Franchise movies like Superman and Spiderman have always held appeal for film-lovers across the world. The idea of a human having super powers such as the ability to fly or climb walls with their bare hands is exciting. Even though at the end of the day, the movie-goers know it is all fiction, they still wait eagerly for the next movie in the series. They might not be able to resist fire like Wonder Woman, or have enhanced speed like Black Panther, but they still look up to these characters as heroes.
It would, therefore, be wise for the government Chief Whip, Ms Ruth Nankabirwa, to rethink the terms she uses to address President Museveni when speaking in public.
In an article, ‘Museveni is a super being – Nankabirwa’, which was published in this paper yesterday, Ms Nankabirwa is quoted as having said: “President Museveni is a gift from God and because of his super human wisdom, we should keep him in power to continue serving Ugandans.”
The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Sixth Edition explains superhuman to mean, “having much greater power, knowledge, etc, than is normal.” An online encyclopedia states that “Superhuman qualities are qualities that exceed those found in humans.”
For one to then be called superhuman would mean that they have the ability to do something that no one else or perhaps only one or two people in the world could do.
There are many people on this earth, both living and dead, who are considered to be heroes because of the change they made. They include Mother Theresa, Florence Nightingale and Martin Luther King, among others.
In Uganda, the late Dr Mathew Lukwiya and Archbishop Janani Luwum, are highly respected and revered years after their deaths for their courage and good works. But even these people were not superhuman beings. They were human like the rest of us, only that they went out of their way to help others not so fortunate to live a better life.
There is no question that President Museveni has done good works for the country, in the same way that there is no debate that he has failed in some aspects. If he had superhuman wisdom, we would not have people living below the poverty line.
We would have been able to hit all the targets of the Millennium Development Goals. Corruption would have been a thing of the past. The maternal mortality rate would be a one-digit percentage. Surely, the President is many things, but he is not superhuman. Let Ms Nankabirwa find appropriate words.