It’s always great to see African artists from across the world collaborating. Music is one of the most dynamic and organic of human expressions, and it’s through music that we can usually feel and see the commonalities which exist between black people around the world. When we go to a club, we’re so used to dancing to African sounds from across the diaspora that it is wholly unremarkable to us. Music traverses all of the borders and divisions that we have put up between us. And it’s a beautiful thing!
This week, Uganda marks 50 years since gaining ‘flag independence’ from Britain. The leading opposition figure Dr Kizza Besigye of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has taken part in yet another public confrontation with the Museveni regime. The campaign is entitled “Walk to Freedom”, a slight amendment on the previous “Walk to Work”:
Personally, I’m sceptical of Besigye’s motives. I mean, he knows that the Police have placed a ban on public demonstrations this week. And he knows full well how they will respond when provoked. These scenes are a virtual re-run of several previous stand-offs, especially in post-election period last year. Thankfully, at least this time round, Kizza Besigye did not get such a ferocious battering.
I wonder what these kinds of tactics are aimed to do besides getting some publicity. I admit that perhaps I’m not in a position to comment being thousands of miles away from Kampala. But it seems to me that these confrontations always blow over with no substantive achievements.
The regime of Yoweri Museveni would have no choice but to introduce radical reforms and/or step down if it was faced with an genuinely mass popular movement. Despite being the main opposition party, the FDC doesn’t appear to have the ability to organise the masses Uganda. This may be due to a general political apathy among Ugandan people. Or it may be due to the fact that the FDC do not appear to offer much of an alternative to Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM).
Anyway, I hope I’m proved wrong, but I anticipate that this will just be another flash in the pan and things will return to normal until the next organised publicity stunt.
The Uganda Cranes defeated Guinea-Bissau 2 – 0 yesterday afternoon. The victory at Nambole stadium means the Cranes are now clear at the top of their qualifying group for next year’s African Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament in Equatorial Guinea & Gabon. They have 3 wins and a draw from 4 matches, and have yet to concede a goal.
Amazingly, if the Cranes qualify for the Afcon finals, it will be their first appearance in 34 years! The last time they were there, they lost 0-2 in the final to the hosts Ghana. Since then, the Cranes have failed, largely because of a tyerrible record away from home. Although they have a terrific home record (last home loss was in 2005), their win over Guinea-Bissau earlier this year was their first away win in a decade.
The Cranes have two more games to go – a trip to Angola in September and Kenya at home in October. If Kenya and Angola draw in their match later today, then Uganda need only a point from their last two games to qualify. If Kenya win, then Uganda need one more win to be absolutely sure. [UPDATE: Angola 1 – 0 Kenya. This means a point in Luanda will see the Cranes through!]
A football-crazy nation awaits!
Uganda 2 – 0 Guinea Bissau – Goals
In the crowd!
1978 Afcon Final – Ghana 2 – 0 Uganda
In Uganda rampant inflation – coming shortly after a disputed election win for President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – has given birth to the Walk to Work campaign. The Government response has been to shrug its shoulders and mete out obscene violence. This in turn has led to what looks like a surge in support for the main opposition figure, Kizza Besigye.
The government’s treatment of Besigye has placed him firmly in the media spotlight. And he is wasting no time in cultivating the idea that he is a popular leader who is fighting a despotic an increasingly unpopular and despotic Africa regime. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
It remains to be seen whether Besigye is someone who can effectively unite Ugandans against Museveni. The fact is, his Forum for Democratic Change performed quite poorly in the Presidential election, though they reject these elections as fraudulent.
All of this has revived a question that has been bugging me for a while now… Where are the heroes of Ugandan independence?
My brothers and sisters from places like Ghana, Congo, Guinea-Bissau and Azania (South Africa) can all point to leaders who organised the people in successful anti-colonial resistance. These are the likes of ‘Osagyefo’ Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Steve Biko, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, and Amilcar Cabral. These individuals are held in great regard because of the visionary leadership they provided to the independence movements. Of course, these individuals did not create themselves. Instead, they emerged from within political movements that prepared them to take positions of leadership. Without such movements, none of these men would have emerged.
But when I think of my home country Uganda, I can’t think of any such great leaders or any such movements. We seem to lack that history of popular anti-colonial resistance that so many other countries have. I might be wrong about this – in which case, I will greatly receive correction and enlightenment.
Maybe with the current crisis in our country, the time is ripe for such a movement to develop – and for “Uganda’s Lumumba” to emerge?