Professor Apolo Robin Nsibambi 78, the time keeper has kept his time, and in keeping with many African traditions, almost all obituaries so far, have only spoken well about his life. But Nsibambi who died last Friday, peacefully at his home, like all human beings had the other side, and at the risk of enlisting wraths, I modestly venture into shedding some light on parts of what few will dare publicly say today.
By Ofwono Opondo
During this season that some see as a rise of national ‘discontent’ Ugandans are once more entering another crescendo of benign political episode, with the launch mid this week of another political party called Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) led by retired Major General, Greg Mugisha Muntu. The much acclaimed ANT, is a rather colourful acrimony, if you consider that in Uganda there are edible little insects called white and black ants.
The outright victory by the governing African National Congress (ANC) in the just concluded elections in South Africa has debunked the youth political bubble especially when expressed through rancor, greed, indiscipline and self-aggrandizement. As a fraternal and sister liberation political organization to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) in Uganda, we extend salutations and congratulations to the ANC for proving the naysayers wrong again and again over the years.
Ofwono Opondo May, 7, 19 Besigye games…1
Unmasking Kizza Besigye and his political games
The revival of Uganda Airline, under Uganda National Airline, has enlisted mixed reactions of optimistic euphoria from majority of Ugandans, and negativism by a few especially opposition leaning. President Yoweri Museveni, who was all smiles when he received the first two Bombardier planes, expressed optimism that rival of a regional carrier is still possible. While the optimists think it will succeed, pessimists are spreading a narrative of a vanity project for President Museveni’s ego trip.
Since last week’s Supreme Court ruling that upheld an earlier decision that the 2017 Constitutional amendment which among other things lifted the presidential age limit for candidates seeking office of president, there has been condemnation of judges who made the majority decision. The amendment also removed the age limit requirement for candidates seeking district chairperson seat.
Events in Algeria and Sudan where long serving presidents have been toppled in quick succession many people have sent many tongues wagging with excitement within the opposition, and suppressed trepidation among some NRM supporters worried that the trend could soon sweep through Uganda. It is important to analyse what appears to be the common threads in Algeria and Sudan, namely ideology, social and economic deprivation, lack of democracy, longevity and age of the presidents, to understand if Uganda is similarly fertile for a popular mass insurrection.
Following last week’s events involving the kidnap and eventual rescue of an American female tourist, Kimberly Sue Endicott and her tour guide Jean Paul Mirenge, in the Queen Elizabeth National park’s Ishasha sector in Kanungu district, frenzy, anxiety and cynicism descended into the local Ugandan media. The frenzy and anxieties were understandable because of the potential ramifications on Uganda’s economic progress, stability and image as a good destination for investments, trade and tourism.
Weeks of peaceful protests, that forced Algeria’s president for twenty years, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to abandon running again for office, and on Tuesday culminated in him relinquishing power with immediate effect has re-ignited Dr Kizza Besigye, back to ‘life’ swinging his political pendulum aimlessly. Bouteflika suffered a stroke in 2013 and has rarely been seen in public.
Opposition political groupings are reported to be mulling over whether to work in alliance towards 2021 elections supposedly to defeat the NRM, but perhaps more precisely, to dislodge President Yoweri Museveni, whose longevity gives them sleepless nights. But, so far, the deep cracks are evidently visible, as each accuses the other of being a mole working for President Museveni. And although each of them claim, without much evidence to be fighting for ‘Ugandans’, it will be quite hard for them to dismantle NRM’s record.