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What else could Uganda’s current situation mean?

Security checking one of the vehicles in Magere

Security checking one of the vehicles in Magere

Looking at the direction in which Uganda is, I hear an echo of Shannon Alder’s words: “Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, What else could this mean?’ ”

Yes, what else could the post-election mood in Uganda mean? What else could the voting patterns mean? What else could all this anger mean? What else could it mean that the rest of the world looks at Uganda as a country in a political sickbay? What else does it mean that people live in fear of being ‘picked’ at night for being opposed to government?

What does it mean that a government that says it won an election acts paranoid? It is only a few days since the election results were announced. While our previous elections may not have been devoid of violence and tension, this one could have been unmatched by any.

An election where by the time of polling over 100 of the lead opposition candidate’s support team are in jail for no legally sound reason is a special one. An election where at the time of tallying and announcing results the entire country is totally without internet and is effectively disabled from verifying what the Electoral Commission chooses to randomly announce is of its kind.

Meanwhile, military choppers are flying over the city and soldiers are almost more than civilians in the city! The list could go on. Meanwhile, with all the unfair play all through the campaign period and voting, added to the immense privileges of incumbency, what could it mean for an incumbent to score a paltry 58 per cent?

It is as though they were trying to fill a heavily leaking container. Even the mischievous ingenuity of the Electoral Commission could only control little of the ugly picture. NRM’s performance brings to mind the Cinderella fairy tale. The girl’s stepmother would smear her with cow dung and then carefully make up her own daughter.

She would then sit them on the roadside and ask passersby, ‘who looks more beautiful’. One after the other, passersby would say, ‘although the other one is smeared with cow dung, she still looks better’.

This would make the mother mad! The behaviour of the president and some of his officials after the announcement of the tinkered yet still embarrassing results was quite telling. The president was obviously jittery. Perhaps it was a combination of guilt and shock.

He could have carelessly overestimated his popularity, especially in the Central region. On the other hand, it was also a bit shocking that he expressed contentment with the poor performance. Had he hoped for worse, generally? Would this mean that he is now aware of how he has broken the heart of Uganda?

Would the Museveni of the early 90s celebrate a 58 per cent? Only a student who is aware of his incapacity would celebrate scoring 58 per cent in an exam where they copied. He went ahead to castigate Buganda for having voted in a ‘sectarian’ way.

Some of his officials put the blame for the party’s worst-ever performance in the region on the Katikkiro and Catholic clerics. Here again is another moment where they fail to ask what else this performance could mean, before pointing fingers. That is if they are not in denial.

Is the assumption that people in Central region are so naive that they could only do what Catholic and Buganda officials told them to do? Is this to undermine these voters, as to say that they are incapable of independent assessment? The arrogance of such a conclusion is in the inherent attitude that where people do not vote for NRM, there must be a problem with those people, and not the party.

Therefore, instead of trying to understand why people turned against them, they ask: ‘what is wrong with these people?’ This is the attitude of a violent husband that still complains with entitlement as to why his wife acts distant. He comes back home belching from his pork-filled belly, asking his hungry family for hugs and warm water.

He thinks he can control the starved house by keeping it in fear of his violence. I don’t think the current mood is good for anyone. A ‘victor’ who acts in constant fear that people are out to contest his victory, even blocking them from seeking redress from the courts he controls, is not a happy victor.

Even if we may say that there is peace after the elections, many of us can easily tell that the conditions of the said peace are not sustainable. We seem to be in the state of what the Nigerian singer, Asa, expresses in the her song Jailer “I’m in chains, you’re in chains too; I wear uniforms, and you wear uniforms too; I’m a prisoner, you’re a prisoner too Mr Jailer. I have fears, you have fears too”.

Is this the kind of country we want? One can jail their opponents and harass whoever threatens his authority, but until when?

The ironical side of oppressing adversaries is that the oppressor as well locks himself up in fear of what their victim could do to them if they found the means. As I keep repeating, the observation of the American abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, summarises this tragic dialectic: “No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck”.

The language of threatening opponents is not going to take us anywhere. For no matter what the level of threat, you may silence one opponent, but through that very action you create more opponents, dissent and anger. When persecuted victims look to be silent, don’t count that for triumph.

If you focus on giving yourself answers that make you feel good, the real answers might come in a disastrous form.

jsssentongo@gmail.com

The author is a teacher of philosophy.

