|Photo off the Web|
A CLINCHER: “Peace is indeed harder than war. Its constant fragility is part of its beauty. A bullet need only happen once but for Peace to work we need to be reminded of its existence again and again”—POTUS OBAMA, while speaking in Belfast Ireland (2013).
This tribute will open with one of my favorite words that guide me in doing that which I believe I have been called here to do and it sets the tone for all there is to the millions of words in this piece. The great Randy Alcon in a very well-knit piece of work, SAFELY HOME, writes—on Pg.89:
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep the streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare composed poetry. He should sweep the streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause and say, ‘Here lived a great sweeper, who did his job well”.
Dearest Dr.Besigye and your wife Winnie Byanyima,
Greetings in the name of the Almighty God. I want to begin by thanking you for your unflinching sacrifice in the struggle for Freedom and Justice. I do not have many Politicians I celebrate in the history of this country but for you, you are a very special and unique duo for me.It was 2011 when I picked interest in Dr.Besigye’s message of hope—I was a first year university student then when I read an article in the London eye, just after you had returned from Nairobi, where Dr .Besigye was having treatment. I was very much concerned about Winnie’s fear for the safety of the life of her husband. I started paying attention intently much as I supported you just in the background.
Despite my misgivings, I can never hesitate when it comes to sharing about the ugliness that is gutting down the political and leadership arena of this country—whilst shining a light with probable solutions. My father took me through very terrible stories of Uganda’s rugged political History and I wasn’t spooked by these stories just as he was unnerved about exposing them to me.I always had endless conversations with my late dad before he passed to Cancer sometime last year(especially the times I was writing expletives about the TDA,where I tried to explain that Dr.Besigye was undoubtedly the candidate to choose)—dad was a very ardent lover of the FDC,I had vowed to him I was going to support Dr.Besigye through and through—at least I have done that and I have no remorse about it.I could say that those who have seen, read and heard that I have been vouching and writing endless scathing articles against the Museveni government (though true and insightful) about the FDC’s potential to lead this country to a better place in my village do not get surpirised. Many people here on facebook that disagree always thought I am paid by your camp—something that has never ever happened. And earnestly, I want to make sure I make it crystal clear to them here before I take this to my blog: I HAVE NEVER RECEIVED A PENNY FROM FDC, IT IS JUST ABOUT THE DIRE NEED FOR CHANGE.
Basically, I will be very quick to say why I have been with you all the way and will still be with you against all odds. An interesting note to begin with, recently someone came to my inbox and assured me how Dr.Besigye will never be President and how I should let go. I quipped in a very precise exchange: “My activism and advocacy isn’t just about Dr.Besigye. it is about change. Whether Dr.Besigye becomes president or not, I will always celebrate him”. Now I want to say at this point that I am not sure what next is going to happen but that remains my word and to begin with, I am here to celebrate Dr.Besigye.I will try to be a little more expansive to what I quipped earlier.
Take a glance out of the window—if you don’t think that everything is awful then you don’t understand the situation. Because: when he talks about unemployment, he is representing me and the other 83 percent unemployed youth. When he talks about the very wanting Medicare for the cancer patients and the mothers, I have been affected by both and very many have the same cry. When he talks about the roads,Mr.Museveni came to Kanungu (where I come from) and promised the road will be started ever since I started to speak, I was 2years and a half then—making the same promise every time he visited. He came back even last year and lied to us three times in two months (actually, I heard people tried to demonstrate on May 7th were imprisoned)—that too affects me and many other Ugandans. When he talks about Justice for all—injustice anywhere is justice everywhere. Basically, he has said the bare truths about what’s wrong with Uganda whilst proposing solutions but he is treated as a second-class citizen for that.
Personally, I am not good at keeping quiet on things that are affecting and hurting me—I feel better saying the truth than just getting myself covered in the avalanche of lies as a moniker for a good night’s sleep: that’s why I do not write fiction. Like Dr.Martin Luther King Jr, I profoundly believe in these words as my anthem to truth: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. I will make a case before I leave this very crucial thing; like Dr.King once said: “the law cannot make someone love me but it can keep him from lynching me”.
I heartily want to thank Winnie Byanyima in a special way for always standing with you—especially in the hardest of times. My wildest guess is that the only reason you wore a smile to that face amid the pain you were facing is because you had a comforter by your side—I say this with authority because I have known how it always feels for me to have my fiancée when I am so low and beaten down by life’s shattering pangs and pounding pains.
To both of you: I could go on and on, there are a zillion things to talk about but we will certainly again. I am equally an eternal optimist because I have had the luxury of hardships but every hardship that I go through successfully every day of my life, I am reminded of how I almost let go, I will leave a few words to encourage both of us—don’t stop because you are tired, keep going because you are almost there. Putting it more accurately, in the words of Dalton Trumbo: “As I think of it, democracy isn’t a Sunday suit to be bought and won only for parades—it is something to live for and die for”.
