The Arua Political storm will Eventually Subside

By Ofwono Opondo

 Aug.29, 18

The statements by American inspirational speaker and author, Iyanla Vanzant, that, “No storm can last forever. It will never rain 365 days consecutively. Keep in mind that trouble comes to pass, not to stay. Don't worry! No storm, not even the one in your life, can last forever,” appears to aptly apply to the recent past events from Arua. It was supposed to be a peaceful political exercise to replace assassinated former Member of Parliament, the jocular Col. (Rtd) Ibrahim Abiriga, but turned rowdy and bloody on election D-Day, as sections of opposition politicians sought to build their profiles on violence. Abiriga was gunned down in cold blood one evening in April as he returned home in Kawanda, Wakiso district just outside Kampala.

And then of course, some of the glaring mistakes and missteps by government security agencies in handling the unfolding events have been so disproportionate and leave a lot to be desired. It is quite inconcievable, why for instance, police, had to wait for MPs Kyagulanyi and Francis Zaake to reach Entebbe airport going abroad to apprehend and prevent them from travel to their respective destinations. The smarter way, would have been to obtain and serve criminal summons on Zaake for his alleged offences so that he joins the other thirty three suspects already in charge with treason in the Gulu Chief Magistrates court.

And then also, the song "When the Storm Subsides" written by Jeffry Bryan Fabb Blake Robert Bunzel, asks “Can this be real, can this be fate,” ending with “just say you will be there for me when all is over.” So, in this moment when the storm subsides, one hopes that all those involved in this ugly fracas will have the time and humility to reflect at a distance on their conduct even when it has accorded them the privilege of appearing in frontline news coverage as they tarnish Uganda’s image.  I personally do believe, that, when, all the rancor is gone, a positive attitude will turn this storm into a very beautiful sprinkle to nourish our lives, democracy and prosperity, and those who spend their whole life waiting in the storm cycle, will never enjoy the sunshine.

Our recent political history is so richly endowed with people like Michael Kagwa of DP-Tap Dialogue, Ommulongo Wasswa  Ziritwawula, Nasser Sebbaggala of the famous Hajji allaggidde, Dr Olara Otunnu, and leaders at Mmengo with their un-useful Federo demands that have all ended in the swamp. And, Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, appears to be clearly on his out.

Although our intelligence agencies had said many times before that some of these local groups are sponsored by foreign elements, nothing could have been more refreshing than the placards of homosexual and LGTB brigades un-ashamedly accompanied the demonstrators in foreign cities who perhaps even don’t where Uganda is on the world map demanding regime change.
These have indeed been attempts in vain. For the last 32 years this government has been in power, we previously experienced similar maneuvers of negative foreign interests afraid of either the alleged bad example Uganda was, or unhappy over our promising success. Further investigations will reveal and expose these foreign interests. Of course the coordinated and carefully managed demonstrations both within Uganda and abroad point to one clear direction that some foreign forces with their vested interest want to cause regime change unconstitutionally. The synchronized public statements of rebuke against government by the US and European envoys in Uganda, supported by their local yellow dogs in the civil society world are part of that subterfuge because they are the ones providing the trainings and funding for public demonstrations.
And for three weeks now, those sad events have given opposition politicians some half-measure and temporary publicity mileage in the local, regional, and sections of the international media, in what appears to be well-planned and choreographed, exploiting widespread youth redundancy in Uganda to cause mayhem. While government and particularly the security forces, police, military and intelligence have their share of the blame, it is inconceivable that Ugandans especially youths in urban centres should be mobilised to burn their towns, barricade roads with bonfires using petrol as witnessed on Kampala streets.
Yet, those throwing stones, fires, and other destructive objects at their disposal on public ways would still want to be treated by law enforcement agencies as an ‘unarmed and innocent’ peaceful demonstrators because they think the whole world is so gullible. Added to this is also a false narrative going on, being driven especially by the pseudo elite class that the youths are allegedly attracted into political violent behaviours and empty sloganeering because of lack of employment.
Indeed, if unemployment, lack of opportunities, and the resultant poverty were the major driving forces generating disenchantment and political violence, then, that violence would be well spread countrywide in most urban centres and rural areas where opportunities are much thinner, and hard to come by. Ugandans should never accept to be intimidated by hooligans passing for political activists with genuine grievances.