|Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Source: New Vision|
“If you don’t act, the danger becomes stronger,” Ai Wei Wei once eloquently noted. Some say that once Museveni is gone, things will get worse but this is a reminder that the door swings both ways—what if he stays and things get worse and worse? The bull ragging from Museveni and his sleazy associates is hidden in the guise of “savior and friend” but I am here to say that as a sane youth, I am tired of those old- age scores he sings and has sung since 1986. What has happened in our country in the last couple of weeks is the living proof of this statement—that the more ‘unconcerned’ we seem to our very own plight, the more messed our social and political arena continues to be. Suffering and bowing to the plunges of the undemocratic administration of the current Museveni government— where force, bribery [and not] dialogue are a dominant note.
As we are in this mess, we certainly need real leaders and not cowards (or double standard holders) in the fight for restoring the trust in one of the most important metrics of a democratic society—our beloved constitution—article 102(b) to be specific; “the age limit article.” More often than not, the Museveni government has selfishly made amends to our beloved constitution, hiding in plain sight that they are doing it for the citizens of this country, something overly untrue: but only a bubble of hypocrisy at its best.
While so many of the people who should be making comment are keeping silent and pretending like they are in a different country—where everyone is at peace—some have taken it upon themselves to say the brute facts as they are, especially on the ongoing togikwatako campaign. Of the names I very much admire those who have firmly stood against the injustice in our country; been honest and kept the truth rolling when the ruling government peddles fiction and bends the rules just to suit their narrative. On this togikwatako frenzy, too, they aren’t mincing words; they say it without holding back that it is time for the old man to go. I celebrate them because their voice matters, like so many of us, that is a respect of a shared humanity. When I thought about sharing my last political article for the year, I thought of one beautiful way to set the tone in regard to what’s gone wrong. Here is.
Sigmund Freud in the Totem and Taboo tells of a story of how men dwelt in small hordes, dominated by a tyrannical patriarch who had exclusive access to the females of the horde. As each son became a potential sexual rival, the primal father murdered, castrated or exiled him. Driven by the same common sexual need, the exiled sons finally overwhelmed and murdered their father. Their objective was to displace him and gain sexual possession of his females.
According to Freud, their victory was to prove bitter and ironic. Once the sons murdered their father, they were not guilt-ridden to acknowledge their own deed. They did what men do too often. They denied their crime and tried to suppress their conscious memory of the dead. Once dead, the father proved an infinitely greater source of terror than when alive. Because the sons attempted to suppress the memory, they conducted themselves as if their father were still alive. Remember, the sons murdered the primal father to possess his females. They soon learned that that they have unlimited sexual access to the females, as had the father, without killing each other out of envy or rivalry. They quickly realized that some instrumentality had to be devised whereby sexual desire would not disrupt social structure. According toFreud, the sons instituted a law of exogamy at this point, to restrain themselves from doing to each other what they had done to their father.
A quick reminder about Museveni (on his way to power; the gospel according to Museveni) — “the problem of Africa is leaders who stay long in power,” he said it accurately then, still accurate to date but because it doesn’t suit his narrative, he chooses to hide in plain sight. Sad and annoying as it is, the boys from Freud’s story would be the real life equivalent of Museveni, only that he doesn’t want to learn from his mistakes, he is now eating his own; [and] our constitution , too. As a parent, and I hope as every parent knows, the most certain way to destroy a child is to permit him to do as he pleases. Insightful norms don’t impede realistic freedom, they it possible. So do I need to say it again that we just can’t let Museveni change the constitution whenever he pleases?
At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama told the crowd, “Being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.” Growing up, Michelle said, she and Barack learned important lessons from their families about “dignity and decency” and gratitude and humility.” “At the end of the day,” she said, “when it comes to make that decision, as president, all you have to guide you are your values, and your vision and the life experiences that make you who you are.”
As an air of finality, here is the rub, Museveni and his sleazy associates just run out of the clock when it is time to discuss politics and that in itself gives them what they want. This is lack of Progress. The only way around this tactic is to make it clear those of us trying to create change will never stop and will never back off. We will never give you refuge from our ideas. Why is it that Museveni and the cohort want to tell us when it is and isn’t appropriate to discuss politics? Because they are always wrong when it comes to issues pertaining a shared humanity—they are buried in selfishness—they look at their own mouth at the expense of the rest of us. It is important to note though, this isn’t an us vs them game, if politics is going to be better we need better myths, unifying ones that are built on social equality:togikwatako!