By Odaka Asuman
“The behavior of the State is not only hardening defiant behavior in Bobi Wine but creating Bobisim in many people,” Odaka
The rate at which events are unfolding in Uganda is so high that even the pretentious hypocritical elites seem to have lost count. The events are unfolding so fast as if to quickly close a chapter and begin on a new sheet; enno yandiba term egenda…
I have never witnessed a change of government in Uganda because I am almost born in President Museveni’s regime, grew and schooled during his regime, married and produced in his regime and I pray to the Almighty to help me survive his regime.
I don’t know any signs which come with change of government. It’s a question I have asked many elder persons I interact with to give some hints, please give us some hints on the signal!
Uganda has changed regimes eight times; therefore there must be some constant happening to indicate that we are in the evening of the regime or government.
We’ve learnt that for night to come there must be sunset, for a day to fall lights comes, for a storm to come, it presents wind, when rainy season is due, “muvule” trees shed their leaves, when dry season and famine are about, some caterpillars (Kungu in Luo) begin roaming around. In this case what is the signal…?
Now for those who have been around, what are the signs of a collapsing regime or change of government if not what we are observing today, because things just seem strange, people are stressed, hospitals are only concentration camps for the sick not a healing centers, schools have become business venture not where children go to get knowledge, armed uniforms are a sign of brute not of protection and pride of ordinary citizen, A 7 year old child (mbu fresh kid) is performing songs of adults, artists are now very prophetic. Everything is simply strange and unpredictable. (Is this the signal?)
This brings me to the topic under which am writing today’s article.
There has been debate as to whether HEBobiWine can be President or is he even a presidential material.
It seems a settled debate and if anybody wants to doubt, the reaction of the state towards him is the most viable evidence that he is the man to watch.
But to concertize and conclude this episode of debate, let me provide a few more reasons to open your eyes;
The loud silence of President Museveni propagandist led by Andrew Mwenda. Where reason ends, force begins yet force is the last line of defense for a reasonable man. But the loud silence of the NRM (Reasonable men) propagandist says a lot about a group in disarray, demoralized and retreating.
This silence says more about the moment of realities and possibilities of where the young man is actually headed to. The kind of force being used on Bobi is either as the last line of defense or to create an escape root for a retreating defeated team. Otherwise what would account for this silence? The Muzei is trying it out all alone unfortunately through the coercive arm
The West vs. the rest argument. If Mr. Museveni did anything really bad, it’s making the three regions develop sense of resentment of the people from Western Uganda.
To date, we have people who think all people from Western Uganda are in advantaged position, favored above others and taking advantages of the rest. This has concertized and cemented support for a non Western Bobi Wine.
Realizing this I saw an attempt by state operatives trying to state sponsor hate speech on social media between Baganda and northerners, thankfully it failed to again. In my opinion this alliance is unprecedented and pointing to something no less than change of government.
The geo-political trends. The recent unfolding in the great lakes and Africa generally is leaving president Museveni politically shabby and a complete odd man out. The peaceful transition of power in DRC, the resignation of Gen. Bashir is isolating the son of Kaguta as the only “Mubutu” acting out of fashion, reason and trend. The young leaders in the region are increasingly becoming queasy with the Kampala establishment.
Even the regional interest can no longer be served by him and there seem to be evidence to that effect.
They can’t afford to have unstable Uganda in this volatile region banking on a leader who is leaving on bonus time.
The contest between HEBobiWine vs. Gen. Museveni is a contest between today generation and yesterday’s moon. Naturally the region seems set for the rising star.
The Muslim anger against mistreatment. It’s true that Muslims have shouldered highest suffering, persecution and exclusion. They accuse this government and elements in government of a lot of atrocities. Despite all that, they have always voted for Mr. Museveni as if to thank him for the very things they continuously complain about.
The current feelers now indicate otherwise. The elites in the Muslim community seem to be finding new alliances and naturally seem to be Bobi Wine.
Whereas Museveni still banks on Haji K.K, Gen. Moses Ali, Hajji Moses Kigongo, etc, the real people who now speak for the Muslims in Uganda are Basalirwa Asuman, Latif Ssebagala, Semujju Nganda, Muhammad Nsereko, among others. So where they stand is very critical in making the next pointer. (Show us the signal!)
The international community shift. Mr. Museveni has enjoyed international support and good will more than any African leader. He has hosted 3 Popes, 3 US presidents, presidents and leaders of all most powerful governments in the world. He has been given largest grants, foreign aid and aid more than any of his predecessors.
