By Hudu Hussein
I have three questions to ask; First and foremost, If People Power is stronger than the People in Power, then why would “People Power” want to become the People in Power? Secondly, are we taking the security we have for granted? And thirdly, is there an invincible hand in the Arua by election aftermath?
One does not need to have lived in a failed state, in a war torn country, in Somalia, Libya, Central Africa Republic, Syria, or in an Afghanistan of a sort to be in position to tell the correct tale of the effect of violence, riots and mass killings. Thanks to the Museveni lead NRM government, many Ugandans only watch/read about that. The Uganda police and its sister security agencies have tried to contain violence with a few mistakes here and there, but on the overall, they guarantee peace and security in Uganda. Consequently, some people seem to be taking that for granted and are thereby cheering and chest thumping over the excitement of those who nurture violence.
When the events that triggered the violence in Egypt and subsequently, the entire Arab spring in North & Central Africa broke out, nobody foresaw the possibility of over 1 million people dying. This seemed like a one off demonstration with no potential to escalate into mass death. This unconsciousness partly explain the complacency with which the Sudanese and Congolese nationals joined John Garanga’s SPLM, Pierre Bemba, Charles Taylor etc, in Sudan and DRC not knowing that there were other foreign hands fanning these conflicts for their selfish benefits. Consequently, many innocent lives were lost in a conflict that was largely orchestrated and managed by silent forces taking advantage of the challenges the country and some citizens face.
The aftermath of the Arua by election has seen foreign agents and opportunistic Ugandan populists who incite innocent Ugandans to riot, thereby attempting to turn the peaceful country into the Kenya of 2007, 2012 & 2017 after their general elections.
In 2011, the invincible hand was seen in the post Electoral violence using Dr. Kizza Besigye’s walk to work in an attempt to bring the Arab spring to Uganda. During this episode, innocent youth had been mobilised to burn the city but government was able to handle this challenge and the Besigye sponsors miserably failed and pulled out.
Today, the same invisible hand is back, this time identifying Bobi Wine as a softer agent, to deliver what so far I now regard as MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. They set out by sponsoring his community projects, bankrolled his Kyadondo By election campaign, tried to improve his public image like taking him for further studies, bankrolling the candidates he identifies with during by elections, giving him international media coverage, opened pesudo twitter and facebook accounts, etc, with the main objective of overthrowing government so that they remote manage him to meet their neocolonial targets, including promoting homosexuality. Such a President, a puppet, very weak to stand on his own, to question his masters can never transform Uganda. Like the Besigye 2011 walk to work, President Museveni’s strength is being underestimated and opportunists are now beyond false glory, abusing the President as usual, ridiculing him and belittling him. But if really people power is stronger than the people in power, then why would the people power want to become the people in power? The spirit of Article one of our constitution envisages supremacy of the people. But also, and rightly so, the same article goes on to limit the power of the people by subjecting it to the constitution when it outlaws this power by saying that the people should exercise their power according to the constitution. Any power by the people outside the constitutional order is an attempt to outlaw the constitution and for that reason, it becomes unconstitutional. This explains intervention of the state which has the monopoly of violence!
A good example is how Hydro-electric Power (HEP) is made. At the Karuma, Bujagali and other falls, water is used to generate power. However, that does not make water, Power, so much that when the power is made, water can not risk to reduce its self to a nuisance by touching on the live wires which have power. When the state that has power tries to refocus and realign the people for the benefit of the entire community, the populists instead incite the people because it works in their favour. Fortunately, President Museveni is still sober and alert and all indications show that this plan too is failing. In fact, there are other opposition leaders who were given this offer but because some how, they put Uganda above self, they declined this foreign offer. If they were not as sober and patriotic, they certainly would have been the best agents for these foreigners to be remote controlled and cause mayhem in the country. Fortunately for them, Bobi Wine’s demeanour presents a viable target, to dance to their music and cause chaos.
In light of all this, some elites with exhibitionist tendencies and cheap popularity are rather causing more confusion, some of these good friends think that opposing and criticising govt is a sign of an objective and informed person while those who support government and are against their subversive traits are regarded as sycophants. Some members of the civil society organisations continue to hoodwink innocent youth hiding behind democracy and Human Rights yet most of them are members of the opposition. They therefore exploit every situation for the benefit of the a few of their partners in the opposition.
When our neighbours slide into violence, many lives were lost due to reckless political maneuvers of this nature, death didn’t and will not segregate between the sycophants and the objective and informed people. This is very injurious to us all, it undermines the interest of the common good, and will affect all of us.
My appeal to us all is to try to exercise self control and restraint; let’s offer responsive leadership. Let’s prevail over our teams, let’s put Uganda above-self. Attaining power should be considered through constitutional and democratic means. Riots and illegal demonstrations will only rob us of the precious time and peace we should be using to work and grow our country. Violence will only cause more deaths and destroy people’s morale and capacities to develop themselves. Nobody should die innocently. Let’s shun violence, let’s shun fake news, misinformation and misrepresentation by some members of the media.
The writer is a Communication Assistant with the Government Citizen Interaction Centre (GCIC), Ministry of ICT and National Guidance