“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
It is not hard to imagine this as Dr. Kizza Besigye lingers in prison together with fellow FDC leadership at Naggalama Police Station. This after a horrific week and weekend. Where the Police has silenced more consultation meetings and stopped more radio stations in the country. Ironic isn’t it, that the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is currently on a radio campaign tour around the republic spreading message of good governance towards land reform. While in the same country, the rights to assemble and to have meetings are squashed with force.
Well, the limited freedom, taking away the freedom for those who questions the Age Limit and the lifting of it. That is what is happening, it happen earlier this month, when broadcasters was obliged and ordered not to have any of the 25 suspended Members of Parliament on any of their broadcasts. This with the banning of concerts hold by Robert Kyagulyani MP aka Bobi Wine. Certainly, the state do what it can to limit the freedoms and free speech in favor of keeping the age limit in the Constitution.
When Kanugu Radio and Pearl FM is suspended and certainly more will follow, as they have had the guts to question the need and have had guest who is not Age Limit removal friendly. This is the beginning of severe oppression. For not only Besigye and his fellow brethren, but also a bigger picture will elope. These Radio Channels and Broadcasters are just proof of the limit freedom that persist right now.
The stories and the tales will be there, but if they are to hard-hitting and straight-forward they might even close Daily Monitor, the Observer and Red Pepper. Not too long ago someone broke into the Observer and stole a lot equipment. Nobody has been arrested or charged on that matter.
We know the state has already embarked on the trip of assaulting and questioning the Civil-Society Organizations and the Non-Governmental Organization, the CSOs and NGOs are under attack and siege, three has already had their offices turned into crime scenes. The Police has already besieged JEEMA, Democratic Party and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) during the last few weeks. Overall, this is limiting the freedom and intimidating society as whole.
The police is a partisan in oppressing the society and the people, they are target selected few and at random on the consultant meetings, detaining leaders, MPs and activists, but next time it might be you. They are not sparing anything in their duty of assaulting the basic freedoms and expression of dissent. They even charged an over 70 year old in Bushenyi for collecting signatures. Just breathe and think about that, collecting signatures makes you a criminal.
In addition, you should know something is wrong, when just to get the Raphael Magyezi bill passed to Legal and Constitutional Committee for review; it had to be at gunpoint and with Special Forces Command breaching the chambers and clear the court. This should not be accepted and be the way it is done, but apparently it is okay in the state of affairs. Certainly, with the knowledge of the praising session in the aftermath of speaker Rebecca Kadaga. You know there limit freedom is the mantra and the way the NRM operates. Limit the freedom of the ones that dissent from the view that fits the President.
So the towns, the consultations will be filled with harassment, the courts will be a mockery and the activists will linger in jail. The innocent might die at rallies and the police will call the organizers criminals, while they was the aggressor pulling the trigger. This is the state of mind, the mad reality of the age limit. The rush, the hurry and the oppression. The quest of deliberately giving the republic a President for Life!
If you think, this will be beautiful and story of hope, than things has to change. However, for now the government will the police and soldiers to intimidate, and make sure they bill be passed in Parliament. Nothing will stop them, unless the activists and opposition garn all the support and create a real uprising as never seen before.
So if you accept limited freedom, which is the program of the state. That is what you is served and that is the order of the state. That is why joint-MP Consultation meetings are banned and so many other public gatherings is dismissed.
Certainly, this age limit thing is not dying. It keeps breathing and shuffling hard fists at the public. I just wonder how much beating and harassment will the public accept, how little freedom and how limited their representatives will accept. We can question it now as it is going on. Certainly, you know that this will not stop, as it goes now it benefits the President. Moreover, get the ones standing in his way silenced. They will do this until they stop and gives up. That is the will of the state and at all cost.
Therefore, the question now be. When has the NRM crossed a bridge that is too far?