By Samuel Ouga Ekemu
In the East African Country; UGANDA 🇺🇬 today, you can be free a few days longer when you, if with a big public following especially, criticize the 30 year regime and it’s head. But Justice, Freedom and all means of survival will flee from you like Sahara desert rain, should your tongue or hands communicate critical thoughts of the cabinet minister/ wife and the military General/ Son of President Museveni. You criticize the Wife or son at extreme risk.
A veteran sports journalist, turned pastor, of the “remnants flock,” and now a loud government critic; Joseph Kabuleta, mostly through his social media accounts has run out of luck. At least for now. It’s anyone’s guess that his troubles will start multiplying in double digits for poking the leopards’….some where below the root of the tail.
This could also be his official baptism of fire into Uganda’s national politics.
He has been arrested by government security operatives. The worst mistake this government often makes and end up creating serious opposition figures who then gets even greater following.
Government agents this time around seems be creating greater numbers opposition figures at at unprecedented speeds before the next elections.
They just catapulted Bobi Kyagulanyi into National politics faster than he could have arrived; thus having Bobie and Kizza Besigye as solid national opposition figures. Joseph Kabuleta is in the making…
The problem with overstaying in power is that one gets completely surrounded by mafias, grand thieves and all sorts of greedy parasites that will outdo themselves trying to shield the leadership from reality and eliminating as many perceived opponents as possible.
The leadership completely goes blind. Survives terror, corruption, nepotism and maintenance of a well-oiled select few praise singers who gets special access to the national cake through geographic and historical links or former critics-turned new praise singers bought out through fat job offers or lucrative business contracts.
There was a time when NRM had young and vibrant supporters who were revered debaters. The days of the Mayombo’s, Col. Otafiire back then. When the meaning of free speech in Uganda was not an issue of debate. The days when Mao, Cecillia Ogwal, in her former self… when Parliament was a respectable institution.
Verbal criticism of government was met with smart and articulate discourse.
The likes of Col. Otafiire’s have since gone silent. Save for occasional media outbursts to threaten those trying to challenge the now corruption establishment through legitimate political means.
Government criticism is now met by the brute force of the militarized police force and the army.
Where’s the James Byaruhanga‘ Of back in the day?
It’s now the Ofwonos who will abuse any critics. And if you persist and get access to the media, Uganda Communication Boss Mutabazi will shut the news outlet or order for your removal. If that’s not enough. The police or the army will hunt you down. Your sources of income will be targeted.
At this point some people break down and shut up and go into oblivion. Others agree to “apologize” to Mzee and are rewarded handsomely. Others become instant praise singers after landing far government jobs.
The leadership needs to redeeem it’s own image by tackling corruption, grooming and involving more young Rwakakamba Morrisons, Duncan Abigaba s Sarah Kagingos…
Arresting Joseph Kabuleta is ill advised.
And please stop wasting resources on former Known media critics now turned praise singers, to speak for the establishment. No one takes them seriously.
Using brute force to silence government criticism can be effective in keeping power for some time but it is an act that is digging a deeper hole of division and uncertain future of more violence in the country.
Release Kabuleta and use the civil courts if he has broken any laws.