Lately, Dr. Kizza Besigye has become extremely candid.
This is unusual because we have been groomed to expect politicians and entrepreneurs to be the least direct, honest types.
Management of many people requires an art which borders on dishonesty, deceit or calculated truth.
Lately though, Dr. Kizza Besigye is so fond of words like idiots and fools.
In his latest interview with The Observer he said: “Uganda has a large supply of idiots” following the harsh criticism of People’s Front for Transition (PFT) from many Ugandans on social media. In another interview with NBS TV’s Simon Kaggwa Njala, he kept identifying many Ugandans as fools.
In democracies, a vote of a drunkard or an idiot has the same value as that of a professor.
A politician like Besigye should be interested in persuading every Tom, Dick and Harry to his camp or at least for FDC’s good.
So why is Kizza Besigye suddenly telling potential voters that they are idiots?
I think Besigye has been disappointed by most Ugandans — from elites to dregs of Uganda, and it seems he no longer expects to succeed further as a politician.
Can Kyagulanyi Ssentamu — a young politician burning with ambition — say that many Ugandans are idiots? Even if he believes so, I don’t think he can. His strong ambition or even delusions compromise him.
In her book, The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Betrayed, Miria Matembe revealed that when Besigye offered himself for presidency in 2001, along with Eriya Kategaya, Amanya Mushega and other members of the movement then, she tried to talk Besigye out of standing for presidency.
They tried to convince him that Museveni was running for his last term and that he could wait for the movement to organise a transition led by a person the most would agree on between 2001 and 2006.
In response, Besigye told them that they were daydreaming. He assured them that the Museveni he knew wasn’t planning to retire.
Matembe and her colleagues did not buy into Besigye’s argument and denied him their support. Subsequent events as Museveni repeatedly stood for presidency proved Besigye right.
That encounter with his formerly trusted colleagues must have been the beginning of Besigye’s disappointments.
After the 2001 presidential election, the constitution was abrogated and it’s alleged, in Matembe’s book, that parliamentarians were bribed to facilitate an easy constitutional amendment to remove term limits. Wasn’t it disappointing that the people Besigye thought should’ve joined hands with him to fight Museveni had accepted bribes (whatever the amount money or level of positions in hierarchy) to make very fundamental changes in the constitution against the will of people?
Besigye has contested in four presidential elections and he believes that he won at least one of them. He must have found disappointment in the indifference of Ugandans who did not rally to defend his and their victory even when he defiantly swore himself in.
Over years, many elites from prominent media houses, law firms, political parties, civil society organisations have been bribed into silence, defending or propping up the regime.
Wanainchi, who are most affected by poor policies of government, have also accepted to be victims of patronage as they gladly welcome brown envelopes, bicycles, motorcycles and cars which are most likey donated after spending tax payers’ money.
When Besigye called for civil disobedience and walk-to-work, many Ugandans ignored the call to his chagrin.
The timidity or indifference of the elite and wanainchi seem to have forced Besigye to employ the tactic of brutal honesty.
Now that Besigye seems to have lost interest in “pleasing the masses,” how much more truth is he willing reveal? Will it be for or against the struggle?