Next to my office on Plot36 Nile Avenue is a door that has remained ajar, that of a hitherto friend of many years, and former Deputy Executive Director, Col. Shaban (Sebastian) Bantariza who died on October 27, 2020 from the Covid19 he apparently acquired during many of his official public engagements. At his military burial in Mitooma district mourners including his close family could only painfully watch his coffin being lowered into the grave from a safe distance of thirty meters away.
As election campaigns progress into the home stretch and facing defeat, the combined opposition, especially presidential candidates are increasingly getting desperate, heightening acrimonious political discourse laced with blatant lies, fabrications, malice, intimidation and unmitigated display of violent confrontations. They hope to succeed in their grand plan to discredit the electoral process if they can’t thwart President Yoweri Museveni’s win within the first round.
The just concluded presidential nominations passed off successfully with eleven candidates now slated to be on the 2021 ballot paper, except for the publicity stunt orchestrated by Patrick Oboi Amuriat (FDC), and Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu of the National Unity Platform (NUP). It is worth noting that both belong to the defiance wing of opposition politics that does not believe change can come through the available democratic space.
Tomorrow and Tuesday, the Electoral Commission () will nominate presidential candidates in a crowded field for the forthcoming general elections slated for January 14, 2021, but mostly journeymen without substantial offer in policy alternatives for Uganda’s intractable problems. It will be very hard even for the most ardent journalists to remember some of the names.
In ten days time, the winner in US elections between incumbent Donald J. Trump and Democrat rival former vice president, Joe Biden, or ‘’Sleepy Joe’’ as Trump derisively calls him would have been known. Unfortunately because the US has for a very long time acted the world bogeyman due to its military, economic and internationalist might, many Africans have concluded that they cannot influence the dynamics in US.
Passing for a democratic political organisation, the proponents of the People Power activism recently acquired the National Unity Platform (NUP), they now seek to hopefully use and get state power in the forthcoming general elections. However, NUP leaders and their activists need to be advised to calm down because the future can be a rough tumble, and merely being a youth doesn’t confer unrestrained rights and legitimacy.
This week, October, 9, Uganda marked fifty-eight years of Independence from British colonial rule, with the official ceremony held at State House Entebbe by virtual means because of the Covid-19 pandemic under high restrictions on public gathering and social distancing that has become the new normal. On occasions like this in the past we found solace in blaming colonialism and neo-colonialism for the misfortunes.
Author and journalist Phillip Colin’s book “When They Go Low, We Go High: Speeches that shape the world and why we need them,” is a line often quoted by many including Michelle Obama, and worth referencing to Col (Rtd) Dr Kizza Besigye’s recent falsehoods about the NRM yellow bicycles and motorcycles. Kizza Besigye could be suffering from a disease called Munchausen Syndrome. This disease is an attention-seeking personality disorder which is more common than statistics suggest.
As usual in matters of public policy there are mixed reactions including negative uproars over government’s decision to reopen schools on October, 15, 2020 starting with candidate classes of primary seven, senior four and six, and finalists in tertiary institutions and universities. Not surprisingly, the ubiquitous unsupported rudimentary arguments from some MPs opposing the resumption of schools don’t add much value towards a common clear end point.
With the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) setting nomination timelines for local councils, parliamentary and presidential candidates starting next week, voters now accustomed to the culture of bribes and political freebies, are at the frontline urging or gang pressing candidates who skipped or lost in party primaries to turn up as independent candidates in the general elections.