Opinion: Why does every By-Election these days look like a War-Zone?
Let us be honest for a minute, the recent By-Elections under President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, have become more hostile and more militarized, where the big guns, the soldiers and the mambas are all over the place. That is happening today in Sheema Muncipality in Ibanda and in Bugiri Muncipality in Busoga sub-region. Both National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidates and opposition contest in both of them.
What is striking today is the efforts of the police and the army to intimidate in both places. In Sheema Muncipality and in Bugiri Muncipality, the Army and Soldiers are armed to their teeth. Like there is a war going on, and not a democratic exercise on who gets to represent the people in the newly created districts. No, no, it looks like a war story and someone is going to die!
Seriously, who brings the war machine to an election, if they are not fearing for losing it? Who isn’t bringing the police to arrest opposition activist on the day of the poll and not afraid of losing it?
If the NRM was so steady and had a message, had a mandate and trust in the community, would they need the UPDF and the Police Force to settle intimidation into their eyes. Seriously? I beg to ask!
You can say what you want about elections and about campaigning, but when the ruling regime and the orders from above, is to send a brigades of soldiers to the polls. You know something is wrong, you know that these elections are no good. That is just a common knowledge. Maybe not for Ofwono Opondo or Frank Tumwebaze, but for the rest of us it is.
This isn’t a sign of strength, but more of weakness, of a justification of harassing and intimidating the public. Just because you can and because you have the army. This isn’t there to secure democratic values or secure the public. Than, the soldiers would have bases there and await a sudden strike from an enemy. Not suddenly come out of their barracks and post up in the middle of towns and poll stations in the early mist of morning. No, that isn’t it.
Maybe, just maybe, the NRM thinks so, but than they are gallantly, stupid and I cannot blame them anymore. They are just the National Rwakitura Movement, where all citizens are his cows and he is just waiting to spoil their milk. That is just what is up.
Are the NRM so afraid of losing, that they have to order soldiers in the street to prove they exists and that they can hurt you, if you don’t obey every command made by Museveni? Is that it, is that the magic potion to get people on board. If so, than the President have forgotten Franz Fanon and his wisdom.
As the war-zones of Sheema and Bugiri have smiled to us today and God knows how the tallies will be. Let me end with the words of Fanon.
“The state, which by its strength and discretion ought to inspire confidence and disarm and lull everybody to sleep, on the contrary seeks to impose itself in spectacular fashion. It makes a display, it jostles people and bullies them, thus intimating to the citizen that he is in continual danger. The single party is the modern form of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, unmasked, unpainted, unscrupulous, and cynical” (Frantz Fanon – ‘The Wretched of the Earth, P: 164, 1961).
That is enough of the nonsense. Peace.