Well, its been a while since the President have addressed the public. Maybe, after meeting the diplomats from European Union at the State House of Entebbe. They told the old man with the hat, that he should try to sway public opinion about the acts of the Police Force and Army, which is used as tools to shutdown the Opposition. The President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni trying to defend the acts of the authorities, isn’t surprising, they are doing his bidding. I will not dissect the whole article published today, but just the vital parts in my opinion. Because lots of is his own self-praising, that he does at every opportunity he have. It is just his M.O at this point.
“If you want to hold a public meeting (olu kungana) or a procession (ekivulu) for a legitimate reason, you should liaise with the Police, so that your public meeting or your procession does not endanger the lives of other Ugandans or the safety of their property. You agree with the Police on the route, if it involves a procession, or the venue if it is an event or a rally. The problem we have with some elements of the opposition is that they ignore this. They want to hold meetings or processions near markets or through crowded streets. This one we cannot allow” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 05.05.2019).
What is weird about this argument is that he thinks the public is so ignorant and so blind to the activity of the opposition. Especially, the consideration of the applications and notifications of all public rallies, all ones done by the opposition. They have complied, but still the Police Force have blocked it. If it is concerts of Kyarenga Extra of Bobi Wine or any rally in any district by the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). The notification and even the paying the stadiums and town gardens are blocked by the Police Force, even before it is starting. So, we know the state is not allowing the gathering of the FDC or real opposition by all means. Not for safety, but because they challenge Bosco. So, his issues are also backfiring. As the government party and ruling regime are allowed to do processions without any issues or public gathering where-ever it fits, even public markets like the Owino Market in Kampala. So, the President really thinks the public is stupid like his cows.
“Therefore, if you want to assemble publically or to procession, it must be for a legitimate reason. If it is to preach hate, to decampaign investments in Uganda etc., then we shall not allow you. Those who have ignored this logic have paid a heavy price” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 05.05.2019).
What is legitimate reasons? Is it stand for your sole candidacy or your causes? Because, anyone else will be shutdown, met with tear-gas and arrests. That is just what happens, if not blocked or house-arrested before entering the paid venue. This is just what is happening, as the Police Force are steady monitoring the acts of the opposition and criminalizing all their activities. Therefore, whatever they do is illegitimate in your eyes and by your authorities. They can never win, they can only loose.
They can notify and negotiate with the Police Force for a rally, a conference and even a concert, but by the ordinary option. The Police will block it or even disperse the crowds before entering the venue. That’s why his assessment is bit far fetched. There are no way the Police Force are accepting rallies, except in a limited window of an election roadmap, but even then the Police can close a rally then.
So anything that his not interfering with the ego of the President and his comrades. The rest have to beg for mercy to legitimate or be like Mama Mabira who kissed the ring. That is just who he his. Also, last part, which needs to be addressed:
“However, I also disapprove of the method the Police used to break the glass of Bobi Wine’s car. They should have towed the vehicle to wherever they wanted him to be” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 05.05.2019).
This one is really ironic, because this has been done to plenty of politicians in Uganda. This is not a new tactic of the Police. They have destroyed glass to throw in tear-gas into the vehicle. I know of plenty of times this has been done in the Republic. The Police Force have even towed Besigye across several districts to the closest prison at one point. So, he wanted the same thing when Bobi Wine crossed to property at One Love Beach and drag him to Mukono. Because, that is okay of them without warrants or even charges. This shows his lack of respect of individual freedom, which is only given to Jajja, but not the public in general.
This text shall be a warning, that all opposition is by all practicality illegitimate in the eyes of the President. Not that this is new, he has called by them all names and said he would destroy them. Surely, this sort of defence is showing his intent before the 2021 election. There is nowhere to hide, as they are clearly not spreading the message, the almighty accepts. But, we knew that already. Peace.
I wonder, this is an experiment, what if the Public Order Management Act was measured in way, where it didn’t hurt the opposition or any dissidents of the government, the President and the National Resistance Movement, but instead went directly and worked against them. I know, its impossible at this point of time, but that is why this an example. An example that has been running in my mind all day.
