Amidst the most deadly pandemic of our times, Uganda is insisting on going through the rituals of ‘democratically’ electing political leaders using exogenous political designs from another’s culture. And the manner in which the political campaigns are being conducted by most leaves a lot to be desired.
I am not even sure that we in Uganda truly understand and appreciate what it means for a nation to be in a neoliberal global-western type multi-party political dispensation. Not the candidates, nor the electorate, no the Electoral Commission nor the setup of the state apparatus in general.
Photo Credit: The New Vision
“With the coming of the new political parties, my husband roams the countryside like a wild goat.
He is up before dawn. You think he is going to hoe the new cotton field or to sow the millet or to harvest the simsism.
All day long he is away. He does not eat at home as if I don’t cook!
When he comes he does not stay a moment. He says there is another meeting at the homestead of the hoe chief.
He is away all night, and when he returns so late he says their car got stuck in the mud.”Okot p’Bitek in “Song of Lawino”, first published in 1972
How is that multiple decades later we are still stuck with a political system that makes no sense to us really and has not delivered the greater good to the majority?
The senseless loss of life in the politicking arena yesterday is not acceptable. We all must take a break and re-think our humanity, our principles, our morals, and, and, and. How is it acceptable for a politician to put people in harms way and claim it is his right to do so?
Are lives that are lost to COVID-19 not important?
How arrogant and out of touch the state is when it unleashed terror on people in the name of enforcing and or implementing the standard operating procedures for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19; and the guidelines issued by the Electoral commission for ‘scientific elections’.
Are lives lost to the high handedness of men in uniform not important?
It is time to go back to our roots, politically. A good starting point is the wisdom of our ancestors as captured and preserved for us by Okot p’Bitek in Section II: “The Buffalos of Poverty Knock the People Down” of his “Song of Lawino.”