Bobi Wine. Most Ugandans believe he’s the legitimately elected president. Photo: Facebook.
[View From Uganda]
Innocents such as parliamentarians Kawempe North Member Hon. Muhammad “Mr. Update” Ssegirinya and Allan Aloysius Ssewanyana, commonly known as ‘Omusajja wa Bwino’, who is MP for Makindye Division West, both representatives for Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform (NUP), have been slapped with terrorism charges.
Their joint denunciation and subsequent charging was before two bomb blasts went off in Kampala, leading to Gen. Museveni saying: “The public should not fear, we shall defeat this criminality like we have defeated all the other criminality committed by the pigs who don’t respect life.”
According to Uganda Police spokesperson Fred Enanga the suicide bombers used nails, ball bearings and other metal fragments to create an improvised explosive device. This was suspicious, especially against the background of the public’s incredulousness when it came to the government accusing the aforesaid NUP parliamentary representatives of terrorism.
Previously, it appears that the government had no alibi to its claims of Opposition-led terrorism beyond pointing an accusatory finger at NUP. However, with the latest bomb blasts, an alibi can now be concocted.
True, the bomb attacks were linked to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), but this seems like merely a prelude to something else.
Before the credence of the accusation was exposed as a bald-faced lie, the People’s Redemption Army (PRA) was said to be a rebel group based in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC Congo), like the ADF. The government claimed it consisted of around 2,000 rebels poised to attack Uganda. The leader of the opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and the main contender for the presidency in the 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 General Elections, Dr. Kizza Besigye, was arrested on November 14, 2005, accused of being the “political leader of the PRA”.
History is about to repeat itself as Bobi Wine and NUP will most likely be linked to ADF, thereby justifying a government crackdown on the Opposition and the continued incarceration of the two NUP representatives.
In this situation, Uganda is like a bar on the verge of a major brawl. This has pushed the Opposition’s back against the wall. In the Art of War, Sun Tzu calls this situation the desperate ground, and defines it as such:
When you have the enemy’s strongholds on your rear, and narrow passes in front, it is hemmed-in ground. When there is no place of refuge at all, it is desperate ground.
Sun Tzu, to those who are unaware, was a Chinese military strategist and general, who said that when an army is backed against a physical boundary, an army can either fight their way out or be annihilated. There is no other escape route. This is a zero-sum outcome. It’s kill or be killed.
NUP and the rest of the Opposition find themselves in this exact quandary, quite similar to King Leonidas and the Spartans when they came up against the Persian army. In 480 BC, Thermopylae, Greece, Persian King Xerses gathered hundreds of thousands of troops to invade and destroy Greece. This forced Spartan King Leonidas, along with 300 fierce warriors, to utilize the death ground strategy.
The Spartans, protecting their homeland, had a fighting spirit that was unmatched by the Persian army. It was a do or die mentality and this is what made the Spartans a superior fighting force.
Uganda’s opposition is in the same situation: Museveni’s junta has pulled out all the stops and included all the dastardly tactics that typify a rogue regime.
The Opposition, in this situation, must steel its spine and fight for its survival or be completely obliterated.
The columnist Matogo can be reached via [email protected]