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Where everyone lives in fear and suspicion, no one is at peace

Police detectives at a scene of crime

Police detectives at a scene of crime

Uganda is currently in a state of uneasy silence. It is not something many of us talk about, but we are surely aware of it. A naive person or visitor may interpret the semblance of calm in the country as peace or a sign that people have moved on after the grossly controversial elections. There is a danger in this, one that needs serious attention. 

I would use the analogy of a rocky marriage to explain the current situation. Sometimes a relationship becomes so suppressive that the wife and children cannot say anything anymore. The husband/father reigns large in a semblance of triumph with abusive display of might. 

But only a foolish man will consider such an environment as peaceful. Anyone keen on their safety will know that anything can happen in this state. In this illusion of peace, you could wake up with paraffin in your ears, or beheaded. That’s why such a husband develops high suspicion, even of acts of love. ‘Why are you acting so nice today?’, they would ask the wife. 

In his paranoia, informed by manifest awareness of waning love from the wife, the husband’s brutality is heightened. In turn, the brutality attracts more cynicism and secretiveness from the spouse. Tension hits the roof. Trust is lost. Benevolence becomes sinister, because meanness is what is expected. 

Currently, the state acts like a jilted lover. They are even suspicious of seeing people engaging in any conversation that they can’t hear. They fear that anyone could be laying some scheme against them. They want to tap into every political conversation or else scatter it. The need to plant spies everywhere has intensified.

The degree of social censorship in Uganda tells a lot about what we call peace. When you utter anything critical of government, your friends and relatives will be the first to warn you: ‘be careful, these people are evil’. Ironically, some of these messages genuinely come from government agents. 

We are in a state where everyone is constantly watching their back. Government fears that the citizens want to ‘harm’ it. In turn, many citizens consider government to be dangerous in its self-preservation. Its critics are very careful where they eat. 

Fears and rumors of ‘Russian’ poison have infiltrated the populace. Government is always labouring to explain itself that it hasn’t killed another critic. Just like a child denying that it’s not them that licked the sugar, even before anyone asks. 

Whether they caused the deaths or not may not be the real issue. Why should government be thought of as a potential threat to its people? It’s because many of its actions invite this suspicion. Why is it that even if a light critic falls to death into their pit latrine, government is in the spotlight?

Of course, there will always be speculation about sudden deaths. However, while such speculation could be totally off the mark with regard to the matter in question, it usually gravitates around some misattributed truth. Just like one who has stolen a goat in the past might be held responsible for a lost cow. Though the accusation could be wrong, it might serve as a reminder for the accused to clear their image and raise their reputation beyond suspicion. 

The irony of the current environment is that no one is really safe in it. When both government and citizens think that the other is out to harm them, none of them is at peace. To an extent, it’s as though we are in the British philosopher Thomas Hobbes’ ‘state of nature’ where everyone lives under constant fear of their detractors. You need to be super careful to avoid a violent death by whoever finds you to be a threat to their self (power) preservation.

While Hobbes finds this state of fear to have been the origin of government as a regulator of interests, the purpose is defeated when government turns into another fierce trope of clique interests standing in aggressive competition with citizens. It loses meaning.

Take for instance, with all its inherent risks, many countries are increasingly acknowledging the importance of citizen access to internet for educational, business, self-development, and social needs. It’s becoming a basic need whose availability across the board progressive governments are working hard to boost.

In Uganda, because government prioritises its own preservation and looks at its citizens as potential threats, it’s trying to find ways of limiting access to the internet. It thinks, and truly so, that citizens are using social media to mobilize against it - add the paranoia. Thus, having failed with Over The Top Tax (OTT) as a gag tool, they now plan to introduce a tax on all data purchases - increasing the cost of internet. This is the government that promises to take citizens to middle-income status, blocking a critical development avenue because of its tragic combination of greed and fear of its citizens.

