These poor BBC fellows had been deceived that I could fix that for them. And boy, I gave it my all…; but we were not allowed anywhere near Bihanga
In 2014 or thereabout, I played fixer to a bunch of BBC journalists in western Uganda. They wanted to film and talk to the M23 rebels then interned at a military facility in Bihanga.
These poor BBC fellows had been deceived that I could fix that for them. And boy, I gave it my all…; but we were not allowed anywhere near Bihanga. Even my relative closeness to the Minister for Defence could not help.
We later met Dr John Baluku, one of the resource persons I had lined up for the BBC’s environmental degradation-related story. The revelation that Dr and Ms Beatrice Baluku were Joy Doreen Biira’s parents excited BBC’s Ken Mungai. Biira is a TV personality in Nairobi.
And then the selfies happened: All of us (even the BBC’s hefty Kassim Kayiira, now of Azam TV), had kodak moments with Biira’s parents.
In November 2016, the UPDF invaded and destroyed the palace of King Charles Wesley Mumbere in Kasese. This was the time Biira had brought her Kenyan fiancée home.
And typical of journalists, Biira could not contain her urge to film. And bang! She was arrested (together with her fiancée) and detained at Kasese Central Police Station.
When Ken Mungai learnt of the arrest, he called me. ‘Tell your people that if they don’t release our daughter-in-law in 24 hours, it will be construed as an act of declaring war on Kenya. And Kenyans will be left with nothing, but to invade Uganda. This is a case of HOT (Hellen of Troy)’.
The truth of what happened in Kasese in November 2016 shall be known. As the Congolese would say ‘lokuta eyaka na ancessuaer, mais verite eyei ne escalier mpe ekomi’ (lies may take the lift, but the truth which takes the stares also reach its destination). But of what use is the truth when the immediate need is peace? What do we need most? Justice or and peace? My personal view is that if we pursue peace, time (that enduring equaliser) will deal with the justice aspect.
That is why I have assigned myself the responsibility to seek out peace; our children and their children will deal with the justice issues. And for this pursuit, I have done things whose authorship I do not even qualify to claim. But I will share this anecdote.
King Wesley Mumbere’s new team to engage the government to resolve the issues that led to the November incident was made public by Sarah Kagingo (she of Soft Power PR firm). She credited the new initiative to Gen Salim Saleh.
Now, Gen Salim Saleh is a member of our Facebook kafunda, which is dominated by hardcore Musevenistas (I am actually some kind of odd man out). So, our kafunda members started making fun of me. How come Asuman Bisiika is not on Omusinga Mumbere’s team? And Gen Saleh, out of character, wrote that I was the architect of the new peace initiative. Of course, I was uncomfortable with this revelation.
Yes, I have been putting pressure on Gen Saleh to seek a peaceful resolution of the Rwenzori issues. But I am not the kind of guy who revels in the limelight.
As I said earlier, I am a man of peace. So, when BBC’s Ken Mungai said that Kenya would invade Uganda over Biira’s detention, I went to work. I put pressure on some quarters and warned them of the impending invasion.
Dear reader, the order to release Biira came from somewhere on Mbuya Hill. And fellow Ugandans, I demand to take credit for saving Uganda from a Kenyan invasion. Lol. Mr Bisiika is the executive editor of East African Flagpost.