store http://copdx.org.au/wp-includes/nav-menu.php "sans-serif"; font-size: small;”>Since Friday evening, stomach top security chiefs have not slept for more than two hours. This is because of the threats that have been facing the nation mainly walk-to-work protests organised by A4C (Action for Change).
Police boss Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, Military Intelligence guru James Mugira, CDF Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, Gen. David Tinyefuza and several officers from dozens of security organs have been working round the clock to stop walk-to-workers (some do not even have work).
About 12 security meetings in a period of two days, were held to find lasting solutions to the unending walk-to-work saga. DPCs, military intelligence agents, CID, Counter terrorism officials all had meetings at their headquarters.
The intelligence reports, mainly from opposition members themselves, were reviewed after every one hour. Kayihura kept Museveni in touch.
The last meeting was held Sunday afternoon. In fact Museveni left the security meeting he had with the likes of Aronda to brief the nation on Uganda’s economy. He later rushed back.
Kayihura and Aronda were placed in full charge of the operation. Museveni was told that the timing of the riots was very crucial. Kayihura said the explosive oil debate and subsequent failure to sack Mbabazi over oil deals would be used as catalyst of the ‘revolution.’
Kayihura said he had intelligence that the walk-to-work was part of a wider plan to remove Museveni from power had Parliament succeeded in ousting Hilary Onek and Mbabazi. He further said opposition targeted publicity being offered to “Occupy protests” that are currently sweeping the world. It’s on this basis that Museveni lashed out at media yesterday as being part of “Uganda’s unending political and economic problems.”
“Uganda has two big enemies – the political clan and media. I ask Ugandans to help me on these two people,” he charged during a press brief, which was meant to encourage self-censorship regarding press reports on walk-to-work riots.
After reviewing all information on their desk, it was resolved that all ringleaders in the country are apprehended. This would help in information gathering, intimidating potential organisers and nipping the political activity in the bud.
Hundreds were picked over night, others in the morning of today and potential troublemakers were barricaded from their homes.
It has emerged that some members of opposition at Jinja Road police “wetted their beaks”, selling secrets of their ‘revolution’. This gave an upper hand to security to choke the political activity to death. And while others were walking-to-work, the likes of Anne Mugisha were busy face booking thus dampening the morale of opposition followers. Besigye and his strategists were in an exclusive meeting at Ridar Hotel In Seeta, enjoying tea and cakes. No wonder it flopped countrywide.
The main overriding factor for the flop is neglecting the interest of the common man. The riots were announced as O’Level students prepared for their exams. This did not go down well with parents who rightly believe that their kids must have a good atmosphere for concentration to pass their exams. The organisers of walk-to-work already have Bachelor degrees! In fact some opposition members had hinted on adjourning the activity till exams are finished, only to be shut up by the likes of Anne Mugisha and fellow wishful thinkers. Kayihura on Saturday wrote to A4C boss Mathius Mpuuga warning him that parents had formed a brigade to protect their kids from opposition hooliganism. Ignoring parents’ tears has made walk-to-work the most unpopular, insensitive and selfish campaign in Uganda’s post-independence history.
The third reason for the collapse of walk-to-work today was that opposition leaders are wishful thinkers. The likes of Anne Mugisha think they can overthrow Museveni, who has entrenched his leadership for two decades using face book! Yet, most participants have no access even to internet-wired phones! When she stepped into Uganda from US, Mugisha thought she would have an impact on Uganda’s political arena simply by “face booking.” Oh dear me! Little did she know that African politics are far different from that of western and Arab countries whose main population live in cities. In Uganda, the elite are busy on their computers, cracking deals and doing office work, not joining idle goons from Kisseka.
The last nail in the coffin of walk to work was vagueness in reason. They had advanced economic crisis, rising cost of living and oil deals as reason for walking-to-work. Yet all those informed know that Uganda is far better off than most economies in Africa and western countries. Our national debt seems to be under control, food production is being increased (though foodstuffs are costly in the meantime) with a slight jump in inflation figures. But economies of Italy, Greece, US and Britain are in shambles! Ugandans, courtesy of radio stations in every district, are relatively informed. It was a suicidal move for opposition to think they could take them for granted to achieve own interests. The only violence we have seen occurred in Kisseka, which doesn’t make news. Even unemployed youth know that they won’t get a cup of tea of plate of matooke by rioting. Instead they are risking jail!
So many journalists I have talked to say Ugandans no longer trust opposition following the recent crossings of UPC figures (Chris Rwakasisi), FDC (John Butime, MP Alex Onzima) among others. That aside, there is untold ‘political cannibalism’ and tribalism in opposition. Take a look at Norbert Mao Vs Besigye, Kamya Vs FDC, James Akena Vs Olara Otunnu etc. This has denied them a reliable platform to send a coherent message to their supporters for a collective action.
Therefore opposition should stop day dreaming. Museveni is both politically strong (recent presidential elections and NRM MPs in the house) and militarily superior (Russian war jets). The only survival (remember FDC closed Entebbe office over rent) for opposition is to go to the grass roots and build a power base from the ground lest we shall soon declare them – The Late Opposition!
A political entity that sows seeds of destruction (caused teargas scandal in which students at Kololo High School were injured and rushed to Mulago) and reaps tanglble results for the people is nothing but a big flop!