By Kwame Ismail Nkurunziza
Less than a week after Frank Tumwebaze, the minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development advised the police to stop brutalizing opposition politicians and allow them to carry out their activities because harassing them was making them attract sympathy from the public, journalist Andrew Mwenda actually claims that these politicians benefit from the police brutality.
In his latest story posted on his official Facebook account, Mwenda insists opposition leaders benefit from being roughed up by the police.
In the lengthy post, the journalist, who tasted police brutality some years ago before he joined government, tells of how President Museveni uses an iron hand fist against his political rivals in the opposition especially those who are seen as a threat to his power to assert authority.
He articulately explains how some opposition activists go an extra mile to provoke the security personnel well knowing the publicity that will come from such confrontation will fire up their supporters especially in urban areas and cement them as bonafide, pro-marginalized people leaders who are out to overthrow a government that is seen as out of touch with suffering people.
Mwenda, who has extensively covered politics in Uganda for over 20 years writes thus; “Anyone who has observed these politicians closely know their penchant for taking extreme positions and of deliberately provoking the security services to beat them.
They benefit from not just breaking the laws but also from being beaten by the police. If you claim to be fighting dictatorship, your claims can only win legitimacy if you get manhandled and roughed up.”
The Independent Magazine boss further argues that it is in the interest of the opposition leaders to actually provoke the police into beating them.
That that not only legitimizes their claim of fighting dictatorship, but also brings them free mass publicity.
He gives an example of ANT presidential aspirant and former army commander Rtd. Gen. Mugisha Muntu as an opposition leader who has paid a big price among opposition supporters for not being confrontational with security officers.
Muntu, who lost the FDC presidency to Patrick Amuriat has in the past been labelled as a mole by militant opposition supporters.
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