By Moses Ssejjoba
Opposition firebrand legislator Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine took the floor of the House this past week to make an unprecedented submission.
The man who has suffered most among his peers at the hands of the Uganda’s security forces over the past one year was probably expected to table a motion urging Parliament to check the excesses of the security forces. He instead brought to the attention of his fellow legislators the suffering that the men and women in uniform in this country are going through.
Everyone was caught off-guard, especially since these are the same people that have been brutalizing the legislator in the most heinous ways.
For one thing, the forces have been spending sleepless nights trying to prevent him performing music for his fans; that alone should have been source of anger of the MP towards the security forces.
On the contrary, as the MP stood to address his colleagues, he did the direct opposite.
“One cannot be poorly paid, have no proper rest, be subjected to all manner of humiliation in promotions, live in the kind of containers the majority of them sleep in, and be expected to behave humanely towards citizens,” he said of the security forces, inviting his colleague to look into the social welfare of the the police and military.
“I am persuaded beyond doubt that if we treat them well, that is when we shall have the moral right to demand that they treat the citizens well,” said MP Kyagulanyi in a social media post shortly after he spoke on the Parliamentary floor. The MP made it known that what these officers do to him and other Ugandans who dare speak out against the excesses of the Museveni regime, is not out of their conviction.
It is always on “orders from above”, so they have intimated to the legislator in private. This has persuaded the MP to believe that these officers, whose children cannot get the basics from the meagre pay they get let alone a decent roof over their head, cannot be expected to treat anyone humanely.
To get a good understanding of this rather revolutionary submission, one need not to go too far. The dilapidated colonial era shacks in Nsambya where Police live will be a good place to start. The housing conditions there are the same across the country.
MP Kyagulanyi says he will soon move a substantive motion for Parliament to look into how the officers can have a better livelihood.
But then, how much importance will the motion get in a Parliament full of rent-seekers most of whom are reduced to personal errand boys and girls for Museveni?
The current plight of the armed forces is exactly what Museveni wants.
Forget his recent tours around the country promising better welfare to the armed forces; those are the usual lies that we have gotten accustomed to for 33 years.
Museveni has made sure the top brass, who are from one region of the country, are well catered for while the rank and file continue to live in deplorable conditions.
Museveni can keep them impoverished not for too long; but the winds of change are blowing. It is only a matter of time, and that time will not be long. Sudan’s Bashir now knows.