By Masereka Joshua
Media and opposition leaders in Africa celebrate and put up congratulatory messages every time there is breaking news of any dictator being overthrown across the world, Ugandans then accuse God for answering their prayers in other countries than their own, but we never look at the aftermath of these actions.
On the side of prosperity it is important that one leader comes and goes and yes there is need to fight these dictators, but I want to emphasize that this should be done carefully to achieve better and not worse.
For any protests to start there is always a spark that motivates masses to rise and in most countries it has been inflation on fuel or basic needs, for Sudan we can now dab their protests as “bread protests” for Zimbabwe the sucking of then vice president Emerson Mnangagwa brought it all, I look at that as internal power struggle within the ruling party. For Algeria’s Abudalaziz Bouteflika it was illness.
From the above examples of sparks we see less of opposition impact to ignite protests effectively that’s why opposition figures are not easily found strong in the aftermath but the likes of Mnangagwa who are former government confidants or security ministers/army take over. These do more harm because this situation is just a change of faces but the same system remains.
Therefore before street protests or a amidst protests, opposition leaders should always ensure there is a pro people team to negotiate with the army, this is a mechanism that easily gives a transition from the army that takes over to a caretaker like government. Currently in Sudan protests are still ongoing even after
Omar al-Bashir is gone simply because citizens want a civilian government to take over which can’t come easily. The opposition figures who would solve this had been in jail and still it is hard to choose among themselves who to lead since each one of them wants.
Cases where caretaker governments have taken over to prepare for elections it has still looked like the same. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt was overthrown in 2011 but still the newly elected was also overthrown in 2013 after two years, in Zimbabwe they still look at Mnangagwa as a photocopy of Mugabe, their elections were reportedly described as a mere sham since the real opposition figure says Mnangagwa rigged.
We must devise ways of how we graduate from these changes of face to real economic, social, and political change.
Why has Uganda failed to “did it” the Mali, Egypt, Libya, Zimbabwe Algeria, DRC, and now Sudan way?
There is a school of thought that the nature of population matters, this is backed up by the fact that most of the “did it” countries are in the Arab spring and with this, their people are able to unit and have solidarity on one purpose unlike of great lakes region countries where we have multiple tribes that don’t easily connect! Yes this is a reason to reckon with.
I have seen some tribes accuse Baganda of being in the central region and yet cowards to storm streets and assert their demand like we see northerners and the remorseful Rwenzururu people but this does not hold if we analyze the 2009 protests against blocking the Kabaka from visiting kayunga! Anyway that wasn’t fully political and aimed at change of government.
I want to go back to the word “spark” and then introduce “agitation or willingness to protest”
We have had demonstrations, protests before these like Walk To Work, Black Monday, Hooting at 5, etc and yes the government has highhandedly responded with teargas but still the willingness of masses to join Dr Besigye and team has been minimal.
There was high willingness during the #freebobiwine days but still masses had less of overthrowing Museveni but having Bobi wine again. Those who say #action2019 today do not use this spark to command the Masses!
It is impossible to wake up without any spark and agitation of the public to chase away president Museven! Masses must be prepared by rising agitation.
The solidarity evidenced in Kasese clashes of seeing people storm barracks with mere stones is an issue of individual entitlement to the cause (self-drive). When it comes national politics its a few politicians hopeful of big posts that would go for walk to work! Not forgetting freedom fighters, the fearless locals and ghetto people stayed away due to being disconnected, the middle class and the elite chilled on social media, radio talk shows within their offices.
Today agitation has been raised by the birth of people power. its civic mobilization for national IDs, I personally don’t look at it as a tool for voting but its a strategy that has raised solidarity and fully connected the local masses with our political class. I look at it as a preparation strategy for the Masses.
If any spark avails its self before 2021 the “did it” may happen and if not, if 2021 poles fail to be pro people they may turn into a big spark however our opposition leaders should unite to handle any crisis incase anything happened, but when the continue insulting each other for being moles, appearing on the ballot so many times, then its most likely that ‘spark’ can happen and the still fail to get power.
By Masereka Joshua