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After 1990, serious opposition doesn't need representation in countryside

Aerial view of Kampala city

Aerial view of Kampala city

Bobi Wine has a son called Kampala. When I first interested myself in studying Bobi Wine, sometime in 2014 – as a creative protest artiste, likening him to Nigerian afro-beat maestro and activist Fela Kuti – I noted about the naming of his son that the gesture signified the place and power of Kampala in the commercial and political life of Ugandans. 

With his son coming in the late 2000s, Bobi Wine, as a creative thinker, must have appreciated Kampala as a centre of power and life – perhaps more significant or equal to our clan affiliations – for livelihood, happiness, and futures. 

Indeed, discursively, Kampala is a clan itself connecting strangers into kin and kindred relationships. With singing Tugambire Ku Jennifer, then the political significance of Kampala even became more palpable. 

In truth, whilst Kampala and other major towns tend to be renowned for their centrality in our livelihoods, successive local and international shifts (Cold War, Capitalism, Structural Adjustment) have turned Kampala into the only centre of political production in Uganda, and will singly determine the future of this country moving forward.

See, the only real threat to President Museveni is Kampala. And this is not because he wins – or actually steals – countryside electorates by landslides.  The countryside is not necessarily apolitical, but largely disconnected to the ways in which the government controls and manages their livelihoods. Being largely peasant communities subsisting on tilling the land, security and stability is simply good enough for them.

Thus, in Kampala being the only threat to Museveni, my reference is not to an electoral threat, but rather a revolutionary one.  The old political science which stated that for revolutions to happen, the political activist had to connect the rural to the urban is surely obsolete. The cities alone are the battlegrounds and they have to be contained.

To this end, the sophisticated autocrat of the Museveni-Mugabe-Kagame-Kabila-Keita-Mubarak-Biya calibre has to make sure the major city is contained as tightly as possibly could. Indeed, the autocrats who have collapsed under the weight of revolutionary uprising have collapsed largely for their failure to control politics in their capitals.

Museveni’s acute genius:

Fully aware of this revolutionary threat in Kampala, Museveni has gone the extra mile to not only control politics in the capital, but also put in place an alert infrastructure that enables him to quell anything immediately.

Let me explain: as regards controlling political events in Kampala, Museveni quickly raided “the wretched of the earth” with money and political positions. The pictures of Museveni with sacks of cash in downtown Kamwokya animated Kampalans.

This was followed by the appointment of singers Butcherman and Full Figure as presidential advisors. Then he sent his boys on the hunt for loudmouthed activists of the downtrodden. Many are being taken over.

You have to understand the mess and confusion in Bobi Wine’s NUP party in the same breath – controlling the conscientisation of the wananchi, who would actually take the streets in revolutionary uprising.

See, NUP remained an activist party despite traditionalising. The picking of NUP membership cards is not simply readying members to vote, but rather, and more importantly, a process of conscientisation itself. By picking the NUP card, the young men and women are transformed into active political subjects and learning to own the political process. This, despite its entirely legal hue, is scary revolutionary politicking.

As regards erecting political weather detection equipment, Museveni returned LDUs who are presently roaming every nook and cranny of Kampala. They are not here for anyone’s security. Indeed, crime continues in Kampala uninterrupted. (Thieves have broken into my compound twice in a space of just months).  

In truth, LDUs are here to detect and see any revolutionary behaviour and overwhelm it immediately. So are the so-called security cameras and control stations on major highways entering and exiting Kampala.  

They are meant to detect intensity of political action and guide deployment. (The burning of Makerere University’s main iconic building and the slowness of responses should instruct us immensely in this regard).

With the changes in global politics after the end of the Cold War in the early 1990, the countryside does not matter anymore to politics in peasant, pseudo-democratic regimes. It is exclusively the major capitals where a conscientized but impoverished mass exists. Thusly, Bobi Wine or Kizza Besigye may not have [electoral] influence in the countryside, but remain a threat. Because the countryside mattered only before 1990.

yusufkajura@gmail.com

The author is a PhD fellow at Makerere Institute of Social Research.

Comments

0 #1 Lakwena 2020-10-01 14:14
In other words Yusuf, the political chicken in Mr. M7 has caused him into a 50-kilometer diametrical ring-fencing off Kampala with tens of thousands of riffraff LDU.
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-5 #2 Remase 2020-10-01 15:08
Dr. Yusuf, thanks a great deal. You have done your job to awaken us up at every opportunity. Indeed Kampala means everything to M7.

