see more and more clashes as parties attempt to forcefully communicate their agenda to the same electorate competed for by the ruling party. You cannot continue to spray tear gas on unarmed citizens meeting to discuss their political future and expect them to coil back-surely a few stones will be thrown and the when windows are broken or blood is shed, usually the innocent ones suffer-please give us a break.

The opposition parties have been suffocated for many years since the NRM government came to power. They obviously have not yet gathered ample capacity even to traverse to traverse an entire country to sell their agenda. The only tool they have at their disposal, is holding mass rallies where people gather in one place and discuss their issues. I know the ruling party, with representatives down to parish level, has the capacity to do a house to house canvassing of votes-at this, the ground is terribly unleveled. A campaign rally quelled at such a crucial time, equals so many months lost in individual parties’ strategy, but what a shame!

In my view, as long as the pace of alienating political parties remains at the current momentum, the outcome of the 2011 Presidential Elections remains more than obvious. Octopus or no Octopus, as long as the elections are manned with the same ‘scorched earth approach of the Uruguayans against the entire African dream’, the opposition will have no chance of winning the “World Cup” in the present age!