COMMENT: By Harold Acemah
Early in the morning of Wednesday, June 15, a friend called me from Kampala to deliver some bad news he had just read in the Daily Monitor of that day. He told me, with anguish, that UPC and Uganda House had been sold to the proprietor of NRM. I had not yet seen the newspapers of the day as they normally arrive in Arua around 10am. I was shocked and dismayed, but reserved my comments.
According to the Daily Monitor story titled, “Obote son, NRM to form alliance” the pretender to the presidency of UPC, Jimmy Akena told the media that he had formed a sub-committee to negotiate the formation of an alliance between UPC and the National Resistance Movement (NRM).
“The party (UPC) is also in consultation with our legal team and the Uganda Law Society in helping to sort out some legal issues that may arise during this process of negotiations,” Akena is quoted to have said.
The government owned New Vision of June 15 reported the story under a rather romantic headline, “Akena’s UPC to finalise political marriage with NRM!” If you are searching for a definition of “an unholy alliance” here is a classic one.
According to the New Vision story, “asked why UPC is forging an alliance with NRM, Akena fronted two pillars; national integration and transition from President Museveni and his generation to a new and younger generation.” Akena reportedly added that, “Negotiations will take place until we conclude. There is no deadline.” In other words, there is no time frame for the talks.
I have not heard anything so naïve, absurd and disgraceful from a senior member of UPC in living memory!
Cartoonists of Ugandan newspapers had a field day making fun of and cracking satirical jokes about the on-going episode of the Akena-NRM tragicomedy nicknamed “the odd couple” by wananchi. Daily Monitor of Thursday, June 16 carried a graphic cartoon on its editorial page which shows a grinning look-alike of Akena dancing on the grave of his father with a huge knife held with both hands. The look-alike stabs his dad’s remains in the grave with the knife.
The marriage between Akena and NRM is a classic for anyone searching for a definition of `an unholy alliance’
Not to be outdone, the New Vision of Friday, June 17 on its editorial page carried a less impressive cartoon in black and white of a lugubrious look-alike of Akena kneeling down and pleading with a suitor dressed in kanzu resembling, you know who! The Akena look-alike whispers to the suitor, “Marry me Pleeeese!” Hahaha!
The message which the two cartoons convey is, needless to mention, loud, clear and embarrassing. How low can a man sink into the abyss of moral decadence. It’s disgusting, despicable and treachery of the worst kind. I am sure Apollo Milton Obote (RIP) would not only shudder at what his son has done and is doing, but would also rebuke and condemn him.
UPC shall rise and shine again
Make no mistake, UPC is not up for grabs or for sale to the highest bidder or any Tom, Dick and Harry, including those who have in recent years stolen and accumulated trillions of ill-gotten shillings and wealth which rightfully belongs to the wananchi of Uganda. UPC may be down, but the congress of the people is definitely not out. UPC; a national political party which in alliance with Kabaka Yekka struggled relentlessly and successfully for Uganda’s freedom and independence in 1962, will in due course rise and shine again.
Akena has no mandate whatsoever to negotiate on behalf of UPC. He is certainly free to hold personal talks or negotiations with NRM or anybody, on any subject. He should not, however, deceive and mislead Ugandans to believe that he has one iota of legitimate authority to speak for or negotiate on behalf of UPC. I am sure he is aware of the High Court ruling of 2015 which nullified his alleged presidency of UPC. He was in fact ordered to vacate UPC headquarters at Uganda House, but has colluded with the regime to defy court orders.
Has Akena forgotten everything he learnt from his illustrious father including what the Mzee must have told him about his newly-found buddies? Does he not trust his own father’s word? Has he forgotten the unspeakable adjectives and language his new friends routinely used for years to insult and denigrate his own father in life and even in death? Is he so desperate that he must sell his soul for 30 pieces of silver? If his conscience is still alive and ticking, it will sooner or later prick him. In the meantime, I appeal to the esteemed and highly respected Mama Miria Obote to call Akena to order.
What is happening in Uganda is akin to an armed robber who breaks into your house at night and holds you captive for days while feasting on your food and drinks. When the stock is about run out, the armed robber forces you at gunpoint to sign a deal under which you surrender all your precious properties to him. It is unacceptable.
Whether you believe or not, Uganda is clearly on the wrong track. Time has come for the moral majority of Ugandans who have endured untold and unnecessary suffering and humiliation for decades to stand up, join hands and get Uganda back on the right track. People of faith and of goodwill everywhere in Uganda must stop supporting or tolerating or condoning the evil deeds of a decadent regime whose leaders openly and shamelessly practice witchcraft and routinely pay homage to false gods and evil spirits in broad daylight.
Ugandans deserve better. UPC, FDC, DP and all freedom and justice loving political parties and people must struggle relentlessly for a better Uganda for all. For God and my Country!
Ambassador Harold E. Acemah is a political scientist and retired career diplomat
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