Back in the early 90s, when I was in primary school, I was required to watch the 9’oclock news and give my mother a report when she got back home. Bbale Francis was the king of night-time news and invariably he started the bulleting with “President Yoweri Museveni…” There was the one TV station back then, so there wasn’t much choice in the matter and I had to sit through Sevo opening this hospital, cutting ribbons at that ground-breaking and generally dispensing advice to his fellow Ugandans to engage in small scale industry before I could catch a glimpse of Shaka Zulu, Riviera or Herr Derrick. I was aware of a couple of things back then; that my mother’s generation had seen some dark times and that Yoweri ‘son of Kaguta’ Museveni was the greatest man in all the lands of Uganda.
Several lustres later, and I have come to learn a couple more things.
Rosemary makes the news seem so delicious; I'm sorry Mr. Bbale Francis but we be moving on, you should be proud to have a more than able successor.
The religion of father and mother is not gospel truth. If there is one thing our parents have tried to make us understand and appreciate, it is that the peace and security we have enjoyed thus far was bought at a great price and we should never take it for granted. In this spirit, they have had us believe that there is no other Ugandan who can lead this nation but the great ‘son of Kaguta’ because, well, he’s the only one who can control the military, oh and look, we have peace.
All violence is borne of fear. The so called revolutionaries who started the ‘liberation war’ of the 80’s were moved to such actions out of nothing less than fear. Afraid that a corrupt and murderous regime would consume all they had built, all they were, they took up arms to answer that violence with, well, violence and when affected in your cause, it can have many rosy names; cue freedom fighters, security operatives, revolutionaries, sons of liberty and the many coats, caps and flags it has donned in the service of man. Fear is natural, it helps the species survive but when it grows to the point of phobia it becomes the worst of man. Our parents’ society was characterized by fear to the point of eroding the ordinary senses of virtue, pride and dignity; survival was the order of the day and man became beast, base and violent. Yet in all this, as in all the histories of mankind, there were people who still held sense good enough to know and show that, complete surrender was not and never is an option. Their names are forever lost to us and all we have left are second rate heroes who extoll their valiant yet violent feats louder than the village fool. ‘Twatera emundu.”
We are the unfortunate children of a weak society. Our fathers were never strong enough to stand on their own two feet and if we should follow them, we will hobble into our graves to be mocked and forgotten as the sons and daughters of Kaguta. No people should be beholden to their heroes as to sit by and watch the very thing they fought for soiled and destroyed for their want of wisdom. Any leader must know that his primary duty is to guide and inspire the next generation and his greatest triumph to see a stronger, wiser and better leader succeed him, and thus is the lack of a suitable ‘heir’ the greatest failing of the king.