By Amb Henry Mayega
It is egregious politicking for the opposition and their westerly backers as well as the smattering clerics to term the ongoing arrests in the country as “kidnaps” akin to despot Idi Amin’s given the indisputable and strategic pre-eminence the Yoweri Museveni administration has had over its predecessors in combating crime.
Connaturally, the unscrupulous section of the print and electronic media has been awash with the opposition’s spun notion of “kidnaps” before, during and after the January 14, 2021 general elections purposely to render the Yoweri Museveni administration in the negative.
Fortunately, the security forces have, since the November 2020 riots engineered by NUP goons, diminishingly enfeebled those criminal gangs that were hellbent on kindling an insurrection during the election cycle. Their vanquished terrorism and organized crime manifested in form of burning of tyres on roads; a pickup truck was impounded by security while distributing used tyres for that activity, erecting illegal road blocks to rob people, undressing yellow clad women and anyone found with NRM party’s insignia and medallion, looting, threatening voters analogous to the Yoweri Museveni administration and lately, after the elections, petrol -bombing PSVs plying the country’s western route! All these, plus the rigging of elections by elements of the opposition in the central region as the President said in his March 14, 2021 address, are the reason security forces have augmented law-enforcement including those arrests in a test case for their subsequent operational potency.
But why do smattering cabals refer to the arrests of those criminal gangs, some of whom are high on the weed, as kidnaps? Those unhinged conspiratorial attributions stem from mainly the malady of loss that constituency suffered at the hands of Uganda’s best President, Yoweri Museveni on January 14, 2021. That bromance of the cabals is irrefutably and ironically a combination of sectional opposition, bigoted clerics, tribal supremacists, regional anarchists, western homophiles as well as the insurrectionist criminals themselves.
Those cabals deliberately elected to call the arrests, kidnaps, in order to blot our gallant security forces in particular and this administration in general. That, in their view would palliate the recharging of their political batteries to permit them successfully navigate the political rapids ahead of them and cure the loss they suffered on January 14, 2021.
Despite the current overdriven social media conversations plus the sectional clerical noise, the honorees - Bobi Wine and company continue to dim in terms of political visibility and aura of invincibility! Relatedly, the term force connotes the use of coercion and duress by security to subdue criminals; particularly, police work involves detection of crime, maintain law and order including arrests and where required, other segments of security may join the augmentation of law enforcement; that won’t star-strike some religious cleric who, in an utterance of intellectual dishonesty, brazenly likened this administration to Idi Amin’s despotic rule.The insurrectionists who have been conspicuously spared condemnation by the cabals were receiving training to carry out grossly vicious activities including burning petrol stations yet security was expected to massage them; interestingly, in times like these everyone becomes a security expert; clerics, the westerly homophiles, criminal gangs and the opposition alike all have tinkered with the same narrative yet the consumption of peace is understandably intersectional, it’s not a privilege but a right for all.
The pack enumerated above assumes that supporters of the Yoweri Museveni administration lost the right to protection and by extrapolation, therefore, their nationhood stands revoked! In stark contrast, ruling party functionaries of the early 1980s molested, at will, opposition stalwarts with a free hand; in the current splendid times, NUP goons have molested NRM’s rank and file shamelessly. This President has magnanimously called for principled criticism of the security forces where omissions have been committed; something that eluded us throughout the 1970s, a decade of Uganda’s most diabolic and monstrous regime of Idi Amin during which Archbishop Janan Luwum was murdered in cold blood.
For now, Uganda’s security forces have thwarted the tremendous burden of not only the insecurities of the 1970s and 1980s but also those of the NUP goons who had taken the law into their hands. The forces have also heightened that responsibility further by environing unprecedented levels of freedom in which uncaged speech in both electronic and print media is flourishing.
Some clerics had advocated for the postponement of the January 14, 2021 general elections via amending the constitution! The ruse of that was to, in the ensuing time up to the subsequent elections, permit the panel-beating of their “ripened red coffee bean” to possibly become a suitable presidential candidate ultimately! Those battered and coddling promoters of the “red coffee bean” had hoped that snubbing the last electoral cycle would be drawn out enough to distinguish their candidate from any other alternative.
Ambassador Henry Mayega
Deputy Head of Mission
Uganda EmbassyAbu Dhabi, UAE