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Opposition Should Cease The Friendly Fire!

By Abbey Semuwemba
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I don't know if you watched a TV series that's called ''The West Wing'' or not, but in that storyline they already recognized the insanity that passes for normal on the internet. You don't give matches to a two year old for a reason,yet it seems we've done just that by granting young people permission to abuse whoever they want online.For instance, the abuse being showered on Dr. Kiiza Besigye shows how forgetful, ungrateful and disloyal some Ugandans are. I can only imagine the pain Besigye must be feeling right now.

I noticed Hon. Kyagulanyi aka Bobi's fans are playing the 'youth' card frequently, and mistakenly brand whoever supports Besigye to be very old. Yes, the young should be given a chance to lead but they must first prove themselves in some way,and respect for everybody must be maintained. By the way, I'm in the same age bracket as Bobi. Supporting Bobi doesn't mean you can say really unacceptable things and not be called on them just because you are young. Correspondingly, if you say something unacceptable and a Bobi supporter humbly calls you on it, it's not bad either. There's so many words,so much flowery rhetoric, so many childish insults, so much pseudo-psychological blabla - all just because opposition supporters have put both of their feet in their mouth at the same time.I therefore call on all opposition leaders to speak to their people to control their mouths.

A lot of Bobi's fans wrongly call Besigye a mole- meaning he is working for Museveni. But when you ask them to produce evidence, they go on the defensive--saying stuff like, 'he has been around opposing for 20 years', as if there is a timelimit for opposing a dictator. 'He campaigned for M7 in 1996', which, itself isn't true. Besigye was never on Museveni's campaign team. The only time he appeared with Museveni was in Rukingiri when an army order went out ordering him to report to Rukungiri without fail,and he couldnt disobey. Basically, It calls attention to a narcissistic belief,developed arduously,that Bobi's supporters possess a type of fluency with facts.Never mind that the 'facts' they so patenly relish stating wouldn't garner them a place on my 6th-grade daughter's political competition tournament.They get some thrill when tossing around incessantly such words as “ignorance” and “stupidity”, because maybe they were used with them in their childhood?

"He should endorse Bobi like the way Ssemogerere Paul and Hajji Ntege Ssebagala supported him in 2001" - basically just the lamest and most unoriginal ad hominem attacks people use when they see no other way out.Seriously, how could any leader endorse someone viewed as weaker and making a lot of mistakes? Besigye was already doing underground work before he sought endorsement from others. He had reportedly formed a NGO,the Solidarity Ring for The Disadvantaged (SORID) which went on officially to conduct seminars across the country for LC3 councillors, but the NGO was just a front for his political motives. He consulted widely with other leaders before he came out to announce his presidency, he wanted the NRM elders,such as Bidandi Ssali and Crispus Kiyonga, to take on Museveni instead of him. He was even supposed to be arrested before he announced his candidature to the press.He never encouraged his supporters to attack other oppostion leaders in any way or form. He didnt present himself as a dividing factor for the opposition, rather a unifying one. Basically, as Wafula Ogutu rightly observed, 'Leadership is earned. It is not given out on a silver plate'.

Whatever problems this country is facing at present (and has faced successfully in the past), it will meet and conquer with the same united resolve and determination that are cardinal to its leadership in the opposition.That's why the opposition must be very careful when crafting out the leadership positions. Uganda is a very unique country in history and present, compared to a lot of other East African countries. You get the leadership question wrong, even a successful win in an election cannot guarantee anybody a presidency, or a continuation of events in the post election, in your favour. All this flowery nonsense that Bobi was sent by God, cannot arguably work in the present Uganda, and does not change the fact that he(Bobi) gaffed massively by not stopping his supporters immediately they started attacking Besigye online, radios and TVs, before they recently got physical on Buganda radio,CBS fm.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba
United Kingdom
"In tribute to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Uganda, two bastions of strength in a world filled with strife, discrimination and terrorism."