Reading the words of the powerful Hilary Onek, comparing opposition demonstrators to Kony, reminds one of the adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely! This kind of talk is not expected of a man of his “disputed education”. How come this Onek has never seen fit to condemn civilian killings by the police or the brutal Aminic era treatment of opposition leader Besigye at the hands of the police?
Of course the aim of using a word like Kony on the opposition is the same reason why a word like cockroaches was used on the Tutsis in Rwanda – to demonise them so that people, especially the police in this case, feel no constraints in mistreating or even killing them! Address the issues of the demonstrators and they will run out of steam.
Do not use the police as an arm of the NRM but as a force that protects and guides all Ugandans equally, regardless of political leanings! We don’t want our police officers dying as NRM cadres illegally attempting to stifle the opposition. I think Onek should be held responsible if the violence on both sides escalates as result of his incitement!
A judicial inquiry should be made into the actions of the police force and demonstrators during demonstrations so that guidelines that allow for freedom of expression as well as for sensible policing are observed. The military approach that seems aimed at intimidating Ugandans into a quivering cowardly silence is obviously not working. Ugandans are becoming more aggressive and more resentful of a police force that is supposed to be their partner and friend in fighting crime and fostering order but seems to be the chief source of chaos. Gen. Kaihura needs to go back to the drawing board or he may find that he did more to foster rebellion in Uganda than any imaginary rebel groups! Remember that the real aim of a demonstration is to inconvenience the public by ‘being in their face’ so that they hear about your complaint/grievance because you feel the other channels do not afford you a better ear. Given this, how do we strike a balance.
Demonstrations can be a great pain in the proverbial you know what, but they are our protection against dictatorship, and democracies all over the world have in their foolishness left them on their statutes as a fail safe against things that Dictator that you magically cannot remove no matter how many times you beat him at the elections! The demonstration also protects the rights of one citizen against the dictatorship of the majority! We have a right to defer! The fellow yonder may be talking what I consider to be rubbish but I should be willing to die for his right to say his piece – that should be the creed of every Ugandan if we are to have the real fundamental change.