This week, walk through the northern town of Gulu, carrying a coffin draped in posters of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.
The funeral cortege proceeded to the burial grounds, first caned the coffin with big sticks after which shocking ordeal they then ‘burried’ the living Mbabazi.
The comments made after the chilling and blood-curling pictures were beamed on our national television channels and all over the world, clearly show how our politics has really gone to the dogs.
Gulu, the town of Nobert Mao, Odongo Otto, Regan Okumu, Joseph Kony and many other Opposition-leaning sons of the soil, strangely turned into anti-Mbabazi centre. Yet, most strangely, the anti-Mbabazi crusaders who had taken over the town, were donning some yellow stuff in a town not known for fraternising with things yellow. But who said there are permanent relationships in politics.
While that scene could be seen and it passes living horror in its track, televisions immediately showed another news item showing policemen beating up Mbabazi supporters in Kampala for wearing Mbabazi T-shirts and committing no other crime. The young men had in their possession tree plant seedlings and medicines and books they said they were going to distribute to Ugandans who needed them. They were violently arrested and held at Kawempe police station.
Then midweek, Dr. Kizza Besigye supporter was shot by Police at the party headquarters, Najjanankumbi. After the media flashed the picture the victim of the police shooting lying flat out with an injury on his right hand, with his head resting on bloody-soaked, Police spokesperson, Patrick onyango confirmed the shooting, but that he was shot with a rubber bullet.
Both Kiiza Besigye and Amama Mbabazi are reported to be preparing to challenge President Museveni during the 2016 presidential elections. The police attacks on the supporters of the two politicians come after Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda warning Police of Uganda not to get involved in partisan politics, and advising police to handle all politicians and their supporters in the same way.
When challenged in parliament, the prime minister had this to say: ‘The role of Police is to enforce the law irrespective of who may be affected. Police should carry out its duties and should not be discriminating against Ugandans’. In spite of the warnings against police, the police continues to be openly partisan.
What is worrying is the level of police brutality and victimization against politicians from the Opposition as we move towards 2016 campaigns and general elections. There is a lot of fear among people. Common conversations these days revolve around fear. And in the midst of all the goings-on, police behavior is costing the government a lot of votes.
Going back to ‘Mbabazi burial’. How would today’s leaders want to be treated once they are out of power? They have often times warned us against taking Uganda back to its violent past. They have decried governments that act extra-judiciary. How can the same government keep a blind eye as its police terrorise Ugandans with divergent views or Ugandans exercising their inalienable rights?
How Ugandans forget so quickly. Remember every dog has its day.