President Museveni is on record for warning religious leaders to stick to their calling of evangelism. Indeed on one occasion, he said he cannot go to church and start baptising because that is not his lubimbi (role). He emphasised that different people belong to different political affiliations but they all go to the same church, thus arguing that it is illogical for church leaders to show their political inclination because if they do so, it creates divisions and disharmony among the flock.
I would only applaud President Museveni for his stance if only religious leaders and cultural leaders are discouraged from crossing the line be it when they are supporting him or any other political actors opposed to him. Recently Bishop Yona Katonene donated and handed a shield, spear and a stool to President Museveni, at a public event and expressed his support for him. President Museveni who usually gets vexed by cultural and religious leaders only if they express their support against him, sat on the stool, held the spear with glee on his face and satisfaction!
This reminds me of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. This satirical piece comes to the lime light whenever elections are underway in Uganda. In previous elections Kalangala Action Plan battered people, when the president was asked and urged to reprimand Kakooza Mutale the architect of the beatings, he dismissed them as mere rumours and asked all those who were aggrieved at that time, to report to police and go to him so that he could take action. Of course, no one dared to come out and pin the Major. Now the same group Kalangala Action Plan headed by the same Mutale is busy training a militia group.
Violence prospers because of three conducive situations, those perpetrating violence, those to whom violence is meted out against and those who keep quite when this violence is being carried out. In order to circumvent the same violence to occur this time round, police should without any bias swing into action and halt not only Erias Lukwago’s defensive group, but also that of Kakooza Mutale. Police are aware of Mutale’s activities but they seem to be clandestinely condoning it while condemning the so-called defensive groups as illegal. This will not only breed more defensive groups but most likely will make confrontations ripe even before campaigns begin. Prevention is better than cure. Police, the ball is in your courts.
Dornam Ahumuza, firstname.lastname@example.org
Uganda National Health Users/ Consumers Organisation