That's why when Lukwago became the mayor M7 swung into action and usurped all Lukwago's power as a mayor. M7 doesn't take chances. So even if he doesn't win Kampala in elections, it doesn't mean that he will go to sleep and let the revolution take root in Kampala.
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+2 #3 Akot 2020-10-01 17:04
YUSUF SERUNKUMA, understood, but,

By now, you should be one of the first Educated to know that the only moves Ugandans need to ensure Museveni & family are out without further causing destruction/killing, are

- bringing down the tribalistic system, then

- Unity to block & show the evil family way out!

Bobi Wine from a tribal land has no right to walk on streets, no right to sing to Ugandans, no right to campaign any where in the country, yet we still wast time talking of presidential/parliamentary/local lections!

Why are Ugandans ensuring Museveni's post at the cost of their complete destruction & submission to slavery to the migrant?

Not even Buganda has given Bobi Wine land base to sing Ugandans to UNITY from!

But migrant Museveni is FREE to urinate all over the zone, while running more fake elections!
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-2 #4 Remase 2020-10-02 16:11
Akot, that's why you are my love for life. Bobi Wine has no rights whatsoever, including the the to campaign in the scientific elections on radio or anywhere.

But we are so excited to go to the bogus polls! You are absolutely right, until M7 and family is out, Uganda will continue to sink deeper and deeper into ruins. Let's unit and put an end to M7's endless autocracy.
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+3 #5 PrinceM 2020-10-02 21:04
Remase, Akot and Yusuf, I hope you listened to yesterdays Frontline and understood why FDC is the forum for delaying change pretending to be opposition but working for Museveni.

Please listen to this You tube video as well to understand the true colours of the people you are supporting https://youtu.be/EK-HmQt2jpg. Only NUP is the real deal as it has not yet been infiltrated
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-2 #6 Remase 2020-10-03 16:01
PrinceM, it's Cristo clear that you and/or NUP are misleading the nation into bogus polls which you know have already been rigging. Kyagulanyi calls it kiwanyi!

He sings, "buli omu asiba kiwanyi." M7/NRM and Kyagulanyi/NUP buli omu asiba kiwanyi. M7 clearly knows that he is a master of deception and Kyagulanyi clearly knows that he can't win M7 in elections organized by M7, the matter of deception.

So, who is fooling who? PrinceM, I can understand why you hate Besigye with a passion, because he is speaks the truth that Ugandans must unit as a nation and forcefully kick M7's ass out. Elections won't cut it. If M7 can usurp the power of Kampala's mayor, how can he let anyone to win the presidency of the notion?
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-4 #7 Remase 2020-10-04 14:35
PrinceM, why do keep hiding your head in sand like an ostrich? Look people have been killed on streets, execution style!

Abiriga, Kigundu, Kawesi and others. To this date the assassins, known by the authorities are still still out there waiting to strike again! Kirumira cried out loud and clear that his life was in danger and assassins were trailing him.

No protection was afforded to until he was killed! Ironically, former NUP president was kidnapped by state agencies, his house surrounded by the army in disguise to give him protection!

How come Kirumira wasn't given that kind of protection? Sejjusa is surrounded by the army 24/7. He demanded to be retired but in vain!

With the writing on the wall as Yusuf has written above that M7 pay particular attention to Kampala because he is a life president, PrinceM wants us to believe that everything is hanky Dolly and we should continue to go to the bogus polls, right?
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+1 #8 Akot 2020-10-04 17:03
Quoting Remase:
PrinceM, it's Cristo clear that you and/or NUP are misleading the nation into bogus polls which you know have already been rigging. Kyagulanyi calls it kiwanyi!

M7 clearly knows that he is a master of deception and Kyagulanyi clearly knows that he can't win M7 in elections organized by M, the matter of deception.

PrinceM, I can understand why you hate Besigye with a passion, because he speaks the truth that Ugandans must unit as a nation and forcefully kick M7's ass out. Elections won't cut it. If M7 can usurp the power of Kampala's mayor, how can he let anyone win the presidency...?


Thanks.

Ugandans MUST become humans & UNITE to block & force Museveni out & not lock themselves with him much longer through yet another fake election!

How can B. Wine win when he has no right to even walk on streets; how will he campaign & where?
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+3 #9 Opolot 2020-10-06 08:09
Remazi it looks like you succeeded Lysol in writing nonsense here.

You keep repeating the same rubbish and wasting space. Can’t you pause to think before writing?
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-2 #10 Remase 2020-10-06 11:56
Opolot, the only thing you good at is hauling insults.

You can't make a substantive argument. That's common of individuals like you. Then you hide under multiple Fugazi names.
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