By Odaka Asuman
I have heard many people dismiss Ugandans as cowards, disunited and unable to concertedly direct their efforts toward the brute injustice committed against them by the regime in Kampala.
And that what has happened in other countries including Sudan, Libya, Egypt, etc can happen here. The proponents of that opinion claims that Ugandans have no singular sociological issue to unite them as its for same language and religion in Sudan, etc. I strongly disagree with this argument on two grounds:
There are now many issues that unite the people of Uganda such as age (the average age of a Ugandan is 15years), unemployment, poverty, and state brute now uniting Ugandans towards taking action.
Secondly, every society has a stress level beyond which if subjected, they will act differently. This stress level is first approaching.
For example, although the city authorities in Tunis had subjected their citizens to greater inhuman brute, Mohammed Bouzouki (vegetable seller) action was beyond their stress level.
Col. Gaddafi had suppressed all civic demonstration in Libya, but the actions of Abdul Sunusu towards the demonstrating inmates and the murder of a human rights lawyer was the last the Libyans could stomach.
Bashir, too, had acted with levels of impunity, but the matter of bread coupled with the arrogance of the members of his national security agency caused the Sudanese to act different.
Ugandans too have their own stress level which in my opinion is first -being over stressed. And what is being seen is a clear evidence that we are tending towards a different action.
Interesting, collapse of all regimes come when the regime seem most capable militarily, has impression of popularity (although actually rented support) among a section of the people and president has firm grip onto all structures and departments of state and government. This creates a sense of arrogance and intransigence towards even civic legitimate opponent.
So in this situations when one still has power, the loss of the same by another dictator, will be considered a reckless action that could have been avoided if he was a little brutal towards the people opposing him. It’s this mentality that make them commit same mistakes.
Dictators never take positive lessons from their fallen colleagues, they prefer the negative ones.
In fact that is the closest relationship between death and power. When for example a person dies, the living will easily think that perhaps if the deceased was a little careful, s/he could have avoided death, forgetting that whatever has a beginning will have an end.
How the beginning of that END presents itself may be different, but certainly the END will be the same.
In view of how the regime in Kampala is treating the matter of HEBOBIWINE is to think of themselves as smarter, stronger and probably with more capability than all their counterparts who have lost powers before.
But like we say in Dhupadhola ” …gima laneko gwoki chako gi umme….” roughly translated as what will eventually kill a powerful dog will begin by blocking its nose.
The events that transpired on Tuesday 29th April 2019, clearly indicates that whereas the regime is over stressing the absorption stress level of Ugandans, the “dog’s nose is also now fast getting blocked.
Just like all that is born of a snake will have a long tail, all problem faced by a gunman will be solved by firing bullets, gun batts or at least teargas.
The resultants have been ugly sights of brute against surrendering unarmed civilians, embarrassing images of babies dying in the hands of their fainting mothers, teargassed, suffocating pregnant mothers, creeping old and lame persons wailing for mercy, crying Chinese and Indian investors begging for water and machandise get destroyed by the horrifyingly dressed police officers in full view of both local and international media cameras.
As if to absolve themselves and implicate the officers of wrong doing, demonstrators carefully avoids stealing or looting anything.
On the contrary however, it’s the uniformed officers maliciously destroying and stealing citizens goods and properties ( Read the Jinja case), grabbing and eating foods of poor market women without paying etc.
All these actions of mishandling a situations that has a potential to get worse exposes the regime as panicky, uncoordinated, stressed, tired, weakened, insensitive and one that has lost grip of power.
My opinion is that it’s unsustainable effort to avert the inevitable. As if to prepare for a day for reckoning, a big confrontation, otherwise why is the service brigade of the UPDF the most busy lately ferrying soldiers from all upcountry barracks into the city and surrounding?. Why is the regime militarising a purely civil engagement?.
My comfort is that these same army men, police and other security are our brothers, sisters, friends, in-laws who face the same situation and shoulder the fatigue of the 33 year regime is equally weighing them down just like it’s doing to all of us.
Therefore, mishandling the situation the way it’s being done, is a pointer to a disastrous end sooner that we all expect.
Government still thinks that when Bobi Wine is mentioned, we refer to that galible artist he was. To the contrary, he is a system, a liberation crusade, a flag bearer and a symbol of the struggle for freedom.
Is government aware that many police officers are now using Bobi Wine liberation songs as their ringtones? Isn’t that an open show of solidarity and support with the Bobi Wine front?.
Thirdly, I watched with amusement when the Basalirwa led legal team set a trap for the state, which the state foolishly fell into it.
For goodness sake, why would anybody believe Bobi Wine team would fail to have surety if not a simple trap that the regime couldn’t see before hand?.
The truth is, these young people have realised that house arrest doesn’t give them what they require to take the struggle to another level and badly wanted Bobi to go to Luzira. The fix they placed was either for the state to release Bobi Wine without any sureties or takes him to Luzira of which either way, the regime would have lost the game.
But of course, sending Bobi to Luzira was the worst loss government could concede. My wonder is how all the thinking NRM cadres have resigned from the thinking and guiding what they call their revolution?
In conclusion, the regime in Kampala has lost sense of detecting dangerous actions that would boomerang, my contention is that Bobi Wine phenomena is leading us into a new era.
Anybody who thinks what has happened in other countries can’t happen here in Uganda is making a mistake, what unites Ugandans now are the intransigence of their leaders, the arrogance of their government, the pathetic conditions of their health centres, the empty schooling systems, the nepotistic, discriminatory and tribalistic behaviors in the distribution of national cake, the ever worsening economic situation, the empoverishing unemployment conditions and continuous news of grand stealing of national resources.
All these was being done within the stress level able to be stomached by Ugandans.
For now #FreeHE_Bobi_Wine
The writer is a public policy commentator and activist from Tororo Municipality
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