By Odaka Asuman
I had recently taken a decision to stop writing so that I also get time of just reading and learning from people’s writings. Unfortunately, people from whom I had thought of learning from have also been sub merged into the current social media hostile exchanges of punches. This has made them all avoid focusing on the real issue but insults.
For one to understand the current open exchange of hostile words between #HEBobiWine and #DrKizzaBesigye, s/he has only to remember that it all started from Bugiri municipality elections and the fact is that the man from BUGIRI MUNICIPLITY has a central role in extinguishing this fire. (THOSE WHO KNOW ACTUALLY KNOW THIS, THOSE WHO DON’T WANT TO KNOW CAN CHOOSE TO IGNORE AND FACE THE CONSEQUENCES).
The misreading of the situation on ground, the misjudgment of the circumstances, underestimation of Basalirwa’s capacity especially in the wider struggle beyond Bugiri, the disregard of the popular opinion at hand, the over estimation of some of the actors, the minimizing character on the part of some and the complete failure to read the signs of the day combined – led us into this trap.
When the Bugiri municipality elections were announced by the Electoral Commission, on behalf of my party (JEEMA), i personally drafted letters to all registered political parties and personally delivered them to respective recipients.
The additional letter was to Dr. Kizza Besigye as leader of the “people’s government”. My request to them was that they support my candidate and I gave reasons why. This is how the failed negotiation between the JEEMA and the FDC delegations came about.
Two political parties (NRM and FDC) chose to ignore my request while the rest responded positively.
My first fear which also i put in writing and posted on various social media outlets was that we should not allow Hon. Kyagulanyi Robert and Dr. Kizza Besigye to go head on, whether directly or through proxies because the defeat of one’s candidate will not only divide our forces but would demystify the strength of the other in addition to creating a disharmonious environment thereafter. I specifically had a long chat with one of the most senior members of the FDC and requested the member not to risk allowing a “contest” between Dr. Kizza Besigye and Hon. Kyagulanyi Robert because it would give the NRM operatives ground to concentrate their diversionary machinations and concentrate it between the two as they shield Mr. Museveni off the pressure we had already generated.
Of course, as things turned out, my advice was flatly ignored. I then wrote a piece predicting that whatever the outcome of Bugiri election, a new political liberation front was going to result out of there. That it was also going to render opposition political supremacy a contested position, and the political contest was to change from election to a liberation one. I can gladly state that nearly all what I predicted is happening today.
The second fear is that I knew that Bugiri was not going to be the end but the beginning and the impact would soon find battle ground elsewhere like it rightly found in Arua, etc. I also knew that the State would take advantage and inflame the different strategy (not of objective) out of proportions, instruct their agents to open up many fake social media accounts for insulting, abusing, maligning, defaming one of the two in favor of the other.
Their calculation is that this would automatically create anger on the opposite camp which the other side would answer back. Of course this has also been worsened by the recklessness of some of the known actors, the conduct of partisanship and biasness of some media houses.
My personal assessment is that Dr. Kizza Besigye is still a formidable force to contend with and Hon. Robert Kyagulany is a rising star. It’s therefore a mistake for anybody to dismiss the other’s role in the liberation processes.
Since the difference is not of objective but of strategy, it’s easy to reconcile. And if they fail to reconcile, the people of Uganda will differentiate who truly serves their interests.
I want to further appeal to our social media activist (the genuine ones of course) to moderate their languages towards each other.
For God and my country
The writer is a former MP candidate 2016 and prospective MP Tororo municipality 2021