Africa Must Learn the Ways of The Wolves

By Ofwono Opondo

May, 8, 15                    
Events of the last few weeks in Burundi may seem at first sight to be innocent political struggles by the citizens for genuine adherence to constitutionalism, democracy and the rule of law against their overbearing and greedy leaders. However, looking back to Western imperialism and Africa over the last five decades, we should not be surprised, that today’s penetration of Africa and its governments by Western foreign funded Non-Government Organisations is in vogue.
The apparent war that is brewing between the government on the one hand and sections of the NGO world on the other over proposals to strengthen compliance with law and monitoring their activities in Uganda should from today be seen with  broader perspectives otherwise we may soon find ourselves in situations similar to Burundi. To be direct, some of the foreign funded NGOs are here to interfere with, undermine and even overthrow the democratic process in Uganda, which we must be on the look out for. Otherwise why would an innocent NGO that genuinely seeks to help Ugandans be apprehensive of the country’s laws enacted by a legitimate parliament and enforced!
Between 1960-1980s, the West led by the US found communism and the Cold war a convenient excuse to meddle, disorganize, undermine and topple legitimately elected African governments in preference for puppets like Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko, Angola’s Jonas Savimbi and Afonso Dhlakama of Mozambique who were really up to no good, except they were so foolish and willing to be used to against their countries. The combined proxy  wars in Angola and Mozambique alone where US and British arms, military personnel and money were used left about two million dead and displaced another six million of innocent people most of them women and children, in addition to leaving their infrastructure and economies desolate. Angola and Mozambique provided the surrogate battleground for the US.
In the most extreme cases the US, UK and France supported the White supremacist apartheid in South Africa and Ian Smith in Rhodesia now Zimbabwe where they claimed Blacks were infinitely inferior even to share lavatories with Whites. In others cases the US, UK and France organised the assassination of government like Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkurumah, Samora Machel, and Muamar Gadaffi.
After the end of the Cold War and the partial collapse of the Soviet Union (Russia), the same vultures brought the IMF and World conditionalities of structural adjustment to accompany African states they had destroyed to transit from fascist dictatorships to multiparty democracy as we know them today. From 19090 to-date virtually all African countries have grappled with issues of governance and socio-economic transformation with varying results, which in most cases have not been very successful, in fact disappointing even for like Zambia and Malawi which have neither had wars nor coups. To the contrary countries like Uganda had both wars and coups seem now to be doing a little better.
In addition to the World Bank and IMF conditionalities the US, UK and France under the guise of capacity building for multiparty democracy have been directly sponsoring with money, foreign training and local expertise political groups, parties and leaders in Africa who they believe can bid their respective interests with varying degrees of success as was Fredrick Chiluba in Zambia, and currently DP and FDC in Uganda.
Now having apparently failed with these direct action political groups and parties, the US, UK and France have changed their strategy and are dealing with NGOs, SCOs, CBOs and quasi research institutions like ACODE, Human Rights Watch and IRI with they hope can penetrate and have better influence where the politicians have not succeeded. Judging by the current engagements, it is becoming clear that the overall objective and goal is to discredit formal and legitimate state institutions like the executive, parliament and judiciary in preference for the NGOs ostensibly as the credible voices of the ‘voiceless’ citizens.
Ongoing accusations by various foreign funded NGOs and opposition parties that the parliament and Electoral Commission are incompetent, and ‘rubber stamp’ institutions working solely in the interest of Museveni and NRM are attempts to delegitimize them from considering the so-called electoral reforms. We have also seen them trying to discredit some Judges of Constitutional, Supreme Courts, where they know political disputes may eventually end.
And while police personnel may be making some mistakes in policing especially crowd control, the constant haranguing of the Uganda police in the media is partly designed to make the public lose faith and confidence in the country's security systems, law and order sector. The goal is to demoralise the police and other law enforcement agencies before election time so that they will standby as violent protestors have their way, which would then be considered and praised as neutrality in the political contest between the government and opposition politicians.
Already there are NGO funded and orgainised political activities especially at the various universities as the 2016 elections approach. The main focus these NGO workshops is to discredit program implantation by government including casting doubt in the credibility of government institutions. Apparently to them, university students are easy targets at persuading to pour out in case they need street battles.