Can the PLU Survive Future Political Tension Ahead of the 2026 General Elections?

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Can the PLU Survive Future Political Tension Ahead of the 2026 General Elections?
Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba in Masaka

The recent conflict involving Frank Gashumba, deputy chairman of the PLU in Central Uganda, has brought the party's internal divisions into the public eye. Gashumba's two-page letter accusing his superiors of corruption and conspiracy, followed by his controversial social media posts, have raised serious concerns about the party's stability. The subsequent disciplinary proceedings and the refusal of key figures like Michael Mawanda to comment publicly only add to the perception of a party in disarray.

Challenges Ahead

1. Restoring Unity

The primary challenge for the PLU is restoring unity among its leadership. The internal divisions need to be addressed urgently to prevent further erosion of trust within the party ranks. If the party fails to present a cohesive leadership, it risks losing credibility among voters who are looking for stable and reliable governance.

2. Public Trust and Image

The public infighting has damaged the PLU's image, making it appear as a party more concerned with internal power struggles than addressing the electorate's needs. Rebuilding public trust will require transparent and decisive action to resolve these conflicts and demonstrate a commitment to integrity and accountability.

3. Electoral Strategy

With the 2026 general elections approaching, the PLU must formulate a compelling electoral strategy. This requires a united leadership that effectively communicates the party's vision and policies to the voters. Continued infighting could distract from campaign efforts and undermine the party's electoral prospects.

4. Opposition Exploitation

The PLU's internal conflicts allow opposition parties to capitalize on the perceived weakness. If the PLU cannot quickly resolve its issues, it risks being outmanoeuvred by opponents who can present themselves as more stable and united alternatives.

Potential Pathways to Stability

1. Conflict Resolution Mechanisms

Implementing robust conflict resolution mechanisms within the party can help address disputes before they escalate. This includes mediation committees, transparent disciplinary processes, and regular dialogue forums for members to express concerns and suggestions.

2. Leadership Accountability

Holding all leaders accountable to the party's code of conduct and ensuring that allegations of corruption are investigated and addressed transparently will help restore faith in the party's leadership.

3. Strengthening Party Structures

Enhancing the party's organizational structures and ensuring effective communication between different levels of the party can help prevent misunderstandings and foster a more collaborative environment.

4. Focus on Policy and Vision

Shifting the focus from internal disputes to the party's policies and vision for Uganda can help re-engage both members and voters. Highlighting a clear plan for addressing key issues such as unemployment, security, and economic development will be crucial.


The PLU faces a critical juncture as it prepares for the 2026 general elections. The ability to overcome its current internal conflicts and present a united front will be pivotal for its survival and success. The PLU can navigate these turbulent times and emerge as a stronger political force by implementing effective conflict resolution strategies, ensuring leadership accountability, and focusing on a clear policy agenda. The next few months will be crucial in determining whether the party can reconcile its differences and convince the electorate that it remains a viable option for leadership in Uganda.

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