If Andrew Mwenda is reading this, he should know I mean every word and he should read and listen intently.
I used to think teenagers and adolescents were the only ones that had the thing with the self-styled nomenclature (without necessarily paying attention to what they meant) until I met one man that goes by the label ‘old man of the clan’—I am not going to come here and lay claim that the man I am talking about is the young man but I will move a case that maybe he has grown too old to the extent of a vegetative state of brains. As you can see (the picture is a segment of the thousands that welcomed Dr.Besigye in Mbarara during the campaign trails)—they sung one song in unison, we need change: a change in the way of things, NOT business as usual with the Museveni government. Andrew Mwenda read this out loud to understand and maybe repeat five times if it will help you understand—“I, Grace Abaho Sr, will not acquiesce to a tyrant”
For Andrew Mwenda, while Dr.Besigye was busy winning the hearts of the voters with his message, he(Mwenda) was shamelessly selling the rhetoric of how Dr.Besigye’s message is unrealistic and how corruption is a necessary evil—how we still need the embodiment of corruption in Uganda. Just after the Feb elections marred by insurmountable irregularities, he was the was the first to say that Dr.Besigye didn’t win the election but rather a propaganda of words. To Dr.Besigyes’s defense, I took Andrew Mwenda to his cringe inducing moments.And then he came out grasping at straws. Like a week or so later, he added an insult to the injury calling me uninformed (I thought we would settle with a Point of information.
PS: He said the same of Winnie a week ago. He didn’t and he hasn’t stopped at that. Recently, he went out on twitter and tweeted: “it’s okay for someone to steal money meant for the hospital and build a factory”. I have never been so mesmerized at the willful ignorance of this old man of the clan—every time he speaks; I pity the clan he represents.
I was told Andrew Mwenda wrote something in the independent that he called ‘A FRANK MEMO TO BYANYIMA’.I got myself a copy and read it.I will share with you the revelations of the memo.As I have often said, Andrew will not disappoint when it comes to his want for stamina that is long gone. He made very many rabid insinuations that only the discerning eye can see.In his so-called frank memo(with grammar errors),he says: “stop the self-indulgent pretense that you are an altruistic advocate of human rights. Your blind and reckless pursuit of power is obvious even to the blind…”
Before he came to this (above), in the earlier paragraphs, Mwenda talks about how Winnie spent years at Museveni’s statehouse both literally and figuratively—saying that the husband is thus entitled to the harassment having been part of the people that brought in and served under Museveni (for both Winnie & Besigye, in their respective positions).I labored to leave Dr.Besigye’s reasons for break-out, things that are real and obvious to the blind as he says, but he decisively chooses to ignore.
The foolery in Mwenda’s rhetoric is the self-destructive stupidity that often goes unconstested.For him to say that Winnie has a reckless pursuit of power is downright untrue—time and again, Winnie has encouraged the Museveni government to an external audit of the election results, how is that even close to a reckless pursuit of power? Secondly: Mwenda fantastically plays down his impure rhetoric by calling Winnie to not being an altruistic advocate of human rights. To this, I will make a case: Andrew Mwenda is a representative of those who think it is okay to sell and buy justice whereas Winnie Byanyima is at the forefront of those who find it very crucial to save Justice and Freedom—the Human Rights.
The last couple of days have been filled with so many events that spell out clearly where we fall in the democratization process—the turn of events can only be described as mind-blowing by someone who has paid utmost attention. We had two presidents swear in: that’s a very interesting tale in the history of this nation—by far the most telling of the political fakery and thievery this nation has known. I will begin with a rather disturbing tidbit of the events-
As I write this, the man millions believe won the election is behind bars in the prison cells of Luzira for treason.I do not want to go into the nitty-gritty of how he finds himself there. Its simple logic—the word I can use here is filibustering.Mr.Museveni (the real life equivalent of FRANK UNDERWOOD in the TV SERIES, HOUSE OF CARDS) may not possibly run his show if Dr.Besigye is still a ‘free man’ so by every stretch of imagination, he has to be ‘taken care of’, simply that’s the bigger picture of what’s making news around the world. The underlying malady in the Museveni government as I have often noted is that they rule by the law—apply the law as long as it will suit their narrative and bring results under the pretext of adherence to the constitution. Unless you have been in the cave, you must have heard about the endless cry for the restoration of the civil liberties.
In the end of Mwenda’s so-called ‘Frank memo to Winnie Byanyima’, he says: “…And most critically, never launch a missile from a canoe. You need a powerful ship made of steel. Unfortunately, in trying to attack me; you didn’t examine the ground on which you stood”. I must say that after I read this, I laughed out loud. I am at least aware of the crazy evolution of Andrew Mwenda—I have at least paid attention to his very disturbing U-turn, as Winnie put it accurately: losing his soul and supporting the dictatorship and defending gross human rights abuses. I have never found an explanation but one, cultural hegemony. If Mwenda says whatever he says and writes in his real senses, then the movie things of people turning into vampires and wear wolves have never been so real.