Leaders demand for more personal security from the people they are supposed to lead. Haunted by their own ghosts, their behaviour gives away their doubts over their legitimacy. Behind all pretensions, their display of might is an attempt to hide their fear. Their guilt cannot allow them to expect that people can be calm with them. 

In the end, fear and all its causes is not a sustainable environment for development. Ultimately, it neither benefits the oppressor nor the oppressed, not even anyone outside this dichotomy.

Those it helps to loot the country live under perpetual fear that their accumulated wealth will be reclaimed once they lose power. Their wealth and worries about its fate haunt the hell out of them every time they imagine themselves out of power. 

The oppressed, brutally clamped down by government, go underground. This is even more scary than open opposition. For no one can tell when and how their anger will explode. 

jsssentongo@gmail.com

The author is a teacher of philosophy.

Comments

0 #11 Remase 2021-04-08 17:27
BW who asked us to get IDs and go and overwhelm M7, then leave the rest to him, is getting ready (NUP) to go to parliament to passing7's looting schemes/scams.
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+1 #12 Wante Martino 2021-04-09 09:37
Quoting Remase:
BW who asked us to get IDs and go and overwhelm M7, then leave the rest to him, is getting ready (NUP) to go to parliament to passing7's looting schemes/scams.

Ramase, me thinks you got the point VERY wrong!
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+1 #13 Remase 2021-04-10 00:25
Wante, I may well have got the point wrong, and trust me, I cognizant that BW meant good and believed that he would win M7.

That only happens in a country that has democracy and rule of law, not in M7's era. BW knew it. That's evidenced in his withdrawn application, in which he listed his ground why M7 win ought to have been nullified.

BW clearly knows that he is alive by the grace of God. M7 is ruthless, killing innocent people is a hobby to him. Look at the sudden, questionable and suspicious death of uncountable people, including but not limited to, his own tribesmen and partners in crime like Mayombo, Gen Nyakayirima and others.

So, what is the purpose of joining M7 in parliament if it's not passing M7's looting scam bills? Right now we have new biting taxes in the works!
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+2 #14 Remase 2021-04-10 09:11
Akot, let our love last forever like enfuddu ze Mengo, "Why is M7 going on to have 40 years in peace, while Ugandans maintain him in post & assure the family business?"

M7 has never given Uganda peace. As a self Sabalwanyi, most violent individual on the planet, M7 has always been distractive in his life starting from Amin's regime.

In Mugambe's book, which is quoted in this edition of the Observer, Mugambe writes that after Amin toppled Obote's govt in Jan 1971, Ugandan exiles based in TZ attacked Uganda through Mutukula and Mbarara, on Sep 18.

The unit, which invaded through Mutukula belonged to Obote. The invaders who used Mbarara's axis belonged to M7. Since then, M7 has never given Uganda peace but violence!

Even when TZ assisted us to remove Amin and replaced him with a peaceful YK Lule, M7 maintained destructive violence. Uandans cried out, "Fe Twagala Lule oba tufa tufe." We love Lule even if it means death, Ugandans told M7. What did M7 do? M7 killed those innocent people!
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+1 #15 Remase 2021-04-10 10:01
To this date M7 has maintained brutal violence against innocent Ugandans because he believes that Uganda belongs to him, his family/relatives and tribesmen!

Why do we keep hiding our heads in the sand, yet our ass is wide open and naked, no one is at peace.

And never will be until we unit and get rid of M7, his family/relatives and tribesmen. Right now we divided among political parties, Mbu NRM, NUP, FDC, DP, UPC etc, Mbu we are going to parliament, and do what?

Mbu M7 yareta emirembe! And you have these crowns, Mayiga, Betty Kamya, Fool Figure, Basaja Mivule, who are saying, awangale ai Sabalwanyi M7!

Fellow Ugandans, the Doc states, "a visitor may interpret the semblance of calm in country as peace or a sign that people have moved on after the grossly controversial elections." That's exactly what we have done whenever M7 rigs elections, and Mayiga is about to congratulate M7 for rigging us out and further urge us to accept them and move on!
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0 #16 Akot 2021-04-11 17:45
Quoting Remase:
... M7 spend the majority part of Uganda's budget on arms and the military.

