The people who coined the old adage ‘United we stand divided we fall’ must surely have been talking from the experience of their times.
In our times, we have witnessed firsthand, nationally and internationally, how countries which are united enjoy peace, security, and prosperity. Our past is replete with a history of violence based on sectarian differences. There were times when our governments changed as fast as they come. And in all those cases when our country was going through regular violent periods, it was always politically-based.
The presidential times of Obote, Amin, and Okello, were and still are reminiscent of what happens when a country is divided and the leadership seems non-existent. During those times Uganda was used by peaceful neighbours as a scarecrow in order to scare their citizens from engaging in violent activities.
By the way, did you know that Uganda’s problems almost always started with the abuse of political exercises? Whenever there would be need to hold an election, real or sham, Ugandans would store food in anticipation of post election violence. And as night follows day, violence and the evils which come with it, would indeed follow. Only that over the years, Ugandans had come to know that the violent change never lasted too long.
Then, exactly 30 years ago, a new government, our current government, used force to kick out the previous governments, and it promised that ‘never again’ would our democracy be ‘played with’.
Since our most recent general elections however, we have witnessed strange situations that remind us of a life we don’t want to go back to. In the last few weeks and days, we have through the media learnt of cases of cases where some strange people armed with guns, have attacked policemen or police posts and either killed people or disappeared with stolen ammunition.
This is something Ugandans have not witnessed in a long time. We don’t know what to make of these stories. And it scares to even think about. We just pray and hope that what we are hearing, especially what we are hearing from those in charge of national security, is not anything to worry about.
In 1986 when the current government came to power, they told Ugandans that it had found it necessary to create government of National Unity in order to heal wounds and to unite the country. A government of national unity came into being and office-bearers were chosen depending on their individual merit.
This deliberate arrangement has since been dumped on the heap of our history, and the results of our actions are threatening our hopes and aspirations. This is not good, it should worry all peace-loving Ugandans, we have no doubt the NRM government is still committed to the ideals which endeared it to the people of Uganda, and we expect all the arms the arms government to show us that they are on top of things.