Comments   

0 #11 Akot 2021-01-29 18:07
Quoting Sula:
many Ugandans have failed to understand the current situation.

For the 35 years Uganda is a property of museveni and everything is done for his own benefit. Elections are meant to hoodwink and legitimize him.

museveni team was not ready and did not have pre-manufactured figures for the 18m voters, They decided to use the 2016 figures and use the near percentages!


Thanks, yet,

He will rule for 40 yeas, unless tribal leaders give chance to UNITY & Ugandans stop fighting one another till 2026!
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0 #12 Akot 2021-01-29 18:17
Quoting Remase:


M7 believes that he owns Uganda and entitled to be president for life. So why would he care about Ugandans, or Buganda or vote? M7 is a rigging machine.

M7 has never won any elections ever. M7 is... the most violent individual on the planet! Unless we, Ugandans, are ready to use violence, as M7 did, and is doing now, M7 is here to stay!

...we can't compete with M7, and we shouldn't use violence as M7 did. Let's all unit and speak with one voice that M7 must go. M7 used Buganda, and is using Mengo/Mayiga and Mutebi, the triple M to cling on power. If the triple M pulls the plug, M7's days will be numbered.

Buganda or the subjects have pulled the plug, not because they are prejudice against M7, but on merits of M7's destruction of Uganda and Buganda in particular.


Thanks.

Ugandans violence against M7 is "No to the tribalistic system & UNITY!
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+1 #13 Remase 2021-01-30 07:59
Wazabanga, they say, "Akudira mu luyimba talunyumisa." However, please allow me to quote you, "Elections can change MPs and other positions but not presidency. Lean to live with these facts.' could agree more.

I may add, even if we were to call the Pop in Rome, we can't even change the parliament to the opposition majority. That can't happen. So, M7 controls the 3 branches of govt, the executive, parliament and judiciary. So, M7 is holding us by our balls!
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0 #14 Omuzira Ente 2021-01-30 08:35
NRA was built on violence. The world needs to praise Hon Kyagulanyi for his peaceful campaign messages of transition which has countered the brutal state inspired violence by NRM's security agencies.

We need now to identify those elements arresting Ugandans using DRONES (Mpaawo Atalikaaba bus during Obote II). President Museveni said that NRM is a master of VIOLENCE, combined with Government dominated lies published in both local and international media thanks to Getto TV that has exposed their dirty during elections, This explains why Dr. Besigye's Defiance campaign and Konyi's armed struggle did not succeed.

History has it that NRA used to kill Ugandans in Luwero which forced people into supporting the war thinking that it was the UPC Government forces killing them. The Obote II , Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Otayi and Gen Oyite Ojok confined to Makerere University Students that NRA was killing people and burying them in massive graves refereed to as 'KWAKING'
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0 #15 Akot 2021-01-30 19:04
Quoting Remase:


even if we were to call the Pope in Rome, we can't even change the parliament to the opposition majority. That can't happen. So, M7 controls the 3 branches of govt, the executive, parliament and judiciary. So, M7 is holding us by our balls!


Thanks.

Uganda belongs to Museveni, the outside world will respect Ugandans' choice of ruler through fake elections accepted in peace, respect!

Which outsider would dare meddle & cause trouble for Ugandans when tribal leaders, elites, tax payers, the poor, jobless... are at peace?

But Akot can dare tell Acholi to go to hell now before Museveni drops dead & the entire zone is left without migrant chief tribal leader Museveni who controls every institution, owns tax money, while tribally divided Ugandans look up to him for solutions!
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+1 #16 Lakwena 2021-02-01 07:54
Quoting kuku wazabanga:
Let us face facts: General M7 is life President of Uganda. Uganda has no national army. The army that is there, NRA, belongs to Gen M7.

He started it and he has been building it for himself. That army cannot salute any other person as Commander in Chief.

The Electoral Commission is made of Cadres of Musevenists. The EC cannot announce anybody as winner of Presidential elections other than Gen M7.
Remember Uganda has been described as ekinyamaiswa (an animal which was hunted and killed). Elections can change MPs and other posts but not Presidency. Learn to live with these facts.


Kuku Wazabanga, like you said it; Philip Magogo, a Sunday Monitor Columnist said that: under Gen Tibuhaburwa the country does not have an army, but "the army has a country"

In other words, the country has been captured by Bendits (the way Obote [RIP] pronounced it).
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