The budget before parliament right now is largely going to be spent on the military. The army just asked for trillions, including billions to integrate 20,000 LDUs into the army!

Those trillions could build a state of the art infrastructure of roads, hospitals and schools...

Is Uganda at peace?

If it is, why spend such amount of money on the military?

Do we need all those LDUs?


Thanks.

Museveni has & will continue to build Uganda just as he planed since he walked into our land as a young boy looking for better living, but has conquered & owns our country now!

The funny part is that it's; tribal leaders, parliament, ministers & voters making it so easy for M7 to own Uganda legally, officially, constitutuonally!
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0 #17 Akot 2021-04-11 17:54
Quoting Remase:
BW who asked us to get IDs and go and overwhelm M7, then leave the rest to him, is getting ready (NUP) to go to parliament to passing7's looting schemes/scams.


Thanks.

Bobi Wine was raised, educated under Museveni, so doesn't know he's helping the demon own the country constitutionally!

Ah! BW isn't even aware M7 awarded himself Uganda Passport the moment Ugandans handed over their country tohim in 1986!

BW isn't free, not allowed to set feet & talk, sing to Ugandans on any tribal land, yet he just helps M7 conclude conquest of territory, instead of;

*Calling tribal leaders to stand down & to UNITY!

Look at how useless Acholi are; with no leadership to form Independent State before M7 concludes conquest of territory!

Only migrant Museveni is free to walk on any tribal land & urinate, yet not even tribal leaders, BW are aware of this!
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0 #18 Akot 2021-04-11 18:06
Quoting Remase:
I cognizant that BW meant good and believed that he would win M7.

That only happens in a country that has democracy and rule of law, not in M7's era.

BW clearly knows that he is alive by the grace of God. M7 is ruthless, killing innocent people is a hobby to him. Look at the sudden, questionable and suspicious death of uncountable people, including but not limited to, his own tribesmen and partners in crime like Mayombo, Gen Nyakayirima and others.

So, what is the purpose of joining M7 in parliament if it's not passing M7's looting scam bills? Right now we have new biting taxes in the works!


Thanks.

Ugandans believe they have no right to live FREELY on their land & just help M7 own the country through through; the tribalistic system, fake elections, that shut out/up the outside world!

What peace, what democracy!
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-1 #19 Akot 2021-04-11 18:20
Quoting Remase:
"Why is M7 going on to have 40 years in peace, while Ugandans maintain him in post & assure the family business?"

M7 has never given Uganda peace. As a self Sabalwanyi, most violent individual on the planet, M7 has always been distractive in his life starting from Amin's regime.

M7 has never given Uganda peace but violence!


Remase, still love you.

Museveni & family are assured/helped by Ugandans to own the country & make it what they want - second Rwandese territory!

How sad, Ugandans are handing over their land, but where will they go when every tribal land will belong to M7 officially, legally, constitutionally & it's Ugandans giving their country as GIFT?
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0 #20 Akot 2021-04-11 18:29
Quoting Remase:
M7... believes that Uganda belongs to him, his family/relatives and tribesmen!

Why do we keep hiding our heads in the sand, yet our ass is wide open and naked, no one is at peace.

And never will be until we unit and get rid of M7, his family/relatives and tribesmen.

We are divided among political parties, Mbu NRM, NUP, FDC, DP, UPC etc, Mbu we are going to parliament, and do what?

Fellow Ugandans, the Doc states, "a visitor may interpret the semblance of calm in country as peace or a sign that people have moved on after the grossly controversial elections." That's exactly what we have done whenever M7 rigs elections, and Mayiga is about to congratulate M7 for rigging us out and further urge us to accept them and move on!


Thanks, worse,

We maintain the tribalistic system & ensure we are POWERLESS!
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