Let’s say President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was stopping in a roundabout in the middle of Kampala or even at Owino Market without any prior notification to the authorities. Where he would cease the ordinary life and people would congregate around his Toyato Land Cruiser, but also around the convoy of Special Force Command (SFC) and so-on. Still, because he didn’t apply to be there and hold this meeting.
The authorities would than be sanctioned to send the Police Force, the Residential District Commander together with the Regional Police Commander and the Kampala Metropolitan Police had to intervene. They could even send the Flying Squad there to stop the crowds to gather around the President. Arrest the “ring-leaders”, the people who he was planning to meet. Seal of the venues and tear-gas the crowds. Even put the President in the back of the black-van and drive him back to Okello House. Where he would be in House-Arrest until he followed the Police Order and didn’t incite violence. As he did on that day without notification to have a meeting with random people on the streets of Kampala.
In the same fashion as the National Resistance Movement was planning to hold a Conference and Leadership Training at Kyankwanzi. The Party would have to inform about the planned scheduled program, about the media meetings and the addresses, where the press is supposed to participate at the venue. Where the Police Force would swiftly deny entry because they don’t have manpower to keep the NRM safe or the public. As the NRM would still go ahead on their own property, the Police Force would have to seal of the venue, arrest Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and Dr. Tanga Odoi. As they are parts of this, others that might be picked for rowdy behaviour and inciting violence would be Frank Tumbewaze, Ofwono Opondo, Kahinda Otafiire and Maj. Gen. Matayo Kyaligonza. All of them would be behind bars, awaiting trials for unknown alleged circumstances and the state awaiting to produce the evidence of it.
As those circumstances and contexts seems fine and dandy. There are others, that would seem fitting too. Since the NRM likes to ferry crowds in and around election times. Let say the NRM went around with their gadgets, their little soaps, foods and thousand shillings notes to the villages,as the NRM Village Projects always appear on the Campaign Trail of the Party.
As your playing that in your mind, as the NRM are travelling in the deep villages of Moroto or Adjumani. As the NRM Buses are ferrying crowds to the venues of the nearby stadiums. Where the President, his musicians and the SFC is in and about. The Police Force are coming with their mambas, arresting the coordinators of the Campaign. The driver of the President is taken to unknown location. His Land Cruiser is towed while he is still in it. The shocked NRM Party are following and trying to block the Police from doing this. While Secretary General Lumumba is trying to alarm the press. The NBS and NTV journalists following the Campaign Convoy is arrested and heading by another police van to Arua. The President is landing at the Moroto Magistrate Court, where his charged quickly before his airlifted to Luzira Maximum Security Prison. While the rest of the Campaign Team is either trying to get detained activists out of prison in Moroto Military Prison or awaiting trial themselves. Since, they have all broken the peace and public order by ferrying the crowds to the venue. A venue they hadn’t the clearance of the Police or the Police didn’t care about the notification and stopped it anyhow.
This was just three random scenarios. Very real scenarios, which the Opposition meets every day and all the time. Especially, when trying to gather or do political work. They cannot manage to do it, without the police intervening or being in the way of their work. The Opposition, if they try, they end up house-arrested, detained or charged with a crime. Even if the only thing they tried to do, was to actually do party work.
So, when the likes of Frank Tumwebaze saying the Police have made the Opposition heroes. Well, the Police have made them felons and outlaws, by just doing their duty and to be the checks and balances in the system. In a system that monitor, control and charge them, any time they can. This is the system that is built around the Public Order Management Act, as the Opposition has to beg to gather and do political work. Which is not a given, because the Police can use any reason or any excuse not too. That is just the way it is, but the NRM can do whatever, since the President and NRM has the Police and the Army. That is why the President can make a meeting without any form of notification and doesn’t need to follow the POMA. Even if he should, because he shouldn’t be above the law, but actually abide to it. Like everyone else. Peace.