He was even forgiven debts to zero. He however started taking these support for granted. What is coming out is that the new breed of African leader has disappointed his former darlings. The way he treats his opponents is embarrassing his friends and clearly out of capabilities to guarantee their interest. Equally the international political trends are clearly opting for the “odd” options of Bobi Wine caliber. Ukraine is the latest on the list. (Could this be the signal?)
The proliferation of the media. The set up of the media sector in Uganda was deliberately to divide and disintegrate this country contrary to the empty rhetoric of unity and patriotism. It’s connected and related to what has been done in all other sectors like schools, health, transport etc. To restrict myself to the media and specifically radios. Whereas before 1986 Uganda had almost one station, this radio station reflected and promoted national character and patriotism.
The whole country would tap from the same source of news and information. Sharing from the same source and yardstick, this made media house to balance coverage and consumption thereby forcing government to not only open up to the who country but even the distribution of the national cake was determined fairly well.
The deceptive liberalizing of the sector is perpetuating sectarianism since nearly every tribe has a radio station which concentrates on reporting only issues about that tribe. Example; if I come from Nagongera, go to Nagongera p/s, go Nagongara S.S.S., then go to Busitema ( Nagongera) University and works at Nagongera Town council and listen to Radio Veros FM. Now where are the exposures, where is the sense of unity and where is patriotism?
The positive now is social media which has emerged as the biggest source of news for the young people who have emerged as the bulk of those opposing Mr. Museveni.
The other advantage is that these local radios since are being managed by the young people they will always carry Bobi’s news moreover in the local language so that there is no doubt that everybody understands, making even the elders to begin comparing what they thought was a good regime to the past bad ones.
The infectious Bobi Wine personality. Bobi is naturally an infectious descendant of Adam. He is naturally creative, his background inspires many, he is courageously formidable, very humble at personal level and knows how to turn his weakness into opportunities.
When he first spoke politics, i know a person who dismissed him as a Muyaye who is on a tour venture but would soon got back to his useless music life. Today that very person is Bobi’s most ardent supporters. Even how he has kept a stable family life when each of his colleagues is struggling is a clear sign of leadership trait.
Also recently when NTV’s Patrick Kamara unfair question about fiscal policy, all his detractors thought they had got where to finish him and throw him in the political dustbin. To everyone’s surprise he walked into the music studio and recorded a song “fiscal policy” which shut the mouth of the hypothetical elites to date. You throw stones to hit him; he instead uses them to build a dance….Today he is giving the son of Ssabalwanyi sleepless time.
The need for the corrupt to retain their wealth. Corrupt people are inherently bad apples in any government. They can really be vicious against a regime competitor. But this show of brute, viciousness and mercilessness is not because they love that leader very much.
After stealing, they will fear to lose. This fear will make them not have loyalty towards a regime but their loyalty will only be towards their wealth. Since they are so connected that their consumption of intelligence report is almost at the same level with head of state, they will know when a regime has lost and they either openly or quietly switch loyalty to the new likely president to be able to guarantee their wealth is safe. Interestingly am seeing this happening already.
Opposition activities are now openly being funded by wealthy men in town. I remember there were times in this very country when even a hotel would never allow opposition politicians to hold a meeting in their premises. If this is not a signal, then what is it?
The power of possibility. An institutionalized state will deal with threats firmly without fear of future possibility because as long as actions are for the interest of the country and not a regime. That non partisan action makes them be shielded by whoever comes to power.
The opposite is when the coercive arms of the state turn into walking stick of the regime. This scenario will however reach a point when the men and women executing those orders will begin hesitating because of possibility of when they will not be in uniform or when they begin sensing a possibility that the person being mishandled is likely to the next president.
Once possibility becomes apparent in the minds of the state operatives, they will begin acting differently especially towards that leader. This is the level HEBobiWine has reached.
And I have not seen any opposition leader get to this possibility part from the Dr. Kizza Besigye of 2006.
In conclusion, the new Bobi Wine is a creature of the behaviors of those manning the state, their brute approach to civic opponents is creating resentment. Even those who would ordinarily be their sympathizers are resenting their horrifying arrogance and brute actions.
Society cannot sympathize with the arrogant. The behavior of the State is not only hardening defiant behavior in Bobi Wine but creating Bobisim in many people. The new Bobi who has been created by this intransigent State behavior is not one who will easily be cowed, intimidated, forced or coerced into submission.
The new Bobi can only be negotiated with respectfully. They have created a creature, they have laid the bed, and I only advise them to lay on it. Elders, give us the signal
The writer is an intending MP candidate, Tororo Municipality 2021