By John Njoroge
The interpretation of this piece will be determined by the weight of each reader’s medulla. So shake well before you start.
If you understand the history and lifetime of East African Leaders and particularly Mr Yoweri Museveni, you will agree with me that for over 60 years plus years, people around him have lived second guessing the reasons for his actions in the past and what he is going to do next. However, among the very few, 6 distinctive persons have in the past almost got it bullseye who Mr Museveni really is: the Late Dr Apollo Milton Obote, the Late Boniface Byanyima, Prof Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere, General Salim Saleh, journalist Andrew Mwenda and Dr Kizza Besigye. My list of 6 can be updated depending on from which angle one is looking, however under the mentorship of a few people over years, we took time to study Mr Museveni because we found him unique in many aspects.
Many present and died, who have thought they know him or can outsmart him have themselves found it bitter living on planet earth and mostly due to their own mistakes rather than what Mr Museveni has directly done to them. The beautiful part is some are alive to tell their own stories of how misguided thinking and poor judgement led them to the pits they now are wailing and yonning from.
Just as Hon Kyagulanyi was battling for his current parliamentary seat, I wrote of how his rise would change the political landscape of Uganda and never again would politics be played at rallies but under trees and the new found constituency, the Ghetto. Many attacked my analysis only to realise that I had been standing on top of the oak tree for a long time. For us, climbing down from that viewing point of the oak tree is not an option. We either fly or fall.
Mr Museveni’s approach to the “Ghettos” has been totally misunderstood by even those who think they know page one of that strategy. In fact, the authors were merely tricked into writing a few things down over, what for years, was already shelved and like many other things, just waiting for the right moment to be released.
Poverty is a personal burden and a poor person can dance on a needle if they can get something to eat. Those who don’t agree with this are themselves incapable of vigorous honesty to their own situations. Every living thing dances to the tune of that which provides opportunity to thrive. The ghetto, has in various portions, different political groups and so it is not true that it is predominantly opposition as well as widely inclined to the ruling class and party. Many ghetto dwellers work for government officials as well are opposition figureheads.
Every time there is rumour of changes within Ugandans government, there are more prayers for the maintenance of status from the ghettos than from the apartments on mortgage occupied by the middle class citizenry. Equally during riots and arrests of activitist, their ghetto servants cry because salary will now go to medical expenses, police, repair g damaged cars, etc, which means delayed rent payments, school fees and a few nights without dinner. There are more prayers from the swamps and villages than from the palash farmlands. These are the dwelling places of the majority of labourers who prefer that little they get, to the possibility of nothing at all. Truly, they however desire better conditions and pay, but can’t seem to get it because they know their own providers keeps things at a minimum to keep them needy and working for them. Call this induced poverty.
The truth is, such a situation is fluid and unsustainable in the long term. The reality is, so is the situation and so it has been. How to change this situation has since been the debate on the streets through protests and under trees through back stabbing, dialogue, compromise and the most common, bootlicking.
Mr Museveni himself does not need the Ghetto to win as he has been winning (whether by vote, Vito, violence or volongoto). He is only allowing, for lack of a better way to put its, the tip of his smallest toe of power, to be felt and seen by some member of this now prominent constituency. By changing the lives of a few prominent ghetto fabulous, mortar mouths from stench to starch, you can be sure that some portions of the fats will trickle down further deep deep inside and for sure, provide some lubrication for once nearly dead or finished part.
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