In political terms, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney come from two different ideological worlds. However, they have been pictured hugging each other, smiling and openly criticizing each others’ policies, and this has not led to any stone throwing on the streets of New York. Question; are Americans not born of a woman like us Ugandans? If they are, just why do we think we must take to the streets and engage in running battles in order to show our discontent with each other?
In recent times, Ugandans have been very unhappy with the biting high cost of basic products including fuel. Others just can’t wait for the day when President Museveni ceases to be President of Uganda. Sadly, the tactics used to address these two problems for example, are grossly off target; you take to the streets, well knowing that prices are determined elsewhere; and you also decide to spend so much money on workshops to discuss how Museveni should go, yet you very well know how he came to be. In the end, so much time and resources are wasted on wrong strategies, innocent people get injured and others die in aimless scuffles.
Just the other day when FDC leader Dr. Kiiza Besigye and Elias Lukwago took to the streets under their walk to freedom slogan, they obviously knew that freedom would not be attained that way. In any case, they did not have the numbers to forcibly achieve their motive like it was elsewhere in the Middle East. They were in other words seen to be disrespecting lawful orders not to cause disorder in the city. Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago was captured on camera saying to a Police Officer that, “I have kept my cool for long…”. By implication, Lukwago was insinuating that at the slightest further provocation, he could have assaulted an officer on duty! Of course as it were, the opposition leaders were quickly rounded up and arraigned as their supporters looked on.
Now I wonder; what kind of example are our leaders setting for the young generation? That when you have a disagreement on policy, you should induce a fight! Soon after he was released, Lukwago boarded the plane to Sweden for his scheduled engagements, leaving behind his hapless constituents on needless alert after some lost their businesses due to the running battles with the police.
A few days ago, I watched a ceremony in which the Presidents of South Sudan and Sudan were attempting to end the animosity between the two countries. In his speech after the function, H.E Salva Kiir mentioned of how he had to cancel his trip to the United Nations meeting in order to ensure that he signs an agreement with his counterpart. Such an agreement was dear to both sides as it is bound to save the two countries from damnation. Similarly, I would have been happy to see the Lord Mayor hang around to empathize with his people still nursing the effect of tear gas.
My humble suggestion is that leaders should desist from engaging in cheap politics because it does this country no good. What we need are alternative ideas for transforming our country-and once the populace is convinced about these ideas, they will certainly rally behind them and cause the desired change in whichever way. Otherwise, these pockets of induced running battles with the police will only serve to blackmail Uganda as a chaotic country.