On the Muchwezi twitterata and Africa’s nation building
What you need to know:
- For recent arrivals from Planet Mars, to whom Lt Gen Muhoozi needs an introduction, here is: Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba is the commander of Lands Forces of the UPDF and senior presidential advisor on special operations.
I am no twitter enthusiast; neither am I disposed to social media in general. But I know (or rather, I was told) people who tweet a lot are called twitterati (singular: twitterata). So, for his effervescent twittering (oba tweetting?), Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba may be referred to as a twitterata.
For recent arrivals from Planet Mars, to whom Lt Gen Muhoozi needs an introduction, here is: Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba is the commander of Lands Forces of the UPDF and senior presidential advisor on special operations.
Now the public seems to have recently been ‘uncomfortable’ with his recent twits on the coup d’ etat in Conakry, Guinea the glorification of the Bachwezi and what seems to be a civil war in Ethiopian.
The feeling of public discomfiture over Lt Gen Muhoozi’s tweets reached me in Kiburara where I have been living in near-anonymity.
When I was still in the business of wordsmithing, I would have called Lt Gen Muhoozi the Muchwezi twitterata; but not before I tell him how, as myth goes, the Bachwezi were defeated by the Bakonzo in Rwenzoris.
I received the news of the Kampala bombings from a friend with shock. A few weeks ago, I had met two officials from International Crisis Group at Hotel Africana.
A few hours before our Africana Hotel meet, I had met a Western diplomat in Kampala.
In both meetings, we discussed the threat of terrorist attacks in Kampala (which had been the subject of some advisory from the British or some such other country). I insisted that such a threat would be handled by the security architecture of Uganda and that there was no need for alarm.
I even joked with the International Crisis Group officials that they tend to overrate the security assessment of Western intelligence agencies.
I would like to express my heartfelt sympathies for the victims of Kampala bombings. In the same vein, I call on all Ugandans to support the government’s effort to fight to terrorism. But I beg the reader to allow me situate terrorism in the broader context of gun politics in Africa.
The African leadership has passed through several phases. The post WWII revolutionaries who fought against colonialism and brought us leaders like Kwame Nkuruma of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Sekou Toure of Guinea Conakry, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Ben Bella of Algeria and some others.
After that came the coups d’etat era of the 1960s through to the mid 1980s that brought us the Nigerian military oligarchy, Jean Bedel Bokassa of Central Africa Republic, Mobutu Sesse Seko of the Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), Idi Amin of Uganda and a host of others.
From mid or late 1980s, the dominant players in the African revolution were leaders that came to power through what one can call revolutionary processes. Presidents Museveni of Uganda, the late Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and some others fit in this category.
These leaders were viewed and hailed as a new crop of leaders that would bring new meaning to leadership in Africa.
In spite of all else, all these leaders represented a particular side of Africa’s political leadership debate of the time. Good enough, it was the time of the bi-polarity of ideology.
So now, even on the wrongly-premised assumption that these terrorists represent some kind of vision, what ideological classification should we assign this representation of thought formation? And then we ask: to what extent has gun politics in Africa shaped military or political formations that espouse suicide as part of the armed struggle for freedom? These terrorists represent the challenge of nation building.
Mr Bisiika is the executive editor of the East African Flagpost. [email protected]