Following the events surrounding the move to amend Article 102 (b), one can’t avoid musing at the wonder that the human brain is.
You awe at its ability to manifest its workings in all manner of forms. But at the same time, it comes with loads of questions: about the overrated concept of democracy; about what truly motivates human behaviour; about upbringing; about the concept of representation, and so on.
If the public voice in this debate was anything to go by, this would have been a foregone conclusion – that the article shouldn’t be touched. But alas, Ugandans are now like the proverbial he-goat whose frowning doesn’t stop it from being priced.
As observed by Chinua Achebe, “when Suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool”!
NRM has not only carried its stool, they won’t even hesitate to hit it on the head of anyone who resists their arrogant rape.
If a hardly-known musician can be slapped with charges of ‘disturbing the peace of the president’ for singing Mzee wummula (rest Mzee), then you know that the bull is about to mount in a marketplace.
This shameless drama reminds me of how old people behave when they ‘spoil the air’ amongst children; a child takes the beating! Even their food is taken away!
Who is disturbing whose peace? The people who have made every other national concern secondary to their hold onto power or those who call them back to sanity?
With all the things that are falling apart in this nation (the food market filled with unregulated poisons, the unhealthy healthcare system, the uneducated education system, a corruption-infested carefree public service, an oversize government…), would our debate now be about whether we should remove age limits, extend terms,…?
Before they initiated these superfluous debates, weren’t we at peace? But just like a bad driver curses the tire for the puncture, they are all over the place donning and bringing into disrepute the colour of the sun as they brag about being peaceful.
‘Did you see how peaceful we were in parliament that day as those who are opposed were fighting?’, they ask with a bizarre air of pretentious innocence!
Over two hundred people want to sink a boat, and 50 people have to stay calm like civilised citizens!
To remind and exorcise them of this malignant power demon is to disturb their peace! Peace is quite a valuable thing, but, after working hard to reinstate it, given the opportunistic meanings this regime has now pumped into it, it might soon be added to the dictionary of meaningless vocabulary.
You heard him right: ‘age limits contradict the Constitution, which says that power belongs to the people’. Well, it’s incomplete, dear. Here power belongs to the people IN POWER.
That includes the power to mute a nation. That’s why we can soundly say NO, and they say they heard YES. It is not until we learn from the way small ants capture and carry a huge locust that we shall understand where the power of the ordinary person lies, of course depending on our quality as citizens.
Oh, but the locust is not alone. It is surrounded by smaller ones yearning to win its favour. The Chinese say that a man who farts in church sits alone on his pew. They are so wrong! Not if that man has something to give.
A greedy man can’t be bothered by stench. He will hang around in wait for crumbs and even shout at those complaining about the smell. So, it shouldn’t surprise us that they are acting as though under a spell that paralyses their consciences and blocks their ears.
Truly, a disease that will kill a dog first affects its sense of smell. How did it get to the point that they are even willing to use the country’s future as a bargain card in exchange for their private gains?
Like a child that sells off household items, one after the other, to sustain their pompous life; this crowd of MPs will sell off all parts of the Constitution, one by one, until we are left with an empty shell.
That is how a greedy man digs his grave with his teeth. When they sold off the term limits clause, we thought they were done selling. But since for them all is merchandise, they seem determined to offer any buyable article. Here we are now getting to the point of testing the depth of a river with both feet.
Well, we are often reminded that whatever those politicians are, we are the ones who vote for them. True, and that’s one of the instances when the nonsensical side of democracy comes to the surface.
You sometimes hear some MPs speak and wonder whether they just sneaked into the otherwise honourable building. You ask yourself which kind of voters found value in the man/ woman!
As H. L. Mencken views it, democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. Or, like Padraig Deignan would bluntly put it, democracy is the counting of heads, not what is in them.
Yet we are not supposed to disturb their peace! We are supposed to let them peacefully drown us as they roar the boat roughshod onto rocks. The ideals of leadership as a social contract between leaders and the led is now a fleeting illusion.
Politics is divorcing ethics. In the words of the American political philosopher, Thomas Sowell, it is now “the art of making your selfish desires seem like the national interest”.
The author heads the Centre for African Studies at Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi.