It’s taken me a while to come around writing this, and It’s not perfect but I promised @sourced to write it, so here goes.
First time I saw you in the media was the first time you decided to take M7 on in the presidential elections. I listen, attentively, to what you had to say, and I was hearing more than just words. Some things made sense and some didn’t but it seemed to me as if finally, there is a politician who’s not playing the same scratched record, forward or reverse – someone who sounds different at least.
Then it flopped. Your bid to oust M7 just flopped for some awkward reason that all newcomers onto the top political scene are keen on looking for. Lack of votes is the realistic reason (stolen or not) but you had to find something else and you did – your life was in danger.
As if our lives are not constantly in danger as it is, from the first day we are born.
So you managed to escape, to a great relief of all of us. Peace and quiet returned to Kampala, we didn’t have to worry about you and your family didn’t have to worry about you, you were safely stowed away in South Africa for the time being. Of course, I’m speculating on how everyone felt about you – I was happy you weren’t around because we could have some normalcy on our streets and peace was imminent, progress with it.
But you came back, didn’t you, just in time for 2005. And I had my office on Raja Chambers, right opposite of Kale Kaihura’s office. The tear gas we consumed on that street was enough to put the whole country into tears for a week. It just wasn’t funny at all. Then, 2011 and all the riots, looting, killing of people.
I’m thinking, you went to study medicine and came out a full doctor. Doctors care for people. They bond with their patients. They become family doctors, almost family members. How did you not see the opportunity to create voters every day, through tedious work that you studied for? Don’t tell me it was the pay – people shower you with money anywhere you go. Don’t tell me you don’t have the skills – you were on a government scholarship – so they say. Don’t tell me you didn’t have the time – you’ve wasted enough time in exile and in house arrest, it seems like time is all you’ve got.
Addition must be the weak side for you failed to add up the facts: if you had worked every day except Sunday since mid March 2001 till today, seeing on average three patients per hour in eight hours, having a quick conversation on why they should vote for you next, together with their families, today you would have seen 100,000 patients. Convincing them all that you are the next man to vote for, selling your cause to them and making them your first and best ambassadors, you would have reached, potentially, five family members and ten well-wishers per patient on average. Whooping 1,6 million voters that you today don’t have.
Add that 1.6 to the 2m you had – and subtract it from M7 then check the mathematics. It would have worked hugely in your favour, even before than today. But what we didn’t do fifteen years ago bites us in the arse today, isn’t it?
Meanwhile, you used to be sort of charming, but these few decades of running battles with police had changed you. You have aged. You are wrinkled and not so pretty to look at. When you speak, you look agitated and angry all the time. Nobody wants an angry president of the country, I assure you. Charm is gone. All you seem to want is some kind of revenge. The desire looks ugly and it looks to be the thing among men.
Were you never disappointed before? I mean, before M7 disappointed you? Was your life so much a bed of roses that M7 is the only thing you have to hate, so you put all your hate and anger efforts there as the rest is shrouded in angels? I don’t think so. But your hate for him is tangible yet unnecessary, because it simplifies things a bit too much, taking issues away from politics into the realm of personal and that’s not the fight you will get the people win for you. They respect your M7 a tad too much to side with you entirely, however out of politeness no one is saying a thing, they’re just nodding their heads absent-mindedly when you speak to them, to create this typically Ugandan illusion of agreement when in reality they don’t give a hoot.
So you think you are ‘it’ four elections in a row. You won’t step aside because you think you are the only one who can defeat your arch-enemy. You sideline perfectly good man in order to take a centre-stage again. And I assure you I’m not giving you my vote. Past fifteen years did not make you younger, healthier or wiser. You did not learn any lessons. Until the other day, your manifesto consisted of one simple sentence: “It is our turn to be in power” and the bloodthirstiness that comes out of your mouth is not subtle any more, not at all.
In 2001, I had my palm to my forehead when I heard that KK Chapaa was going to run. But from this standpoint, I’d rather vote for him today than for you. Chapaa at least has a sense of humour which you seem to have lost kabisa.
I know, this is harsh. But it’s the way I feel about you. You scare me. Your facial expressions when you speak scare me. Your anger scares me. And I’m just another human being – only difference being I’m willing to tell you, while others keep quiet and let you pass.
Democracy – this thing you are carrying around as if you own it – takes time; democracy takes time in good times, times of progress and prosperity. Minds and hearts require grooming, education, engagement. How do you do this if you are out of the country or in house arrest most of the time? How do you interract, mentor, coach, share – if you are unavailable? Your pain and suffering isn’t a good sales-point; youth want prosperity, not jail stories.
Please, understand: I have no doubt you are a great thinker, great mind, great visionary – but how I wish you had chosen another person to represent the party so you can deliver your greatness in support of that person. How I wish you had the courage to let go. Courage to show respect to your supporters, your policemen, your people in the military service. How I wish you had the courage to approach everyone with passion and understanding, with open arms. How much nicer your quarrels with authorities would be if you showed them some respect, if you hugged the police commander in front of cameras, if you had the balls to say “It’s okay guys, I understand you are doing your job” and to withdraw peacefully without making a royal mess every single time… How lovely it would be if you shook hands with police, smiled and respected their instructions… What positive points you would score like that, are you even aware?
Many a revolutions tipped over with a couple of flowers in young women’s hands. Doing things the right way, by being nice to people, is something that won’t hurt you to try. And, if I were you, I’d let Muntu go for it. Plus I’d expect to lose again, but to be even closer this time. Democracy takes time it takes and I don’t think this is your time. But, only time will tell.