In Summary

  • Dr Besigye on the other hand, has gained substantial command of empathy from governments and legitimate pro-democracy authorities worldwide.

The looming prospect of talks between FDC and the NRM is kind of reassuring. “Uncle” Muniini Mulera’s “Letter to Tingasinga” in Daily Monitor of April 4, (Museveni-Besigye talks: A necessary prelude to national dialogue) captures this national sentiment succinctly. However, in this article, Dr Muniini nearly inundated me with an overdose of optimism in the tone of the text.
Optimism (Latin: optimum) is like fodder for endurance. When nothing seems to work, we tend to project the best possible outcomes. Optimism is medicinal, just like resilience; they help us to endure or bounce back from adversity through several pathways. One such pathway is by painting a colourful utopia, using some of the best literal devices in our possession.
Uganda is at crossroads at a point of adverse economic hardship, and saturated to the threshold.
Definitely, those on top or somewhere in the upper middle rungs of the food chain refuse to acknowledge this mess in the country. As long as their plate remains full and their tables have steady supply of “fodder”, the rest of us can whine and rant all we want.
Therefore, for those outside the ruling class strata, it is natural to cling on such “baits” for meaningful “talks”. In psychology, we refer to it as dispositional optimism - a loose set of beliefs that after all, the future will hold-up okay.
However, dependence on optimism alone is like self-inundation that numbs one of their current predicaments, and erases the gruesome memories of past events- the series of events that have brought us to this very abysmal point. Life is full of the paradoxical because even then, dwelling on the past has its special effect of immobilising societies. Our own history and past experiences have the potency to militate against the fundamentals of “moving forward” or “bouncing back” from adversity.

It is with such consciousness that we ought to discuss and contextualise any dealings with Mr Museveni. First, from a purely historical perspective, Mr Museveni generally scores badly on agreements, talks, respect for the opponents, and compromises. You can do the search and conclude for yourself. What has changed fundamentally with Mr Museveni or his circumstances that makes us trust that meaningful talks are possible? Is it because Sweden has offered to mediate? Would there be a difference if an angel from heaven had offered to mediate?
Dr Besigye on the other hand, has gained substantial command of empathy from governments and legitimate pro-democracy authorities worldwide.
There is a volcano of discontent welling up on the inside of Ugandans. An urgent and genuine reset of this country through a broad and meaningful dialogue would help to diffuse this from exploding.
Morris Komakech,
mordust_26@yahoo.ca