BY ABBEY SEMUWEMBA
Believe it or not, I hate responding to some issues, but even in the most heated exchange, I consider it somehow “impolite” not to respond to somebody. Its just that sometimes silence to a smear campaign could turn out to be counterproductive in the long run.
The conspiracy theory reared its ugly head on ‘WHO IS TOM OKWALINGA?’ a few days ago, only this time the conspirator fired a lot of empty bullets on my door step.It was basically a nice display of hateful ignorance.If posting nonsense were real money some people would be extremely wealthy.Despite gaping holes of no merit to the allegations against me, Robert Shaka and the other gentleman whom I’ve never heard of till a few days ago, some people still believe what has been spewed/slanted.
Oh man, something is wrong. If we have Uganda citizens ready to be thrown under the bus over unfounded allegations on Facebook, I am speechless.Obviously I have been living in some kind of a bubble. I didnt know that somebody could write something on Facebook, and its taken as the gospel truth by some people. However,sometimes bubbles aren’t so bad.They help keep the blood pressure down.The only thing the rest of us can do is to point out the gaping holes in their agenda.
What is disappointing in all this is that some newsline just rush to publish anything that is posted on Facebook by a celebrity without putting someone to task to furnish them with facts and details.Celebrity reporting in the mainstream media today is at a low point.If it requires a pain in the ass to point this out as often as is required,then I am duty-bound to accept it as my calling.
You can’t just write a story saying, “X is TVO — everybody says so. He took a picture with Besigye in London……” Jesus! You have to name your sources, and show where they got their information. You need hard facts — documentary evidence (records,IP addresses, perhaps). Otherwise, publishing something you know little of risk putting one’s life in danger.You have to think about our society which is hegemonic and cruel to the opposition.Hasty generalisations end up in misleading. I dont wish to land at Entebbe Airport, and somebody puts handcuffs on me basing on a riduculous Redpepper headline. Unfortunately many in the media don’t care about truth or facts only their false narrative. Anyway the haters out there feed off their own ignorance. For record purposes, nobody in the world, unless photoshopped, can produce evidence of me and Besigye together anywhere, not that its a crime itself. Anyway, there are big lessons for all of us, such as:
1. We should quit attacking each other on personal issues,and just keep talking about issues that matter to Ugandans;
2.If you’ve intentionally written something made up about somebody, please grow a pair and apologise for such posts that lower your standard, and the standards of the debate.
3. Let us be consistent and be true bearers of justice against injustice and have the courage to stand by and for our convictions because it is the right thing to do as God commands us, and not because it is easy and fashionable to do. There is no reason why anybody respectable could devote their time attacking the person of Kiiza Besigye.I have studied Uganda politics since 1962 and I have never seen or heard of anyone that has been treated so unfairly as Dr.Besigye.
4. Let us learn to forgive each other. Personally, I have forgiven all those that run a smear campaign against me.There is a huge difference between “dare to question” and “attack and discredit” which is exactly what a few do in here on a continual basis.
Byebyo ebyange banange. Siyina mutawana oba mpalana kumuntu yenna!