: It is now customary for M7 and his cohort to award medals to themselves and to their friends on today’s heroes’ day.The surprise of today’s action that has of recent become routine is not the massive award of different categories or grades of medals [massively, i.e.; like the case was with the European communist regimes]. It is the “personal nature” of the relations of some of the beneficiaries that raises an eye. Leading one to ask: “Was the Luwero adventure a private/personal affair”?
1/4. The beneficiaries: This time around, 720 different types were awarded. It is not the categories that matter but the beneficiaries: Maj. Kakooza Mutale (of the famous KAP – Kalangala Action Plan squads) – may be as a reward for having tried, in vain, to clobber Nambooze’s supporters away from the polling booths, Shaban Bantariza [former Army propaganda chief], John Nasasira, Paulo Etyang, Haji Naduli [Ex-LC V chair of Luwero who banned Obote’s cortege from going home via Luwero, now NRM Luwero Chair], etc.
2/4. Home-sweet-home?? the most interesting bit was when names of 3 special women in M7’s personal life were read among the beneficiaries: Eng. Ms Winnie Byanyima Besigye, Ms Hope Kivengere & Ms Amelia Kyambadde, who till this week was in charge of the M7 house-hold (now quarteres at State House), a task she fulfilled since the exile days in Gothenburg, Sweden about 30 years back, where she was home-help, up to today.
3/4. Irony: The irony here is of course the Eng. Winnie case. Being a man, I cannot be the first to throw a stone. The irony is, instead, at the political level. As his wife was being decorated with a war-hero’s [heroine’s] medal the husband, Dr. KG, was being clobbered, at the (Queen’s) Clock Tower, by the NRM-Kiboko [whip] squad (special militia, recently trained for the 2011 elections), under the supervision of the Police commanders. The fact that this may be a calculated move to hit Besigye bellow the belt retrospectively cannot be ruled out. The intention to interfere in another man’s domestic affairs need not be mentioned -We saw it all in Hon. Njuba’s case, especially after he cried out about it and after separating with his beloved Gertrude. Examples are very many.
4/4. The bigger irony is, of course, that all those who were wounded and had their lives saved by the Colonel Doctor are being warded medals while Besigye himself cannot, a fact so ridiculous that it is not even not lost on the beneficiaries themselves. As a matter of fact, Gen. Salim Saleh (a.k.a. Akandwanaho=The Lord fought my battles or defended me) among others, urged, last year, that Besigye merits a medal. Well, the wife has been listed for one. Whether she takes it or not, is another matter. After all, M7 said that, like the sign of the Cross (on the forehead) during Baptism (Anglican, at least), the medals are an “outward sign of what is inside” – meaning that, take or leave the medal, Eng. Winnie [like others) is still in the heart (??)
Food for thought, indeed.
(a). “Happy Heroes’ Day” to you all, although I had myself forgotten about it, till around 10:00 AM when I woke up to learn that the whole of Greater Kampala had been cordoned off or ‘secured’ (against the Citizens, not against an external enemy), as they say here, these days, without a declaration of the “State of Emergency”.
But, even “27th May” was once a Heroes’ Day” and so were 11th April and 25th January (Liberation days).
(b) Normally, in Ugandan paractice today, when an officer/beneficiary is awarded a medal, the decoration is carried out by two persons: The guest of honour together with the spouse. The mother of all questions now arises, will Dr. Besigye join the C-in-C to, side-by-side, deorate “War Heroine” Eng. Mrs. Winnie Byanyoma Besigye, at Stae House, Entebbe??
Christopher in Kampala.