By Odaka Asuman
On 29th of August 2019, a very loathsome, gruesome and abhorrent picture made rounds on social media allegedly of an NRM supporter having been crucified by who and or for what, we all don’t know yet.
To question the story and answering the relevant and associated questions will be for another article as we all await police investigation’s report which may never come, judging from the historical record of our police force.
Today however, I wish to address myself to the trend of brutality, the anger of the citizens and the apparent disregard not only to life but also to human dignity that is steadily taking shape in our country.
The moment the bloodless picture appeared on social media, I disturbingly saw many prominent people especially from the opposition condemning the act and literally insinuatingly accepting that it was an act of intolerance of differing political opinions.
I even watched the police spokesperson warning against political violence asserting as though, the matter had been thoroughly investigated and facts show it was political before it was climax with Andrew Mweda’s unsubstantiated outburst on the #NBSFrontline, misjudging and misleading the viewers on matters of fact, law, economics and sociology before he turned into an intellectual hooligan, my brother Joel Ssenyonyi.
I wish to respectfully differ with my colleagues especially in the opposition who are literary apologising as if it’s an established fact that it’s the opposition supporters who nailed the young man.
This is how we have allowed our police to do shabby investigations since the popular conclusion acceptable to the public will have been choreographed and reached, making our police lazy and vulnerable to misuse.
Our chorus must be to put police to task to tell us the real truth.
I want to insist that despite the boiling anger caused by injustices dispensed by the State, i don’t think ordinary Ugandans have reached a point of such intolerance of killing ordinary barefooted political activist for political reasons.
And the evidence to support my argument are everywhere. In fact, even if one committed an offence in the name of politics, if competently investigated, facts will allude to the contrary.
Back to the moral of my article, its said that “when a mother cow is chewing, the young one is watching and learning because its expected to do the same whenever duty calls.”
I have argued before that the way the State treats the citizens is in fact training the citizens to act not very differently from what they will see or experience everyday.
When the State hires hooligans to flog the citizens in broad day lights, in front of the media cameras, the ordinary citizen are kidnapped, tortured and turn up to be the State operatives in the so called safe houses, when a leader openly contradicts himself many times on issues of leadership, governance and politics.
The citizens will learn how to lie, they will learn to steal and they will learn how to deceive. When the leaders turn arrogance, intransigences and sense of entitlement as trillions of shillings is being stolen by white collar thieves from the public coffers with impunity, they are teaching the citizens something.
The citizen will learn to snatch phones, rob passengers in commuter taxis, grab women bags, kidnap for ransom. When the people incharge of the State grabs peoples large chunks of land, the ordinary citizen will steal boda boda, they will learn to change boundaries of their land.
When those in charge of the State organise questionable elections, the citizens will sell fake product, when the leaders through bribery and brutal force change a grand norm which was agreed upon through national wide consultations, then you are teaching citizens never to stick to any agreed position.
The removal of both term and age limits were not limited to politics, those were moral tests that our leaders failed. The consequences will live for along period.
The modern Ugandan State is a result of the Luwero history. The Luwero history/consesus are associated with brutal war that left over a half a million Ugandans dead, it’s about ever changing position, it’s about deception, it’s about the disappearance of national assets, it’s about impunity and it’s about poverty, it’s about unfulfilled promises, it’s about broken agreements.
It’s this that define our current State structure, power distribution ,behavior of the leaders and reaction of the citizens.
This intransigence has made Ugandans lose trust in nearly all State institutions. They think their police is a lying and partisan, they think their judiciary is a corrupt and unjust, they think their Parliament is a corrupt, incompetent and a robbers stand, they think their army is a regime army, they think whatevr their President says is not for national but individual benefit.
The most fortunate aspect of this scanario is that after making Ugandan lose confidence in State institutions, the State is duplicating the same to create more leakages.
The Luwero consensus State structures and institutions was constructed on the Machiavellian principle of “better to be feared than to be loved.” It was established using the philosophy violence.
My problem is its maintainance through brute which has taught Ugandans to so be this torturous and violent. The maintainance of order through open violence by State agencies have taught Ugandan that the most viable means to settle any dispute is violence.
It’s not strange to see primary pupil settling a school issue through riots, the absence of electricity in business areas will be solved after a demonstration.
To be continued…..
The writer is an aspiring MP, Tororo Municipality, 2021
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