It saddens my heart that a man who is trying to save Justice and Freedom is charged with treason and people like Andrew are cheering on—it surely breaks my heart albeit the greatest irony is that I have found the deepest gratitude for Dr.Besigye and his phenomenal wife Winnie at this point in time—especially for seeing Dr.Besigye continually put his life on the line for the people he loves and cares about. I remember November 4th 2015, in a press conference, Dr.Besigye said: “We are going to have a campaign of defiance. We cannot have a compliant team that is complying with dictatorship”—I am glad to be part of this great team and I am here to stay as long as the message stays one that represents the common man.
My message to all the lovers of the restoration of Justice is that in the face of the void, you have to remember that you are born with no fixed amount of resilience, especially when you are on the right track of history—like a muscle, you can build it up and draw on it when you need it.Now is not the time to give up. I will leave you with an Old Italian joke that has long been meaningful to me.A story is told of a man who was very poor. He always cried to a statue of a saint to help him win the lottery. One day, the statue got very tired of the cries and it spoke to the man.It said: How do you expect to win the lottery if you have never bought a ticket? So, I will ask the same question, how do you expect change if you cheer the ugliness in the Museveni government?
Be vigilant and pay attention—the cure to the Museveni Cancer is reducing his Powers.
I always look around to see what could see Mr.Museveni off with the kind of goodbye he deserves and the answer is in nothing but reducing the power that has been put in his hands by the very gullible NRM Yes-men who unfortunately will never look beyond their noses—as you read this we are well served to remember that the Mr.Museveni’s gospel as he came to power was “the problem of Africa is leaders who stay long in power”. We hold these truths to be self-evident—that this ‘man’ might actually make a new shift in what the constitution says with the tenth parliament. I wasn’t shocked the other day when the deputy speaker was elected—when their boss, Museveni, spoke proudly saying that they have passed his test—electing a man he empathetically did the best to see elected. You may wonder why Mr.Museveni had to shoe-in Jacob Oulanya as deputy speaker of the tenth parliament—the simple logic is that he will not disappoint when it comes to playing the puppet, a win for the man we are up against.
In a very excellent masterpiece, THE LEADER’S LIGHT OR SHADOW, Pg. 9(38); we read this healthy warning:
“The greater a leader’s power, the greater the potential for abuse. This prompted Britain’s Lord Acton to observe that ‘power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts completely”. The long shadow cast by absolute power, as in the case of North Korea’s Kim Jong the 2ND and the military junta in Burma; can be seen in censorship, repression, torture, imprisonment, murder and starvation. Psychologists offer several explanations for why concentrated power is dangerous.
First—power makes it easier for impulsive, selfish people to pursue their goals without considering the need for others. They are likely to justify their actions by their personal rights and interests take priority over obligation to others. Second—those in power protect their positions by attacking those they perceive as threats. Third—powerful leaders are prone to biased judgement.They generally make little attempt to find out how followers think or feel. As a result, they are more likely to hold and act on faulty stereotypes to justify their authority”.
As is the truth in the words above, we are heading into an abyss of tyranny than we have ever seen. I am a person who believes that words heal and mend the broken hearted. In this time of the insurmountable void I have relentlessly been reading one of my favorite poems from my poetry collections, LIFE’S DRAMA, I will leave it for everyone reading this:
“In life’s deepest mysteries,
And enslaving histories,
Where solace flees ,
And destiny wills,
There dwells one,
For humanity’s anchorage.
In life’s shattering pangs,
And pounding pains,
In mind’s confusing ills,
And un-followed trails
One who reigns.
In life’s conflicts,
And misery reflects,
In dreams thwarted,
And visions diverted,
There be one,
Knowing it all.
In life’s searching’s,
And dismal wanderings,
In matters inexplicable,
And longings inconceivable,
There dwells the one,
Who understands it all.
In life’s un-sweetest taste,
And worthless haste,
In matters dying,
And soul despairing,
There lives one,
Who gives hope”
The iconic Dr.Besigye and his phenomenal wife Winnie Byanyima—my appreciation knows no bounds. I love you so very much, may the LORD richly bless you. To all Ugandans that fight for the restoration of Justice, keep going and for those we disagree with, please listen—in the name of decency and human dignity, let politics not be a place where we make enemies but rather a place where we open up to new ideas and at times get challenged in the battlefield of ideas. As President Barack Obama once said: “We did not come to fear the future, we came to shape it”. May the Peace of the LORD that surpasses man’s understanding be with you. We will continue to shine the light where it ought to be because I am rock-solid confident that we haven’t had futile attempts—we have, together, scratched exactly where the itch is, I am with you to the end.
I remain your friend,
Grace Abaho Sr, INDEPENDENT BLOGGER.