Friday January 31 2014

Lessons from Kabaka’s tour

Kabaka Ronald Mutebi II Wednesday ended his three-day tour of Bugerere. This tour offered realistic lessons not only for the Kabaka and his subjects, but also for government and the citizenry.

In his previous attempt to go to Bugerere in September 2009, Kabaka Mutebi’s advance team led by Katikkiro (premier) JB Walusimbi was blocked by police and other security agencies. The government said it could not guarantee the security of the Kabaka following opposition of the tour by leader of the Banyala, one of the tribes in the district. The obstruction culminated in unprecedented three-day violent riot in Buganda.

In the aftermath, 27 people, according to official count, lost their lives. Properties worth millions of shillings were also destroyed.

This time round, the Banyala chief’s voice of dissent notwithstanding, the government and the military turned their guns the other way – and ensured a peaceful tour of the Kabaka and his entourage. Without probing why they could not do the same in 2009, we thank the police and sister security outfits for a job well done.
Most important, the just ended tour demonstrates a long standing appeal - that gun response on unarmed civilians whatever the provocation – often leads to unnecessary destructions that all should strive to avoid.
The entry, the enthusiastic reception by subjects, the successful tour and exit of the Kabaka from Bugerere should, therefore, inspire us all to always do the right things in the interest of peace.

For instance, the uncalled for confrontation between opposition politicians and the police, especially in Kampala City, should also be brought to a speedy end. There should be a win-win situation. It is now evident that when police decide to play their constitutionally enshrined role of ensuring law and order, we reap peace. Bugerere is testimony to this.

Ugandans are waiting to see a time when police will also be deployed not counter, but to protect opposition politicians, especially in Kampala, as they exercise their constitutional right of association and demonstration.
But again, the question for the central government and Mengo is, just how do the two incidents impact the lives of citizens or subjects in Bugerere?