Having observed what is going on in the consultations held so far, as a patriot, I find it important to issue some guidelines to be followed.
First of all, both sides should keep in mind that this is not meant to be a serious consultative process but a formality.
What we shall do in the end is none of the electorate’s business. So, please desist from wasting time that our people should have spent in their gardens and businesses. You should not abuse their right to work by engaging them in rallies.
Those who are opposed to the age limit amendment bill should keenly take note of the following:
Ideally, consultations should be conducted in maximum silence, and, at best, without any crowds. But if you can’t avoid this, then it shall not be allowed for people to scream in excitement and to chant songs against the regime. That is inciting violence and it contravenes principles of patriotism.
You are allowed to sing if you must, but make sure that the songs you sing do not annoy anyone who is in support of removing age limits. In future, you should consider informing police about all the songs you intend to sing during your consultations.
You will also need to write your speeches and send us copies before we allow you to speak. We are also considering coming up with a word count for your speeches and are compiling a list of prohibited vocabulary.
Words like ageende, we are tired, SFC, corruption, life presidency, dynasty, elderly, etc are being unpatriotically misused and may soon be banned in consultations. We have also received shocking information that k’ogikwatako is a vulgar word and we shall soon send it to the anti-pornography committee for vetting, to see if it’s fit for public use.
We have also observed with much concern that your use of public address systems at consultations is in blatant contravention of Nema [National Environment Management Authority] regulations on noise pollution.
Therefore, the use of loudspeakers might be reconsidered. We advise you to use your natural voices in order not to disrupt other people’s conversations.
Consider also that standing on roofs of cars while addressing your rallies violates traffic rules and the integrity of cars. Please stand on the ground and speak. If you can’t follow these regulations, please stay at home.
Research by colour psychologists has showed that colour red is associated with danger, war, and aggression. It increases heart rate and makes people breathe faster.
It also excessively stimulates a person’s eyes and can cause irritation. All this on top of attracting lightning! It is, therefore, obvious that this colour is both unhealthy and incites violence. In line with our mandate of protecting Ugandans, red may not be allowed at consultations. Consider using the colour of the sun, which is friendly and less risky.
Intimidation of those who support the bill will not be tolerated. On the other hand, intimidation and harassment of those who do not support it is a patri… Oh, what did I want to say? I think I have forgotten! Let’s move to other more important guidelines, I will come back to this when I remember.
Those who are in support of the bill should be guided by the following considerations:
First, beware of the public. Do not move around anyhow without security. Even when you go to ease yourself, don’t leave your bodyguard behind. The public is a security risk in this matter. We shall always be present to gas them up whenever they start their misinformed nio nio nio.
Keep in mind that they do not know what they want; you are the only one who knows. They envy you for your immense wisdom and foresight; so, they could easily harm you out of ignorance. But what is more important for you to remember is that they voted you to think for them.
Cognisant of that beautiful fact then, consultation is not really relevant for you. Simply go home, look for the few who think like you and discuss how to skip the useless ignorant masses.
Don’t organise rallies where their numbers will make the bill appear unpopular. Being the majority and being right are two different things, except in parliament.
Don’t get carried away into thinking that you were actually sent to consult. In actual fact, this is time for you to scheme and establish ways of coming back with the view you already held (or were told to hold) well dressed up to appear as if it is from the people. No matter what they tell you, simply go back to the House and state your personal view by saying: “My people have said…”
Nobody will ask you for statistics or any other kind of evidence to back up your report. So, you are totally safe. That’s why I advised you earlier not to take the consultation thing too seriously; it’s impotent.
Regarding processions and demonstrations, both sides are not allowed to organise demonstrations/protests about this bill. But we are facing a challenge in implementing this. You know the yellow colour is a bit invisible.
So, quite often, those wearing it demonstrate and sometimes beat up members of the other side in our presence but we can’t see them.
However, we promise that after the bill is passed, we shall find a solution to this small problem. If our suggestions hurt anyone, you are free to migrate to another country.
For God and my shamelessness.[email protected]The author heads the Centre for African Studies at Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi. This post originally appeared on www.observer.ug