By Odaka Asuman
What do they actually mean by Scientific?
Tororo—1, August 2020: For some time now, there has been a heated hullabaloo sort of debate about what has come to be called “scientific elections” as announced by the Justice Simon Byabakama, the chairperson Electoral Commission.
The argument being advanced especially as a justification for postponement of the polls are not whether Ugandans want to go to the polls, but portrays how faithless Ugandans especially those who understand the nit gritty of elections and its deep implication.
In fact, the moral of the debate is an attempt to have elections rather be organized under a different leadership. To illustrate how faithless they are, a number of opinion polls conducted by both media houses including The New Vision which besides being a government newspaper, Mr. Museveni personally owns a share besides other reputable research firms have confirmed that Ugandans would rather have Dr. Museveni extend his rule than waste their time and resources into a perfect imitation of an election.
To the conflict managers, the current contest of words presents an early warning signal of a post-election conflict that has become a hallmark of Uganda’s after-election-life. In fact, the condition pertaining right now (Covid-19 aside) are similar to the pre-1980 election (according to those who were alive) that set a stage for NRA’s 5 year bush war.
Equally very identical to the pre-2007 Kenyan post-election violence. The anger in the population is very terrifying, the rhetoric of the major players; both incumbents and opposing side is confrontational, the punishing brute with which the security treats the civilians and the open-mindedness with which the general population seem willing to defy the intimidation by the state, if when they openly know, it’s risky.
From the onset however, I wish to state that there will be absolutely nothing scientific enough about 2021 elections apart from increased election violence, voter bribery, torture of divergent political opinion holders, election fraud, arresting opposition activists on trumped-up charges and increased suffocation of dissenting views, among others. Mischievous things in the most sophisticated way ever seen and the defense will be because it is “scientific”.
Just like Mr. Museveni regime’s insatiable ambitions to hold on to power in perpetuity has created new words like “kisanja, togikwato, rubengo, etc, in the study of political science, “scientific election” as a word will most likely be another contribution in the field but not in the conventional definition of its real meaning but as a scapegoat of an unusual situation permitting change of goal posts for the benefit of those who control the state.
In the context of the 1986 political consensus whose tendencies is still dominant in the NRM regime, the term science or “scientific” has its connotation far different from what we know as “the pursuit of general knowledge, truth and application of fundamental laws of existence”. To them it carries the meaning of deception, fraud, untruthfulness, machinations, manoeuvring, set-ups, trickery and ruse, among others.
The first public figure to use the word “scientific” in reference to the conduct of public affairs in Uganda is the now presidential aspirant Hon. Charles Rwomushana. Whenever there was unexplained market fire, school fires, murder of young women, unending high profile assassinations, accident, etc, it was common to hear Charles Rwomushana codify it as “scientific” to imply that it was a deliberate action of insiders, plotted and or planned by some power holders that are supposed to protect the same.
Charles Rwomushana is a trained spy, very informed man who invests his time and resources to get reliable information. So his narrative is one of those I don’t easily dismiss.
The breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic ushered into the world what today is being called the “New Normal” because the venture capitalists avoid calling it the abnormal situation for the obvious reason that such description would affect what they call “their economy”.
Leaders all over the world who had been politically cornered, found legitimate cover and decoy to recreate reasons to justify their hold on to power even against the aspirations of their people.
It’s now common to hear and see leaders disregard law but front opinions of scientists. Yet in the view of the general public some of these are not in the orthodox science but only in the radical definitions of Charles Rwomushana’s context.
It is not surprising for example that even police no longer keeps law and order but the opinion of the “scientists” sometimes cleverly branded as presidential directives. LDUs and some persons in security agencies have killed a number of Ugandans in cold blood because they are enforcing the opinions of “scientists”.
During the lockdown, I know many people who are above the opinions of the “scientists” going about their businesses. Even today, businesses of those who control “science” are operating while for those to whom “science” is supposed to apply are still under lock and key.
We also witnessed Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda being brutalized for holding a meeting which even in the opinion of the independent observers conformed to the Standard Operating Procedures while Dr Jane Ruth Aceng who in complete disregard to her own-led-effort held processions being defended by the Head of State.
Mike Mukula recently was seen holding a huge gathering in a Church even when Churches are closed. Even during the total lockdown we saw Ministers distributing food freely, but Hon. Zaake was treated with cruel brute for sending his agents to take food to the suffering people.
It’s in the same context of science that the Electoral Commission has released the 2021 road map and insisting on holding the elections.
Many people have raised opinions calling on the president to postpone elections, arguing that the pertaining situation can’t permit some activities that make the election meet the free and fair election condition as per the law. To this, they say there is nothing that can stop an election.
When they are told to open up campaign as described by the law, they quickly remind you of the “New Normal”. So for those who didn’t know, “the science” we are dealing with is actually the science of no known rules of engagement.
So, anyone entering into this election must at all times get reminded that we are entering into a political contest with no known standard rules engagement and that even those known can change any time as long as those who manage the “scientists” deem it necessary.
It’s known that scientists must work for benefit of every Ugandan. Did anyone hear like I heard the president warning Ugandans against “his scientists”?
In my opinion, scientist, just like all other professionals are for the benefit of the country and citizen are at will to ask for clarification on issues they have not understood. Why then should we be warned of asking questions to the same people we pay?
The issue is that the possibility of the NRM to out rightly win the forthcoming elections without the application of opinion of the “scientists is very slim”. Therefore, those calling for an election to be postponed are day dreaming.
There are salient factors which make the election victory of Dr. Museveni impossible unless the elections are scientific.
In the next segment, we shall discuss the 15 reasons why Dr. Museveni cannot win an election unless it’s “scientific”
The writer is an Aspiring MP, Tororo Municipality 2021