Museveni panicking over Bobi Wine?

‘It shouldn’t have happened.’ ‘It shouldn’t have happened.’

These are the most repeated words from deputy speaker of parliament Jacob Oulanyah, after visiting Mityana and Kyaddondo East legislators; Francis Zaake and Bobi Wine respectively. Mr. Oulanyah repeated the four words; six times in a press interview.

Reading Mr. Oulanyah’s body language and words coming from his mouth; he looked helpless. Why? He has been in Bobi Wine’s position before, he, more than anyone else understands and is in condition to predict Museveni more than Bobi Wine can.

The year is 1991; the current President General of opposition party; Democratic party – Nobert Mao was the Guild President of Makerere University and Jacob Oulanyah as the guild speaker, 25 years before he is elected Deputy Speaker of Parliament. Typical of Makerere University, there was a strike in their year.

Mao, Oulanyah were at the helm of the strike when the army intervened. Both student leaders were roughed and my senior editor in the newsroom (who was in the same year as Oulanyah) tells me that Mr. Museveni’s army manhandled him, tore his abdomen flesh and Oulanyah almost carried his intestines in his hands.

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If you can’t beat them; join them. Fast forward; Mr. Oulanyah now subscribes to the political party Mr. Museveni and a couple of others founded.

Mr. Museveni’s actions on Bobi Wine left the public wondering; why would a President who has been in power over 3 decades panic over a young man born 3 years before he became president.

But are we surprised? This doesn’t seem new to us; Mr. Museveni has harassed opposition politicians before. He has cultivated power over a long time, guarded it jealously and would do anything to protect this power including harassing his rivals.

But is it really Museveni? But what about the situation in other African countries?

Nigerian opposition politician Lawal Kaita was arrested in an opposition clampdown move.

Zimbabwean opposition politician Tendai Biti was detained this year. The same happened in Turkey, Eren Erden was arrested last month.

Opposition politicians everywhere in the world are arrested, tortured, harassed. So it is not just Museveni, he’s also a victim. This is not about Bobi Wine or Museveni, it is about Uganda where we stand as a country. There’s something about how Power is organised, exercised, cultivated and how Power is produced in a country like Uganda whose institutions are largely poor, rely on Agriculture, and multi ethnic state.

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These characteristics create a particular social dynamic that requires that for Power to be exercised, whether it is Amin, Obote or Museveni, the difference can be in degree or detail, or form, but can’t be in substance.

Karl Max talks about Power and says;

For any society to function, it needs an economic base where humans organize themselves to perform basic functions to allow human survival. Regardless of how they organize, they need a super structure of a non-economic activity and thought. Enforced by law or custom, backed by a government or clan, it can’t be chosen randomly, it has to reflect a base on which it is raised.

Uganda is a pre-industrial society trying to use instruments of modern industrial society.

Museveni condemned similar actions by Obote’s and Amin’s government same. Names and dates will change, actions will remain the same.

What are the chances that Bobi Wine would not do the same to his critics if he was President of Uganda?

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Is Museveni pursuing his interests or interests of the survival of the state?

There is a very thin line.

Photo courtesy of PML Daily


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