By Besi Andrew
"Self-will in the man who does not reckon wisely is by itself the weakest of all things.” — Aeschylus
The people of Kigyezi - Bahororo, Banyankore, Bakiga and Bafumbira are a good lot. Charming even! They are people who carefully, in a practice dating to the days of the Bachwezi, select names for their newborn.
Each name is a prayer of blessing. Each name is a reaffirmation of one’s heritage. The name Kakwenza, is one such name. It’s meaning – good wishes to you from all men.
Last December, starting 24th, thirty-three-year-old budding writer and political commentator Kakwenza Rukirabashaija took to his Twitter handle.
His mission - to violate our constitution and insult through deceit first, H.E. Museveni and secondly, as is his norm, Lt.Gen. Kainerugaba Muhoozi.
It was not the first time he was misusing Social Media tools to preach his disdain of president Museveni and members of his family OR indeed of those, such as myself, who are supporters of Museveni.
Granted, it is noble and expected of every Ugandan to aspire and work towards transforming our social-economic fabric. It is also a fact that President Museveni came to the fore of our deserving and undiluted admiration when on 6th of February 1981, 40 precious souls armed with only 27 guns, attacked Kabamba military barracks in Bunyoro’s district of Mubende.
Five years later, on 25th of January, buoyed on by all of Uganda and misunderstood by regressive colonial patron regimes such as that of Mobutu Sese Seko, Kampala fell to the now renamed National Resistance Army(NRA).
This NRA victory ushered in a new revolutionary and progressive understanding of politics within Uganda and this region of Africa. It spawned the rise of Rwanda’s own revolution movement under the rubric of Rwanda Patriotic Front.
It rid Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo, of Mobutu’s corrupt and rapacious regime. To our North, it empowered the blacks of Southern Sudan to stand up against the treachery of the Arab in the North. To our East, it solidified bonds with our Kenyan brothers. It is therefore no surprise that today, Uganda is a regional bulwark of democracy and champion of Regional Integration.
This new Uganda with Museveni as its head extended its reach, just like Nyerere had, and supported South Africans in their quest to break free from the shackles of apartheid. Speaking in appreciation of NRA/M support, comrade Mandela, recently released from Prison in 1990 said:
"This is the first time that we visit this African country which has already endeared itself to us by the obvious humanity and compassion of its president, Brother Yoweri Museveni as well as the kindness, hospitality and open friendliness of its people."
Reader! Whichever way one views Uganda, it is a much better country than it was in 1986 or even 1994. It is a country where the old guard is giving way to younger patriots. In security forces, political leadership and business class, younger patriots - many subscribing to those ideals for which our revolutionary heroes braved the forests and thickets of Luweero - are ascending into positions of power. The challenges - such as high healthcare costs, education costs and unemployment -we now confront are not unique to Uganda.
Also not unique to us, is the challenge posed by neo-colonialism perpetrated through obscurantist groupings of civil society organisations and political groups.
It is in this cauldron of economic and social success and resistance to the "Securing Your Future" agenda that Kakwenza has chosen to unleash his torrent of misguided and often ignoramus attacks against the persons of our president, Uganda Peoples' Defense Forces personnel as well as supporters of both H.E. Museveni and Lt. Gen.Muhoozi.
Like any Ugandan, Lt. Gen. Muhoozi has a right to aspire for the highest office in the land. Like any of us, he has the right, as guaranteed by our constitution, to enjoy his freedoms of being. He certainly does not deserve to be ridiculed or vilified by those who neither don our soldiers stripes or understand the historical mission of the National Resistance Army and brother resistance movements.
We are also not at the level where Cicero's assertion - silent enim leges inter arma (in times of war, the law falls silent) - applies. We will not allow Kakwenza and those like him to derail the gains for which we gather in celebration every 26th of January. We will reckon wisely.