Acholi has been patient with NRM regardless of bad leaders and Kony
Posted Wednesday, January 23 2013 at 02:00
Finally, I still remember how Permanent Secretary Opika Opoka was summarily dismissed from his docket at Ministry of Agriculture for the failures of his boss, the then VP, Wandira Kazibwe to account for her imaginary dams.
In November 1993, the famed Paris-based Congolese Musician, Koffi Olomide released a song called Papa plus. A portion of the preamble to that song has since been translated to me, from Lingala to English.
In that song, Koffi warns that even when insects fly, they will never become birds. That warning, if well heeded to, prominent people like former VP, Gilbert Bukenya and Mike Mukula would not have been subjects to humiliation and selective justice of this magnitude.
Let me remind other NRM wanna-bes; even if you develop yellow wings for joining the Movement, you will only remain an insect not a bird. In other words, unless you are a member of certain clan, married to certain families, speak certain languages, been an historical, held a gun and owe an enormous allegiance to status quo, you will remain just that – an easily disposable outsider.
Renowned researcher and advocate for anti-human trafficking, Kevin Bales, wrote a book titled: Disposable Human Beings. That book catalogues the path and troubles that trafficked women and young girls go through while in captivity. Once they arrive at their destination, mostly Scandinavian countries, they are sold into slavery, either for sex or hard labour. Once the girls have been used to the point of depletion, they are disposed. They become disposable human beings.
Both Mukula and Bukenya, in the sense of Kevin Bales, represent our modern day political disposables. The fate of the two leaders symbolise the nature of NRM politics and reaffirm my hypothesis.
The first generation proprietors are their children and the second generation owners will be their grandchildren. That is the given direction of the ripple and anyone else who situates himself or herself outside of those socio-political gridlocks, only gets washed on by the wave for exploitation. When it comes to corruption, the fight is taken way too peripheral. It is the small guys who are fought.
During deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanya’s wedding to my sister, Ms Okot, the President was quoted in the dailies to have praised Okello Oryem, Jacob Oulanya and others as potential allies for his “great” intentions for Acholi region. The President stated that previously his great intentions, were rebuffed by bad leadership.
First, the Acholi people have related with President Museveni in a very civil manner, it is the revenge attitude that he carried against the Acholi which perpetuated the hostility. Second, for years, Acholi people have sent NRM representatives to work with the President.
Most of these leaders are humiliated and disposed easily. How long did Acholi MPs occupy the Ministry of State for Sports in the Ministry of Education? I recall very well, Omony Ogaba from Aruu was the pioneer of that office which had no budget; Okello Oryem followed suit and for so long, no Acholi name featured prominent in full cabinet position.
We all recall how Acholi people loved Atuku Betty Bigombe and you recall how Amuru elders were surprised that Bigombe could only become Minister of state for water.
Given the above, whenever Acholi people send NRM representatives to work with the President, they send us Madvhani with his intentions to “plant” sugar canes in the most fertile soils of Amuru. We all know that Amuru has oil and minerals. We know that land in Acholi is customary land and there are clear means of acquisition of that land, why the political interference?
Finally, I still remember how Permanent Secretary Opika Opoka was summarily dismissed from his docket at Ministry of Agriculture for the failures of his boss, the then VP, Wandira Kazibwe to account for her imaginary dams. Had the scandals in the proportion that we see now at OPM happened when an Acholi is the PS, would he still be in office and not jail?
Given the above accounts, the President has no excuses for holding double standards on Acholi on account of hostility. Acholi people have been honest and modest with the NRM. Now, if the Mukula debacle does not teach us a lesson, then look around and see where Alice Kaboyo, or Mukula’s contemporaries in the money affairs of GAVI are!
Mr Komakech is a Ugandan social critic and political analyst based in Toronto, Canada.