Tuesday, December 7, 2010

IPC changes slogan and launches new strategy

It was excitement all around the country on Saturday as IPC launched its new slogan, theme and campaign strategy. Daily Monitor's Tabu Butagira and Pauline Kaire were in Jinja and relayed the event in this Sunday Monitor article.   

The Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC) yesterday emerged from the political salon agitated for change in a makeover its strategists hope will electrify voters to ditch incumbent President Museveni.

Dr Kizza Besigye, the IPC flag bearer and head of the Forum for Democratic Change party, speaking in Jinja yesterday, appeared buoyed; announcing “Change is Coming” as his new campaign theme - and that for other IPC candidates.

Insiders say this is a sharper and more appealing catchphrase than the “Together for Change” theme initially crafted to bond four opposition parties in the IPC amalgam.

These include FDC, Conservative Party, Justice Forum and Social Democratic Party that all agreed to field joint candidates, but have since faced headache in picking consensus parliamentary and local government contestants.

The IPC has now adopted “A New Beginning; A Bright Future; In Your Hands” as its slogan and re-activated five of its 13-point manifesto – dubbed “The Power of Five” - as the game-changing formula owing to their countrywide appeal.

Dr Besigye, after a month’s campaign, says the top issues affecting every Ugandan - and that he will prioritise to fix, if elected - are jobs and economic empowerment; quality education; a functional healthcare system; roads and infrastructure as well as support to farmers/agriculture.

“The February 18, 2011 election provides Ugandans with this opportunity and we are more determined than ever to win the election and bring positive change to this country,” he said. “It is time for change and the time is now.”
This is the third time Dr Besigye is contesting against Mr Museveni, having lost 2006 vote on the back of his promises that a “political tsunami” was underway to drown the ruling NRM.

Although he lost, the Supreme Court would later rule that both ballots were marred with irregularities, including rigging, ballot stuffing and voter intimidation.

In yesterday’s rebranding, the IPC upped the ante in mobilising voters and cash by energising each supporter to recruit, and follow up to the poll day, five new voters who in turn will each marshal an equivalent number of new supporters.
“The challenge of bringing victory does not belong to Dr Kizza Besigye alone ...if we want to secure a new beginning and brighter future; let us make an effort to make it happen.”
The supporters are being encouraged to make contributions, of any amount as low as Shs500 on weekly or monthly basis, to the IPC docket through mobile money and sending it directly to 0718932055, 0776433555 and 0756755555.

Dr Besigye said: “What we are doing is trying to make it easy to bring in a way for every FDC supporter to contribute to the campaign budget but at the same time ensure that it is not lost or mismanaged.”

Individuals with means and willing to give higher amounts of up to Shs100 million can make their donations to boost the campaigns, he said. According to the IPC flag bearer, they are soliciting money from their members not because they are running broke, but to interest supporters as stakeholders who will be willing to sacrifice and guard the votes to the end.

“We are not begging, but we want the people themselves to run this campaign until they deliver victory for themselves,” he said, admitting the ruling NRM camp had more money available to spend.
“Most of this money will be used for marketing our message of change.”

Dr Besigye put telecommunications companies providing the mobile money transfer service on notice that he will sue them if they tinker with members transactions under government directive.

Mobilisation of small amounts of finances at grassroots level was effectively used by US President Barack Obama to raise millions of dollars which oiled his campaign machinery, and eventually delivered him to victory.

The IPC is trying a similar feat, aware its rebranding would suck up more money in media advertising and other forms of display such as campaign posters, T-shirts and banners for both Dr Besigye and flag bearers for Parliament, LC 5, 3 and 1.

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