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If Besigye is left in peace, would we stop living?

Editorial

If Besigye is left in peace, would we stop living?

Police have made it a habit to camp at the FDC offices to quell any Besigye perceaved threat

Police have made it a habit to camp at the FDC offices to quell any Besigye perceaved threat

The 1981-1986 war in Luwero Triangle was a tough war we were told by General Yoweri Museveni, the man who led the struggle in the jungles of Luwero, and Colonel Besigye who was Museveni’s personal doctor. In their various writings and interviews, the two men talk of the challenges they had to overcome to rid this country of bad leadership.

According to Besigye, he spent most of his time at the High Command with the Commander-in-Chief. And in his own words, he has said his closeness to Museveni gave him the opportunity to understand the mission of their struggle more than any other combatant.

That could indeed explain why after the bush war, he was appointed to the high office of the National Political Commissar (NPC) and, the Minister of State for Internal Affairs where he was the de facto boss. Ugandans who were old enough will remember this doctor who was more powerful than any other minister. Until he fell out with his Commander-in-Chief.

Since then, things have really gone so badly with Museveni’s doctor that you sometimes wonder whether the two men have ever been close confidants. For all his post-bush war years, he has lived his life less in peace and more in pain. He has been beaten, he has been tortured, that the recording of his suffering requires a prior warning of ‘graphic images’.

It is out of this reality that we ask whether Besigye really deserves all the ill-treatment that he has been put through just because he expressed a wish to be a president of this republic of kingdoms. On another day, wouldn’t this be looked at as betrayal?

What if we may ask, would happen if Besigye was let to shake hands and to wave his two fingers at his admirers? Would Uganda close shop? Okay, you may say Besigye is not Mbabazi or Sejusa, or Biraaro or Seya or we do not know who. But how many people and for how long would Besigye attract zillions who would lead to the ‘collapse of Uganda’s economy?

This week the East African Community media has been awash with pictures of Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta meeting his main political adversary Raila Odinga in Nairobi, Kenya. The jovial meeting happens just days after Odinga and other Opposition leaders were tear-gassed in Nairobi as they demanded for electoral reforms.

What does this act by Kenyan politicians show in terms of civilization and political maturity? On Wednesday this week, the opposition Cord party and its supporters were allowed to hold a rally after a High Court Judge had ruled that the police had not provided evidence to show that they would not be able to maintain law and order if the rally was allowed to go ahead.

“I direct the Inspector-General of Police to ensure law and order is maintained during and after the rally. I also direct Cord to ensure they do not promote ethnicity, propaganda or engage in activities that will affect the daily operations of other Kenyans,” Judge George Odunga said on Tuesday.

Seeing Besigye and his supporters being treated the way they are being treated is not only painful, it is shameful. Ugandan politicians must really desist from shattering people’s dreams, their hope and their aspirations.

 

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