Its almost polling day, temperatures are rising and the leopard is shifting uncomfortably in his warm seat. A seat he has occupied for 30 long years. I don’t blame him for the uneasiness, I would feel the same. You see, the tide of change is sweeping with so much force that we may just yet be in for an unusual announcement from the Electoral Commission. The man who seems to be scratching the leopard’s ass is Kizza Besigye. Something he has done constantly for the last sixteen years but not as painfully as he is doing it this time.
I do not recall seeing or reading about anybody over the course of my short life that has genuinely challenged a seating government in Uganda like Kizza Besigye has. For 16 years, this man has dug his own trenches among the people of Uganda rallying them not to settle for less and demand for more than they are being availed by the government. In the course of those 16 years, he has been thrown in virtually all police cells and prisons in Kampala, endured a humiliating trial of rape and trumped up charges of treason clearly aimed at breaking his back. He has been brutalized, almost blinded at a point and indefinitely confined to his home under the guise of preventive arrest. Yet this man has outlived each trick that the state pulls out of its docket.
This same man will today make his way to Makerere university to stir his supporters once again. I honestly don’t know how this man does his thing. It confirms that God has blessed us all with different talents. Enormous emotionally packed rallies have become his trademark during these campaigns. A feat that some must be attributing to black magic. Not even musicians can keep people on their toes like he is doing.
Daniel Kalinaki chose to call his book, an account of Rtd.Dr.Col. Kizza Besigye’s attempt to unseat the present regime, ‘Kizza Besigye and Uganda’s unfinished revolution.’ It is a fitting title. whether Besigye wins or loses or whether he ever becomes president, his name will forever remain synonymous with defiance, perseverance and courage in the face of insurmountable state pressure. Credit is also due to him for keeping the NRM government in check through his criticism of their policies. The mass support he enjoys all over the country is testimony of this unfinished revolution.
I cannot promise that Besigye will be a good leader (if at all he succeeds in this election) What I am sure of is that if he addresses the urgent issues of the country with as much enthusiasm, vigour and credibility he has professed all along, Ugandans will have got a good deal.
Today I will fetch only my first lecture and then all roads will lead to the freedom square to thank Dr.Besigye for keeping up the good fight. For jumping ship early before the likes of Amama Mbabazi who always thought that there was a queue. I plan to listen keenly but fear that I will most likely be taken up by toka kwa bara bara. Either way, it will be a fine way of adding my voice to the revolution. One day, some day, the revolution will succeed!!