Friday, September 11, 2009

Cry, Uganda

Cant sleep. Literally.
My country is going up in flames. And I don’t think I can do a bloody thing about it.
The saga of the two bulls in the same kraal. Both determined to fight, and god damn the grass that will suffer underneath. Nothing that we will do will stop the fighting. Nothing will stop the egos from touching off nuclear triggers. Nothing and no-one will talk them into sense.
Yesterday I got tired of twittering.
There is some relief, as always, in getting the facts out into the cyber, when I know that there is some kind of logic. But that is personal. That is something that is intangible on the ground. I can report. I feel damned helpless. My country is going up in flames and I am powerless to do anything about the bloody thing!
Early in our partnership, my lover and I realized something. We are inter-ethnic. Yeah, he comes from one tribal group, and I come from another. They have not been always friendly. There are traditional rivalries which boil up now and then. Coupled to the fact that we also think different on the political spectrum. The thing that kept us together was love, the reality of the hostility of our environment to our being together. And a tacit understanding that we don’t discuss politics, and religion. Because we are realized that that would cause chaos.
Its coming to nine years. We have hang out fine.
But the tribal, inter-ethnic fires which suddenly erupted yesterday were too much. We suddenly were fighting. Taking up sides, staking them out. And we couldn’t talk. Each fervent in the side that we supported.
It was amusing. For like five seconds. It deteriorated rapidly afterwards.
Inter ethnic violence.
First the riots were spontaneous. Oh, it was understandable. The Baganda were offered a finger in the eye, the largest insult that they could have, an insult to their cultural identity. An insult to the Kabaka, the king of Buganda.
I could understand the anger. And the spontaneous outpouring of violence.
But the extent was too much, too fast, too ugly. Soon, the rioters had paralyzed the city. The roads were cut, and ugly scenes of mayhem persisted. Scenes of the police and military brutally beating up people were on the television. Until they disappeared. Because the television stations believed they would be shut off for ‘inciting violence’.
The rioter targeted government cars, but soon started targeting those who are different. Anyone who comes from the western part of the country. They made roadblocks, asked people to recite their clan and clan totem if they said that they were Baganda. Madness.
They targeted Asian businessmen. An easy target.
And I was in the confort of my place, listening to the news available, not daring to go out, but, and a big but, it was becoming more ugly. The violence was in most big towns of Buganda. And it was as ugly, and undirected.
Yet, there was a talk show, with a live phone in. NTV, ‘On the Spot’. The discussants were Buganda’s attorney general. (Come to think of it, the Buganda establishment is very, very strong. A 600-700 year history, a tradition and culture that has stood the test of banishment. And the allegiance of the biggest ethnic group.) Yes, they are numerically important. Why have I never thought of that? Damn, but I am politically insensitive.
Anyway, Buganda’s attorney general was put side by side with the official government spokesperson. A lady minister. Ethnically, she is a Munyoro princess. A traditional rival of the Baganda.
I listened as the lady minister tried to paint the face of an injured government. She believed what she was saying. The govt had been provoked.
I listened to the Buganda attorney general. Well, they have the facts and the truth behind them. You have to give them that.
But, and a big but, these guys, after riots which have shut down the city couldn’t agree to disagree. The government was standing by its injured status. And the Kabaka is going to go ahead and tear apart the country.
Two bulls in a kraal. Battle lines drawn. First clash. Others to follow.
My country is tearing itself apart. And I, I cant seem able to do a damn thing about it.


Skorrdal said...

Sorry to hear about your fight with your love. And sorry to hear about the conflict in your country. I hope I will hear from you again - soon. Keep your faith in Love.

Anonymous said...

Love is fighting in patience... My solidarity is with you!

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