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Uganda's Election Fever and Kiza Besigye's Campaign of Defiance

The Campaign of Defiance

The state security agencies in Uganda have been cramping down on the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leader Dr. Kizza Besigye and his supporters. The accusation sheet has been reading the same. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) regime claims that the FDC has continued to run a campaign of defiance which according to government and the ruling NRM is very bad. It is a recipe for chaos according to the security agencies. It is now becoming clearer why the state sponsored law called Public Order Management Act was put in the place at NRM’s appointed time. The Ugandan police have continued to invoke the act fully particularly targeting Dr. Besigye and the FDC brotherhood and sisterhood and accusing them for what they term a rude campaign of defiance. According to the NRM narrative defiance is very very very bad. Yes, very.

The NRM School of Thought

But wait a minute, last time I checked defiance meant open resistance or bold disobedience. It is simply a refusal to obey something or someone. I believe there are always reasons why people disobey others or certain things even when such are orders or people with authority. Actually it is just to disobey bad laws and/or questionable authority. Anyway let me leave all these for some other time. Going back to Uganda’s NRM and FDC election politics here is what happens. The FDC has chosen to carry out the campaign of defiance and the NRM government has decides it won’t tolerate such. As late as Monday morning Dr. Kiza Besigye was arrested and detained for several hours notwithstanding the fact that he is one of the key contenders for the Presidency and that elections are just few days away. I do not know if he wins what the policemen who have been brutalizing him will feel like. But again I choose to leave that path alone.

Coming back to our semantic I trust that from the definitions it is reasonable to argue that there is something of defiance in resistance and/or that defiance is related to, or at least is contained in resistance. Now if such a nexus is real then NRM should not be accusing FDC of defiance when in fact the R in NRM stands for resistance. But again may be I am the one who is stupid. Those who went to good schools may correct me; I will accept correction. I won’t be violently defiant. But my argument granted then defiance is to be found in resistance and NRM is a resistance movement. Now in this case my mind suddenly becomes so weak as to understand why NRM would want to fight defiance so hard when in fact NRM’s very substance is made of resistance which has component of defiance

Narrow Conception

Here is the catch. The NRM only understands the language of violence. In that sense the resistance in NRM is actually synonymous to violence in the thinking of NRM. Therefore it could be rightly so argued that NRM genuinely fears the word defiance because in its interpretation it can only mean violence. And now that the NRM does not know any other language other than violence it simply seeks to crash defiance through violence. The result of these distortions is what we have witnessed across Uganda specifically Kampala throughout the campaign season and we could be seeing more of such around election time and even after.

It is not only fallacious but also tragic that the NRM has chosen only to conceive of resistance and defiance as violence. And this kind of distorted conception is not new in Uganda. Various defiant movements in Uganda such as the Black Monday Movement and the Walk to Work Initiative all of which were inherently non-violent were met with too much force by the violent Uganda or is it NRM police? Unfortunately the NRM and the Ugandan regime do not have a any remaining space to be taught anything new; they are old and tired to take in anything new and better; they cannot learn any more concepts. I therefore choose to rest my case.  I do not intend to waste any time in explaining that defiance need not be violent and that FDC may not be talking about violence when they run the campaign of defiance. Anyway, I wish Uganda peaceful elections. How I wish they will be fair. 
Uganda's Election Fever and Kiza Besigye's Campaign of Defiance Uganda's Election Fever and Kiza Besigye's Campaign of Defiance Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on February 16, 2016 Rating: 5

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