By Mukasa Sirajeh Katantazi
On January 13, I was on my way back from Kamuli having attended a friend’s introduction ceremony.
He had flown in from the UK the previous night and the frenzied flurry of activities to pull the ceremony off would rival worker bees going about their natural role selection in a colony.
Save for the midday downpour the occasion went on like clockwork.We feasted on chicken thighs in savoury
luwombo and other niceties before exchanging presents in typical traditional muslim nikah setting before embarking on the long and arduous journey back to Kampala.
My battery had long died from the incessant messaging as I kept up with the happenings surrounding the impending presidential election the next day. Back in the car I charged up and when the battery life hit the 5% mark I turned my phone on,pressed VPN to go online.
I thought it was a network issue and restarted the phone but still nothing was forthcoming.
Naturally I was disappointed for the excitement leading up to the following day’s events was to reach a crescendo that night.
Alas nothing could console me and then it drowned on me.The internet had been cut off.I quickly took stock of other African countries that had walked down that infamous road and realised we were now part of that statistic, 15 our exact number.
Security concerns were advanced by regime apologists as the reason for the blackout.Be that as it may,this election was meant to be conducted scientifically using inter alia internet enabled platforms including social media.So much for that last pitch.
The main challengers to the incumbent who has ruled with the proverbial iron fist for 35 years one was imprisoned within the confines of his home and the other spent the last few days seeking bail for the unintelligible charges of dangerous use of a motor vehicle apparently for riding atop his car.
Election in darkness was upon us and I felt lonely and isolated.
The internet has become a way of our lives and as fervent as I have followed every news byte about our local election,I was more interested in the impeachment proceedings against a delusional man intoxicated by his own self importance who had incited an insurrection against American democracy.
I knew that I was excommunicated and the frustrations turned into anger.
The next morning I was at the polling station at 6:15 am and vented my frustration by voting anything anti establishment.I felt a sense of satisfaction doing this and would also hypothesise that I wasn’t alone.
It was the only way I would kick the butt.So it came as a surprise when the NRM candidate who had earlier been declared winner of the election in Darkness unashamedly claimed that Buganda region voted along sectarian/tribal lines.
Matter of factly it’s only in Buganda were non Baganda can stand and win. A few prominent names come to mind..
Kabaziguruka, Ruhindi, Nabakoba, Rukikaire,Pinto and yes Derrick Nyeko was sent to the next parliament to represent Makindye East.
I recall the ill advised attempt by Ngoma Ngime to represent Mbarara municipality. He was quickly reminded of being a “foreigner”.
I have tried unsuccessful to find out which non local son or daughter has ever represented any other part of the country since 1996 but I have so far come out short.
I stand to be corrected. It’s dangerous to stalk tribal sentiments but its irresponsible when these are fanned by a head of state.As a 21st century citizen I believe we should and ought to choose our leaders based on their abilities not lineage or social status.
But then again this election was emotive and as sane as I pretend to be I picked Bobi Wine, Shamim Malende and Derrick Nyeko just to irk the establishment and boy oh boy did it rub someone the wrong way.
Adios amigos it’s been long since I last mused.