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Special Reports

Can Egypt Shake Arrive On Uganda’s Doorstep?

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remedy http://communityseven.com/ext/sitesplat/badge/migrations/v10x/m1_initial_schema.php geneva;”>Morsi was toppled by the army on Wednesday night for falling short of responding to the demands of millions of Egyptians who had camped in Tahrir Square and lined on Cairo streets calling for his resignation.

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story http://crfg.org/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/class.jetpack-xmlrpc-server.php geneva;”>The constitution was suspended and a new interim leader elected to steer government business in the transition.


While some condemned the coup, a cross section of Ugandans said such are consequences of “democratically elected leaders who choose to rule undemocratically.”


Masaka Municipality MP, Mathias Mpuuga said: “If you are Morsi, you were democratically elected, but then choose to rule undemocratically just like some lazy souls here, what you expect a non gullible (sic) population to do?”


He quickly added: “Accept your reminders of how you were elected, until the last semblance of democracy is wiped off the face of the republic.”


Francis Atugonza, a top FDC leader in western Uganda, says: “Democracy is not only about election but also how you treat the opposition. Morsi is paying the price because Egyptians know what they want.”


President Yoweri Museveni and police boss Gen Kale Kayihura have in the past accused opposition leaders particularly Col Kizza Besigye of using the widely publicized ‘walk to work’ protests as a platform to topple the NRM government.


The riots paralysed business in Kampala for several weeks as heavily armed security forces engaged opposition activists in deadly running battles. The army and police triumphed.


Museveni was later to praise Kayihura for blocking Besigye’s plans to overthrow the government. He also rewarded the police chief with the rank of General which the latter celebrated on Kampala streets.


However, unlike Egypt, the situation looks different in Uganda considering that the armed forces are extremely loyal and unquestionably submissive to the Commander-in-chief, President Museveni.


Senior serving army officials who are opposed to the President’s rule opt to maintain silence. It’s only Gen David Tinyefuza who recently came out to claim that “we must remove him (Museveni),” adding “some presidents have been removed in the middle of their terms.”


It’s equally important to note that the nucleus of the UPDF is controlled by trusted officers.


For example, the Special Forces Command which is in charge of artillery, mechanized brigades, air force and commando assault squads, paratroopers and war reserve forces is firmly under Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba.


The heavily facilitated Police Force recently militarized special components such as Anti Terrorism squads, Mobile Police Patrol Units, Marines and Martial Arts teams to thwart any insurrection.


With a weak and permanently broke opposition, its ability to mobilize millions of Ugandans on the streets appears limited.


EGYPT NOT UGANDA

Sandor Lyle Walusimbi says “Uganda is not Egypt.”


He does not anticipate a scenario where Besigye, Lukwago and Lukyamuzi start demos lasting a couple of days and a week later “General Katumba Wamala assures Museveni that he has given him 48 hours to sort himself out with the Besigye group, failure of which he will take over.”


But another social media enthusiast, Vincent Magombe says as Morsi swallows his own bitter pill “Museveni’s day is coming, he will ask himself – “…why on earth didn’t I do the right thing?” But it will be too late.”


A one Peter Cox Mawa argued that from the look of things, “It is now possible to overthrow a democratically elected government if it doesn’t listen to its people.”


Justus Asiimwe argues that “it is not only possible to overthrow a democratically elected government but also “constitutional!”


Unlike Egypt which has a higher rate of internet access and literates, majority of poor Ugandans rely on radio stations for news.


With the army not willing or fearing to take a non partisan stance on political protests, it is remains unlikely that the weak, poorly organized and polarized opposition can cause Museveni to abdicate power.

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