By Elvis Kintu Nsonyi
I will start by apologizing, I shouldn’t have wasted my precious time responding to this. However, I arrived somewhere for a meeting much earlier than I had anticipated, so I have some 20 minutes for this.
In Buganda, when a child is born, the parents, filled with joy, receive visitors who congratulate them upon the bundle of joy. We’re told that this is when good luck begins on the side of the baby.
It is therefore upon that background that I personally pity the parents of anybody I find wanting/misbehaving in life. I try to as much as possible indulge myself in imaginery reminiscence of that infant time and the wishes which the mother and this then infant baby received.
I belong to a WhatsApp group dubbed Buganda Think Tank and today, a member shared a photo of a newspaper article authored by Ofwono Opondo and titled; Ssemogerere – a pseudo democrat, quisling schemer rests. I think you now understand why I had to start by apologizing.
Culturally, it is despicable and unseemly to speak ill of a dead person. That is why I have never rejoiced upon any one’s death. The best I can do is to keep silent and let the family mourn. But also, largely because they will never have a chance to refute your statements or otherwise defend themselves against any allegations.
But in Uganda, people like Ofwono believe the current military regime gave them liberty and that’s why a Government Spokesperson like him, can shamelessly respond to people that society holds in high regard/esteem.
I need to remind him of the words of John Stuart Mill 1859. He said, “Liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.”
I was forced to quickly ran to my search engine for purposes of inserting the two names Ssemogerere and Ofwono for comparison, however abominable this is! The results show that Ssemogerere (RIP), the eulogies aside, is former DP President and the locus classicus of the restoration of multiparty democracy in Uganda. By the way, the platitude of “brain power” which was popularized by the late Ssebaana Kizito was due to the litany of court cases won by DP under Dr. Ssemogerere.
The same engine shows Ofwono Opondo as a Government spokesperson, a kleptomaniac who picked an underwear from Uchumi and one who shot a young man dead. Now for starters, the word kleptomia sounds botanical and sanitized, but I can quickly demonstrate that such a person can even steal ash from traditional cookstoves.
Ofwono is a very lucky man that we do not have an Annual General Meeting for thieves in Uganda. But I trust if we had one, the AGM would penalize and have him debarred for ridiculing them by stealing a mere undergarment and pen from all the items he had at his disposal.
Ofwono is therefore an already wretched man. He is very popular for going against the grain reason whereof, he pulled a gun and killed a young man in 2004. The following year, he entered Uchumi to “steal” a pen and undergarment when he knows decency requires us to pay. This year 2022, he entered the studios of NBS TV to physically attack, manhandle and batter Lord Mayor Lukwago instead of him deploying his mind for an intellectual debate!
I am actually trying to contain myself but can’t help letting out stifled laughter whenever I think of Ofwono, a well dressed interloper in the eyes of the regime that he speaks for.
I know someone out there will hasten to invite me to appreciate the old adage, “Omulungi tabulako kamogo”. This literally means that even those we consider perfect have their own flaws. Yes, to some extent I will agree but let us address the sense of occassion in Ofwono’s article. Was it called for even when the family is still mourning the loss of their beloved one? Others have done it, yes. Did Ssemogerere’s family have to suffer it too?
Majority of us who are opposed to the military junta do so majorly because of two things; extra judicial killings and embezzlement of public funds.
I don’t know whether Ofwono includes that in his biography. But by all standards, that qualifies him as the most qualified and appropriate person to speak for Mr. Museveni’s government. They have similar and other distinctive attributes enabling them to mutually associate. These have frustrated the much desired progress and continues to suffocate the hapless tax payers.
Tell me one other sober mind that can defend extrajudicial killings and abductions today, corruption and embezzlement of government resources tomorrow, then several other appalling and desultory actions every after tomorrow.
His article is characterized by inconsistent and contradictory elements given what the citizenry are subjected to yet the departed old man who was opposed to the same. At 90, you would be forced to think Dr. Ssemogerere was senile, but he held a very sober mind. Unfortunately, this article portrays that Ofwono’s mind is to the contrary towing a feeble direction.
Therefore Ofwono Opondo shouldn’t over assert himself. The public knows who you’re. Actually they would rather tolerate a mixed legacy in a dead Kawanga Ssemogerere as you allege, than an uncertain, undefined and unnecessary creature in a living you.
You have socially withdrawn and you increasingly don’t care about your relevance. Therefore, posterity will judge you as someone who defended the obvious horrendous crimes against human for crumbs and praise Ssemogerere.
I invite you to have a sense of occassion next time. Let the family mourn as you find some other avenues that will please your bosses to deliver your buttered bread to your family.
The writer is a personal assistant to Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago