Are We That Gullible in Uganda? [opinion]

Last week we all witnessed a political funeral, Amama Mbabazi’s at the NRM delegates’ conference.

Despite President Museveni’s denial at the Capital Gang radio talk show a week earlier that the conference would not be about lynching Mbabazi, it seemed that it was all about the latter’s political death!

It is official now in just less than twenty days, Amama Mbabazi will no longer reign as NRM’s secretary general. And he had no say in the matter! He cut a very forlorn figure symbolically sitting in a tent opposite the president’s, away from the centre of power. He was expressionless and offered no comment as each amendment stripping him of his elective powers was read and passed with great ease.

That is the way of politics! Just days before the conference, a few NRM functionaries, including Ofwono Opondo of the Uganda Media Centre and ministers Frank Tumwebaze and Richard Todwong had prepared us by their ominous proclamations that dissent would not be tolerated at the conference. The chairman was not to be heckled and anyone that attempted to would be dealt with firmly.

I have never understood why the president’s aides wish to protect him against hecklers or others with opposing views! It is well known that he is formidable in this aspect can you imagine anyone beating him in a debate?

As Shakespeare’s Mark Antony argued in a case quite similar to Mbabazi’s, the ‘evil that men do is often remembered after their deaths while the good is buried with them.’ He was defending Julius Caesar who had been murdered because of ‘ambition’!

Previously he was ‘Super Minister’ and the ‘Rock’ whose ‘bads’ would just be whispered about. Right now it seems like a competition to reveal how the man and his family, including a sister-in-law, were terrible.

Go back, a year or so at previous conferences, Mbabazi reigned supreme. He barely had time to sit down. He would be managing delegates’ meals, transport, etc, or even responding to complaints from other NRM big guns then like minister Otafiire or from Mahogany, the former vice-president. This time round, events passed him by!

That same week, renegade General David Sejusa returned from his self-imposed exile in London! News of his arrival in the dead of the night, rumoured on social media especially Twitter, was confirmed by government officials early in the morning.

Questions abound! How could this have happened?

Sejusa, by his own confessions, and publicly in global media, is no longer a friend of the government. He even formed his own party at the beginning of this year and has articulated his desire to change the government in whatever ways possible.

Why then did government pay for his airfare to return home plus pocket money as asserted by the Media Centre? What has happened to all his supporters that he claimed were with him through thick and thin? What about those already in prison?

And what of his reputation? Is he not one of the originals that spent many years of discomfort including imprisonment in the bush? Surely a year of poverty in wintry London would not break him as government alleges! We must seek answers. Last week may not be forgotten for a while in the history of the NRM. It has remodelled itself into the New NRM with a more powerful chairman and two generals, one political the other from the army, have fallen.

Unsurprisingly, in my village all the traders, shopkeepers and boda boda riders, and they are many, have their own versions of Mbabazi and Sejusa’s woes. Villagers probably have thoughts on their comeback plans too. This is probably happening all over the country. You have to wonder why!

Kigo road, the one responsible for getting me home is still in bad shape. It is we, the residents and not government, who have intervened to get some areas patched up by a Chinese road construction company that is located in the village. We are just 16km out of the city but not on the water supply grid and have to wait for rains to get water for domestic use.

As we allow the ruling party and government to waste time, energy and resources on creative ways of vanquishing Mbabazi, Sejusa and others to come, we shall wallow in the Kigo road dust (insert your own road here), bear with drug-less Kigo health centre III (insert your own health centre here) and many other poor services.

The author is one of the founding Kigo Thinkers.

Source : The Observer

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