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5 similarities that Raila, Besigye’s resistance-defiance campaigns share

Perhaps by design or default, Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga and his Ugandan counterpart Kiiza Besigye, are currently rallying their supporters in a resistance campaign against the governments of their respective countries.

Here are the five distinct similarities between these two campaigns.

1. Odinga’s campaign is coded #Resist while Besigye has themed his #Defiance. The objective, however is the same, to resist or defy directives from the government and system with an aim of creating some economic sabotage.

2. Both campaigns have unveiled dress codes. Nasa’s dress code features a white t-shirt and green cap, both emblazoned with the word #Resist. Besigye, meanwhile, has opted for a red ribbon which is mostly tied by his supporters on the head. Red clothing, mostly ties, shirts and caps, are accepted herein as alternatives.

3. The campaigns are led by persons with similar attributes and history. Both Odinga and Besigye have been detained in the past by the governments of their respective countries. They both front a reformist agenda backed by a considerable following from the masses, even if the following has never translated into enough votes to catapult them to State House. Both have severally complained of being rigged out in elections.

4. Both are seeking the presidency. Odinga’s campaign is primarily meant to protest what he claims was a rigged election in August, push for electoral reforms under which fresh elections should be conducted within 90 days. Besigye meanwhile, maintains defiance is the best approach to stop planned constitutional amendments that target to remove among other, age-limits on those wishing to vie for the presidency. He also argues this will eventual topple the government in Uganda has has opted to ‘use all the state resources to keep it in power instead of the welfare of the people.’

5. If successful, both campaigns could have far reaching economical implications. Odinga has already asked his supporters to boycott specific products and services from companies he claims have been supportive to the ‘illegal’ system. On his part, Besigye is advocating for the same cause albeit on a general basis. “For example if all the farmers in the country defied taking their harvested food to the markets thus creating food crisis in Kampala, the whole world shall listen and there shall be attention from all stakeholders,” he says.