Opinion: Bobi Wine’s silence is telling…

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Dr Martin Luther King Jr

These days you know who your comrade is or not. We know the game of politics isn’t easy or for the faint hearted. No, you got have heart and a steady mind to play it. That’s why with the recent developments… the deafening silence is killing me.

Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, the leader of the People Power Movement and the National Unity Platform (NUP) have remained silent. He hasn’t uttered a word or written a statement. Neither has his party as a whole either. They are clearly looking at it from a populist standpoint and silently moving along like nothing happened.

Bobi Wine is a tactician and have used strategies to gain notoriety. He has been able to use his musical platform and build himself a name with edutainment. While also going into politics to usher in change. He went from being solo MP for his cause and to have about 60 within two or three years. The NUP went from nothing and became the biggest opposition party in the 11th Parliament ahead of the well established ones. That is a feat and a resounding victory for Bobi Wine.

However, he has a narrow path to follow. His party has to coordinate and make right decisions. That’s why the silence on the Anti-Homosexuality Act is compelling to say the least. Especially, if he wants to stand up against impunity and oppression. Because, this law is the definition of that and doing so against one minority.

Yes, the NUP is oppressed, getting activists and leaders detained, abducted and even extra judicially killed. So, it is not like the NUP has it easy. Neither is the price of being active in this manner without a cost. The burden is enormous and you get little to nothing back.

Bobi Wine knows this and it is a struggle. It isn’t an easy ride and it’s going to get testing. This is another test. I know that several of allies and fellow MPs of the NUP supports the act in itself. Heck, one man he campaigned for is the man behind it, Asuman Basalirwa MP.

Shamim Malende, the Kampala Woman MP and NUP Lawyer has vouched for the act too. It’s not like there isn’t people in his circle who is partaking in it and doing the bidding to enact it. That’s a mere observation and obviously they are behind the harsh and inhumane treatment of fellow citizens. Because, that’s what the law does and will do to a minority. No matter how you cut it or justify it. There will be people scorned by it or possible suffer death as a consequence. They are target for one simple reason and that reason isn’t hurting anybody either.

The NUP and Bobi Wine knows what the state does to its critics. The leader of the Opposition knows it very well. The NUP has seen it and been under fire for their stance. Now it is radio silence from the most vocal leader. His not saying a word… and not even a sound-bite. It is like it doesn’t matter or face him.

Bobi Wine… we are hearing you loud and clear. The silence is compelling. Let me end with the words of late Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality”.

He should say something. His a great orator and writer. Bobi Wine can spread a message and get heard. However, the deafening silence is “killing me”. Peace.

Tchad: Front de la Nation pour la Democratie et la Justice au Tchad (FNDJT) – Communique de Presse (31.05.2021)

Republique Centrafricaine: Union des Forces Democratiques de l’Opposition (UFDO) – Communique de Presse No. 002 (31.05.2023)

RDC: Justicia Asbl – Communique de Presse No. 016 – Salomon Idi Kalonda, Conseiller Special du candidate Declare, Moise Katumbi Shapwe doit etre libre Immediatement et sans condidtion (30.05.2023)

RDC: Conjoint Opposition Communique (30.05.2023)

Cameroon: Ambazonia Governing Council – Office of the Secretary for Human Rights & Humanitarian Services (HSS) – Beware of Possible Scam Targeting Ambazonian Refugees Seeking Resettlement (30.05.2023)

Somalia: Somalia Non-State Actors (SONSA) – Press Release (30.05.2023)

Kenya: Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition Party – Azimio Media Briefing (30.05.2023)

Church of Uganda: Church of Uganda grateful for Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 (29.05.2023)

South Africa: The ANC gives Putin immunity…

This was bound to happen, as the South African Government will both hold BRICS Ministerial Meetings in June and BRICS General Summit August this year. Therefore, the ANC and the government had to figure out something. That is has now appeared and they are showing allegiance to Russia.

That is the message and the memo. Not that this is new or anything. Pretoria is bound by the BRICS agreements and the cordial relations with the allies of the BRICS. It would have been a surprise and a shocker if they would have arrested or charged Putin on South African soil That would have been a monumental task and an international quagmire of epic proportions.

The ANC and the government of the Republic already had a bad predicament. As the International Criminal Court has issued charges and pending arrest of Vladimir Putin. This means that his international travels could give way and reasons for his sudden arrest. Even as a head of state and an executive of a sovereign independent Russia.

This has solved and resolved the “illegalities” of a visit and legitimized Putin’s stay in South Africa. It has given him a reason to come and visit. That’s the gist of the reason move. However, I am not shocked. The same nation allowed the same to happen to the former Sudanese President Omer Al-Bashir who visited the nation in 2017.

When that happened, the ICC wrote this in advance of the visit:

“Today, 6 July 2017, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”) composed of Judges Cuno Tarfusser, Presiding, Chang-ho Chung, and Marc Perrin de Brichambaut who appended an individual opinion, delivered in open session its decision finding that South Africa failed to comply with its obligations by not arresting and surrendering Omar Al-Bashir to the Court while he was on South African territory between 13 and 15 June 2015. However, the Chamber considered that it is not warranted to refer South Africa’s non-compliance to the Assembly of States Parties (“ASP”) or the Security Council of the United Nations (“UNSC”)” (ICC, 06.07.2017).

We can most likely see something similar happen when Putin arrives or is scheduled to arrive in South Africa. It is the same thing all over again. The Republic of South Africa haven’t notified that they are leaving the Rome Statute or the ICC. Therefore, they will possibly breach the agreement and there will be ramification that can end up int the Council of United Nations.

We can now also see that the BRICS coalition is more important than anything for the current leadership of South Africa. They are valuing BRICS over other agreements and legal instruments it has signed itself too.

It is surely interesting times we are living in. I am not shocked or surprised this was bound to happen. It is just happening 6 years ago last time and now the same thing is occurring again. To think that its changes that it’s a Russian President versus a Sudanese one is naïve. When the RSA has allowed it to happen before… and in 2023 would be no different. Peace.

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