The Unusual Opposition Leader!
Warren Kizza Besigye Kifefe is now in Luzira prison after the controversial 2016 presidential elections. Besigye who is widely credited with being a co-author of the defiance campaign, is to go on trial on treason charges.If convicted, he faces decades in prison or death penalty.
Reform is like the heat devil on a hot desert road and Besigye is a demonstration of the reformation and evolution of a human life. He's a vivid illustration of how an individual can completely revolutionize himself with nothing aside from will power, work, and belief.He's has been opposing Mr.Museveni since the 1990s and he has not relented in his efforts to get rid of his government at all. He has never been convicted of anything but he has been arrested more times than any other person in Uganda's history.
He resonates with the school children, poor, market traders, business men, prisoners, unemployed, the sick, criminals and nihilists because they see him as their would be savior. But, with his own hands, drive and mind, he has remodeled himself into the type of leader Uganda needs and has not yet seen. And even while holding that perch, he has never been heard under minding publicly any of the other leaders in the opposition.
He respects them because he is one of them. And understands their struggle because that very struggle has shaped him into the most powerful voice in this century.No other opposition leader stands a chance in an election right now as long as Besigye is a candidate. He even seems to be more powerful than the FDC itself where he holds no official executive position.
Besigye, usually described as "militant", actually speaks with incredible measure and precision, not hyperbole. He cites concrete examples, names, dates when making a point against Museveni's leadership. He makes his case like a skilled lawyer(yet he's a medical doctor by profession). Yes, he sometimes sounds angry but who wouldn't when you are never allowed to exercise your rights freely. The truth is that he's deeply concerned about the declining situation in our country. Deeply invested. But not as so angry as his opponents portray him. He has the calm of someone who knows the truth when explaining something to the media. That justice is on his side. That he has nothing to apologize for while his oppressors have much to answer for. He's just a truth teller and speaks in the plain language of a man simply delivering a message. He exemplifies prophetic leadership from which we all have so much to learn.
A lot of people have learned tremendously from his unyielding commitment to social justice, how he has fought for democracy since the bush war in Luwero, and the depth of his personal sacrifice to advance the interests of the marginalized. I have never met nor spoken to him but am awed by the transformative power of his otherworldly will. You have to salute a man who is arrested day in day out while his supporters are watching and doing nothing, but then he gets the guts to continue with the struggle.
The 'Ugandans-will-walk-with-swag' comment during the presidential debates is still giving millions hope that change is coming as it did when he first made it. Our domestic political system is built so that the government is rather like a one-legged dog(one-man running the show), operating and carrying the weight of the whole body, so that the dog is always stumbling and going in circles; and our public life consists largely of gathering in the streets or social media to watch the dog stumble about and sometimes biting us helplessly, and of pointing at him, and laughing, and making unpleasant jokes, and blaming the opposition whenever the dog falls on his face. Unfortunately, one could easily be labelled an enemy of the state if you keep pointing and laughing at the stumbling one-legged dog on a street!
*Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba*
Stalk my blog at: http://semuwemba.com/
"My journey is long and my preparation is so little, and weakness has gripped me and death is chasing me!"