How an unknown young man’s death turned him into a political football for opportunistic politicians
THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Last week, it became apparent that the initial news that a one Michael [K]alinda aka Zigy Wyne had been kidnapped, eye yanked out, fingers chopped off and face burnt using a flat iron were exactly that – a hoax. Zigy had a nasty motorbike accident at 7.30pm on July 21. People around the accident scene picked him up and took him to the nearby Hope Clinic. The nurse at the clinic referred him to Mulago for urgent medical attention.
The indefatigable Canary Mugume of NBS, then Tom Malaba of Daily Monitor, and other reporters went to the scene of the accident and interviewed eyewitness who told the story of what actually happened. Later I visited Mulago and talked to the doctors. Zigy was brought to Mulago by a “good Samaritan” who said the victim had been involved in a traffic accident and was admitted at about 9.30pm as an unknown person and given the code name “Zulu.”
Zigy was treated, fed, bathed and given fresh clothes; the ones he was wearing at the time of the accident were taken and washed. On July 24th, his family came. He recovered and was discharged on July 28. He was given medicines to stop convulsions. He was later readmitted on July 31; doctors suspect he was not taking his medicines. However, the convulsions he suffered as a result of not taking his medication are the most likely cause of his death.
Yet in spite of this mountain of evidence, the leader of People Power, Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobby Wine, continued to claim that Zigy was kidnapped, tortured and murdered. He feels no responsibility whatsoever to provide any evidence to back up his claims. The death of Zigy only serves him an opportunity to score political points, in complete disregard to all forms of decency. This crass political opportunism excites the passions of the hoards that see him as a messiah but shows how bankrupt he is.
Throughout last week, the journalists who told this truth became victims of cyber bullying by supporters of People Power. Rather than respond to the facts, the supporters of People Power hurled insults, abuses and false accusations at those who told the facts they did not want to hear. One wonders what sort of government Bobby Wine would preside over given the quality of people he has mobilised to his cause. People Power is not supported by only lumpens. Some very smart Ugandans support it. It has a clear strategy behind its madness.
Here is their strategy: it is to deny all facts and insist that everything is subjective and relative; to dismiss all evidence as forged if it does not promote their political agenda; and to argue that every argument that seems to favour President Yoweri Museveni and his NRM is not based on conviction but has been paid for. It is interesting that People Power resembles the Donald Trump movement in the USA although Americans who support it are anti-Trump.