Saturday, September 12, 2009


Peace, calm has returned to Kampala.

Oh, I dont doubt that the armoured personell carriers (mambas) are still patrolling the city. I dont doubt that there are thousands of plain clothes intelligence people mingling with the cautious crowds. They are there. And we know it, and so we have to be cautious.

Storm in a tea cup. But it has been and we have lost something like 8 people. And the Kabaka has not gone to see his constituents. And the govt feels like it has won.

And the Baganda? Bitterness. Angered, bitter. Well, time cools down that. At least for now, the only storm in the air is grey weather storming in from the west. Has been some time since it rained. We need it. The rainy season has not been very convincing, though lots of rain have fallen.

Tradition is funny. The President has the military might and power. He has the force of the establishment behind him. The Kabaka has only tradition behind him. That, and the people who call themselves 'his' people.
They had to prove it. And they did. It is no doubt that he is popular, and they like him. The Kabaka. And what does that do for the elected president? A problem. At least that is what I think!!!!! And, of course, the opposition has been ecstatic. Nothing like having your opponent score consistent own goals.

The President came out with a whine that rivalled those of gug. Yeah, the guy did...

I am sorry, this must be seditious, but, I must complain. The guy is the President of the country, President of the republic. The Kabaka is a traditional leader of just a part of the population. But, do you know why we have had this fracas? The President told us.
Apparently, the saga has been ongoing for a long time. The Kabaka and the Baganda want something. Return of some land, political, and federal power back to the Kabaka, and others. The president refused to negotiate that. So, the Kabaka, over years, becomes the de facto leader of the opposition. He hides behind the opaqueness of tradition, and challenges the President. Man!!!!!!

But that is politics, I thought. That is life...! Why complain that water is fluid?

So, know what the President complains? That this Kabaka has not been answering his phone. I swear, that is what the guy did. He first gave us a long lecture on how bad the Baganda and the Kabaka and Mengo, the Kabaka's government are. The Baganda kingdom has a 900 year history. The President was merciful to us. Instead of giving us a litany of how bad they were before, he concentrated on the last 100 years or so. He listed them down, he analysed. He listed down the many reasons that the Kabaka and the Baganda have to be thankful to him. He had the whole country as a captive audience. And he really did it.

Museveni is no Barack Obama. He reads his speeches. Slow, tedious, boring. The guy had written it down in long hand, if I am not mistaken. And it was a whine and whing, which dear gug can do, well, much better!!! The de facto cause of the impasse was the Kabaka visiting a part of his kingdom. The real cause, two bulls in the same kraal.

You know, during that speech, I was thinking, man, you are the president of the country. Yes, Museveni is His Excellency the President. The whine just did not suit him. Not at all.
The Kabaka came off much more 'leader like'. More, ahem, Presidential...! He was quiet. According to custom, he only speaks through surrogates. Not once was his voice heard. But the Baganda responded.

And the heavy handedness....! Dear President, have you thrown away your wits? Can you sincerely threaten, abuse, demean the Kabaka (yes, you did just that) and expect you are not abusing the Baganda? Oh, I know them. They are proud, cantankerous, not easy going. After all, I have grown up in the middle of Kampala. I do know them. They do have pluses and minuses.

But, let us put that tribal sentiment aside.

To me, it sounded like the President put aside statesmanship in his ego fight with the Kabaka. And, worst of it, it showed. Badly!

No, Mr President. You did yourself a disservice. You are the President of all Ugandans. Including the Baganda. And, at that particular moment, you had singled out a particular tribe to lambast with abuse. And it was very, very ugly.

Yeah, ugly enough on the side of the populace... The rioting, the deaths, the heavy handedness, the loss of property. It was ugly. And I felt that ugliness, reminded me of the many days we have spent without such pain. But Mr President, it was beneath your dignity. You are the President. Act Presidential.

That is the opinion of a poor, obviously disturbed and, (of course) embarrassed gay Ugandan.

Yeah, I know this rant is going to be taken as seditious. But, human beings are human beings, arent we????? Tell me that I am wrong, I will shamefully, and gladly correct myself.


1 comment:

AfroGay said...

Hm ... Generally agree with you. But I am not so sure that this is just a storm in a tea cup. I look at it as a fissure in a rumbling volcano.

As for the President acting presidential ... hasn't he been trying to learn how to do that for the last 23 years?

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