What you need to know:
- ‘‘Smith failed to control his fate for, like NRM, he ceded it to forces beyond his control”
Dr Kizza Besigye is in the news again. Police had withdrawn from his home following several days in which the activist was placed under house arrest after attempting to rouse Ugandans to protest against the escalating cost of living in the country.
Besigye then managed to sneak into the city centre of Kampala to exercise his civic duty and constitutional right to hold those in government accountable, when their accountability is not forthcoming.
Vuvuzela in hand, he shook up the city anew.
While Besigye calls for mass action against what he describes as an intolerable economic circumstance, he reminds us that it is only through ‘positive action’ that the high commodity prices will be scaled down to agree with people’s disagreeable household incomes.
As part of this action, he suggests that government reclaim the funds misappropriated by corrupt officials to enhance the salaries of civil servants and give relief to schools, among other long-suffering institutions.
However, while Besigye is heralded as a black Jesus, government officials take on the role of Pontius Pilate by washing their hands of this economic crisis by attributing it to the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
Certainly, government’s mouthing of such excuses is a slap in the face to the “resistance” in the National Resistance Movement as defeatism pervades the upper echelons of the state.
Seemingly surrendering to impersonal forces outside its control, NRM reminds us of the disgraced American actor Will Smith and how he surrendered to forces which ultimately guided his hand to slap comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars this year.
According to Smith, these forces were revealed to him in a “vision” showing that his fortunes would decline, even before he slapped Rock!
Before the Oscars, it is true, Smith pulled up a chair to be interviewed by David Letterman on the latter’s Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.
Smith then spoke about his fear of losing ‘everything’, telling Letterman this fear was thrown into sharp relief after he took ayahuasca while in Peru.
Ayahuasca is a plant-based psychedelic. Psychedelics affect all the senses, altering a person’s thinking, sense of time and emotions. They can cause a person to hallucinate—seeing or hearing things that do not exist or are distorted.
After taking this psychedelic, Smith claims to have had a psychotropic “vision” where his money, career, and home were all gone.
Smith spoke of this as the “individual most hellish psychological experience” of his life.
“I’m sitting there, and you’re always like, maybe it won’t kick in this time. So I’m drinking, I’m sitting there, and then all of a sudden it’s like, I start seeing all of my money flying away and my house is flying away, and my career is gone. And I’m trying to grab for my money and my career. My whole life is getting destroyed... and I hear a voice saying, this is what the f--k it is. This is what the f--k life is.”
Smith failed to control his fate for, like the NRM government, he ceded it to forces beyond his control and now looks back with regret.
NRM, on the other hand, must not merely look into the abyss and wait for it (the abyss) to look into the nation to reveal devastation. Instead, NRM must refresh itself with the fundamental belief that the only thing that never changes is change.
This belief shall restore its wisdom to recall that it was never a history taker but a history maker. So, the excuses it’s making now are inexcusable.
Mr Matogo is a professional copywriter