The African continent has become home of militia groupings that start as small social political formations. At least every active registered political organisation in Africa has an informal political militia. Whereas the resident governments legally condemn these groupings, they politically facilitate their growth and survive from the militia actions. Each of these political formations have used the notion of “Liberation” to legitimize their existence. The current Ugandan political intolerance is growing features similar to those of Mai-Mai of North-Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Sudan Revolutionary Front of Sudan, the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda of Angola under the separatist nationalist, the Resistencia Ancestral Mapuche of Argentina and later will translate into something that will scare both the nation and the world as a locally raised and nurtured Al-Qaeda. We have seen civic actions of the Red Brigade Movement storming the Ugandan parliament, throwing pigs at offices, threatening to disarm security personnel and now the rebranded Local Defense Unit that has become a security threat. Just two days ago, the public has been awash with sad news of the demise of Rita Nabukenya and Danuel Kyeyune alleged to have been killed as a result of political intolerance. Indeed, these are the broad day documented intolerance of our time. They however communicate a symptomatic challenge of a big political dilemma our governance faces. Perhaps there are many other killings, assassinations and inhumane actions by either security agencies and by political actors among the citizens. We must get interested in the human sanctity of our time to be valued. This intolerance and it’s growth is on terrific speed among all political actors. I imagined that either the opposition or government/NrM would cool and accommodate the other. We now operate both government and opposition militias. Actually, it is only the Alliance for National Transformation that is know not to possess any such militia. The NrM militia in Arua threatened to block the then Amama Mbabazi a political aspirant in Arua in 2015 while in Mubende, the NRM militia was recently in public threatening the People Power leader never to step in their soil. The degrees of legitimacy and extent of actors’ agency interest may be our interest but the impact of these intolerant youth groupings should be digested yesterday. The seemingly people power movement seem to be sound to many as the most intolerant group of our time. Uganda must mitigate political intolerance before we make our elections a non useful process to deliver democracy to us all. We need to get interested and concerned.
The country could bleed soon. This broad intolerance needs urgent attention by all of us. I keep telling people that “tolerance in the matter of beliefs is necessarily a part of the new ethics”. Ugandans must learn that we are not angry with people when we laugh at them. The reason we must all at one time exercise humor to teach us tolerance. What is killed is not people power or movement. It is human beings and life. It is funny that we have even started fighting to own the dead due to gaining political strength.
We may wonder why this intolerance is on the rise. What seem clear is a coalition of two seemingly similar political features of the NRM and the People Power that have a lot in common. Both are informal political missions and operations. They are both led by political “cults” worshiped by their followers and struggling for the youthful generation. They both use music as the common rallying point. The youth are their political intersection while their leaders are predetermined and have little respect for legitimacy but use legitimate means to ratify their actions an inactions. The NrM and People Power movements believe in illegitimate; quasi-legitimate; legitimizing agencies in all their dealings. This collusion; and legitimate and varying extents of agency coerced; cajoled; manipulated; and trade strength rather than reason and realities. We must all ask ourselves some questions. How did we get to a point where one life is lost and it is business as usual? How do we address this political intolerance? Can we sustain these militia without germinating and transforming into an Entaharemu or Bokoharamu. The question of the day is clear that our political tolerance has moved from bad to worse. We have customized this with political capital either for the opposition or the ruling party. We have dyminisfied the intolerance to mean power and strength. Uganda has have integrated the intolerance in our government and state. All this is a seed that if we allow it to germinate, our politics will become a sea of blood. It is high time as a country that we began preaching peace. We need political tolerance programs. We must dysfunctional political resistance forces as early as now as a mitigation measure to addressing potential future mass political upheavals. Such intolerance could shape and change the manner of our politics to imply that our political divergence means death. It is for this reason that “we all must get interested in the growing political intolerance in Uganda” I think tolerance is something everybody needs to be reminded of especially in a reactionary political climate we all live in today. The day we learn that human rights are violated more in a period and society with such political intolerance is the day we shall all begin to value the need to tolerate one another at all times.
May Allah bless Uganda