Thursday, September 10, 2009

Two bulls, the same Kraal.

I have blogged about this before. And now, that the likes of George Oundo and Ssempa are giving me some respite, I am seeking for something to blog about.

‘Course I can burden you with my poetry. Sniff…!

But, I live a full life. So the one sided blogging here is just a sliver of my life. Yes, I try to live a full life. In my other guises.

Anyway, two bulls in the same kraal. Recipe for a fight.

Has been brewing for some time, and seems to be heading for a climax. Saturday. This Saturday.

Ok. Some background.

Before the white man stepped into Uganda, country was politically organized in tribal kingdoms. Many of them. Diverse. And of course looser chieftains and other entities. Come independence, they were still there. But the old and the new found co-habitation a problem. A federal system was established at independence. So, the then President of Uganda… No. My history is wrong. The Executive Prime-Minister fought a war which deposed the President in 1966. The President at that time happened to be the Kabaka of Buganda. King of the most numerous tribal group, the Baganda.

What followed was war. War, and more war.

Kingdoms were abolished. The leaders were exiled. Cultural history extinguished, in the name of a new and better Uganda. But, and a very, very big but, tribal identities are an enduring part of what makes us Ugandans, and Africans.

So, after a turbulent 70’s, and 80’s decade, came Museveni. Popular uprising. Successful rebel. And populist. At that time, he thought, why fear the tribal leaders? Reinstate them. And, of course it was very, very popular.

So, the tribal leaders were reinstated.

The Kabaka of Buganda came back from exile. He was crowned. And there was a lot of joy. Part of Museveni’s southern strategy. He is from the west. And he knows that, with a popular vote for the presidency, the north was out of control. (Would never believe, like in Khazai’s Afghanistan that 100% of the vote from an opposition stronghold goes to the incumbent. Elections are not rigged that way…!)

So, the Baganda were happy. The Banyoro were happy, and the Basoga happy.

Then came problems.

Remember, the ‘cultural’ leaders are not supposed to be ‘political’. What a farce. What nonsense!

For some time, they seemed not to be.

And now, they have gotten tired of the central governments restrictions. And, the powerless, disorganized opposition has seen some very ripe ground for campaigning.

And, the very politically astute Museveni has decided to score some very funny own goals. See, the power of the ego. He is the big bull. And these small bulls are absolutely aggravating. They are pecking at him, pulling, pushing. And doing the unthinkable, supporting the opposition!

Museveni is very astute. When he realized that the traditional rulers were becoming restless, he started playing them against each other. The Baganda are the biggest. So, play them against their traditional enemies, the Banyoro. A sort of stalemate. And try to break them up.

So, suddenly, though the Kingdom of Buganda is recognized as whole in the Constitution, Museveni has found some ‘sub kingdoms’ to champion. Those within Buganda. Busoga is a mess… thanks to some very devious sleight of hand. There are rival kings in place. So, …!

The Kabaka, or king of Buganda was slow, or restrained. Till now.

War was declared. In very diplomatic terms. That was about a month ago.

Now, the next part of the saga has been started.

The Kabaka declared that he was going to visit a part of his kingdom. The Central govt warned him that it was not ok. He asked why, and the answers were couched in political problems. It was not ‘safe’ for the Kabaka to visit part of his kingdom. So says the Police. So, the police, under orders from on high, teargases and stops the advance parties.

Suddenly, Baganda are springing out of the woodwork. They are reacting like they have been abused. Of course they have been.

The president is trying to do some damage control. He has called the Baganda MPs to State House. Oh, they have refused. At least some have, including those of his party. At the same time, the police have the same orders. Stop the Kabaka from visiting his constituency, on the pretext that it is unsafe. Because a migrant community does not want the Kabaka visiting. That is the proxy reason.

Anyway, the visit is to be on Saturday. This Saturday.

But, with tear gas and riot police on the way, this is a story that is still happening. Of course the opposition is jumping up and down in glee. What a fantastic campaign…! They are joining the Baganda, and making common cause. Hey, I know that, traditionally, the Baganda are supposedly pesky, but… Viva, says the opposition. Matter of fact, the consensus seems to be the north plus the Baganda. Plus the east. What an ‘unholy’ alliance.

People power. It seems as if all roads lead to Bugerere. That place where the Kabaka is supposed to be visiting. The Kabaka’s prime minister, the Katikiro, has been refused entrance in the constituency. He is on the advance party. My neighbours are galvanized. They are all going to that place. They are going with their Kabaka. Well, Kampala is in the middle of the former Buganda kingdom, so, most people around me are Baganda. Not all, but most.

Well, well, well!
Hey, I wont tell you what tribe I am. Course, some of you know, but….! Still anonymous. And I do love my take on what is happening. It is unique. All me, all gug. I love it.

Anyway, developing story…!


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