OPINION:THE RETURN OF THE PRIMITIVE: THE CASE OF SSEWANYANA, SSEGIRINYA
The return of the primitive: the case of Sewanyana, Segirinya, and company
By Jonah Ruhima
In the 1960s and early 70s, the most prominent, vocal cultural movement was the New Left a movement that condemned America and everything it stood for. While its representatives faced some political opposition, they faced little-to-no fundamental intellectual opposition.
Ayn Rand was the exception. In her essays from this period, anthologized in The New Left, The Anti-Industrial Revolution, she opposed the New Left as no one else did. In her essays, Ayn Rand identified the essential evils of the New Left and their cause; its violent college protests, its worship of untouched nature, and its orgiastic mob celebrations as some sort of inexplicable, youthful rebellion against the “establishment”.
In one of her books “Return of the Primitive” an expanded edition of The New Left she writes, “there can be no such thing as a political crime under the American system of law. Since an individual has the right to hold and to propagate any ideas he chooses (obviously including political ideas), the government may not infringe his right; it may neither penalize nor reward him for his ideas; it may not take any judicial cognizance whatever of his ideology. By the same principle, the government may not give special leniency to the perpetrator of a crime, on the grounds of the nature of his ideas.”
For two months, the Masaka region was living in fear of terror waged against them by criminals armed with machetes (Bijambiya) who killed over 25 innocent citizens many of whom were innocent elderly women and mothers.
As has become the norm, opposition politicians quickly started mocking and ridiculing the government claiming it has failed to end the killings or arrest the criminals behind them. With no empathy, they were simply trying to exploit the unfortunate situation for political capital in total disregard of our National Security and Interest, and the innocent citizens who were being killed, plus the survivors suffering from the grief of losing their loved ones and in most cases, livelihoods.
Security agencies, especially the police, endeavored to make a number of press briefings to inform the public of the details of the unfortunate situation, their determination, and capacity to end those senseless killings, and the need for cooperation from the public.
Indeed, the security services used all means and effort, using different strategies including community policing, mobilization of locals and their leaders, collecting information, cyber intelligence operations and intelligence, patrols to curtail those killings which led to the arrest of some key suspects including two Members of Parliament, the Hon Muhammad Ssegirinya (Kawempe North) and Hon Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye East).
Preliminary investigations indicate that these Members of Parliament planned and financed these ruthless criminal acts. One is only left to wonder how cruel and power-hungry some people can be to kill innocent old women, mothers for political interests.
The arrest of those MPs (suspected financiers and planners of the Masaka killings) has met resistance from their colleagues who are now trying hard to shield them from facing the law. These colleagues of theirs, walked out of Parliament demanding the immediate release of the incarcerated MPs without even giving the courts of law a chance to prove whether they’re innocent or guilty.
Kindly be reminded these are the same people that were mocking and ridiculing the government claiming it has failed to end the killings or arrest suspects! They are the same people who claim to be advocates of rule of law and democracy!
To many Ugandans, the arrest of these MPs wasn’t a surprise considering the conduct of their group, plus the threats they issued during and after elections. We all know MPs are fallible just like any other human and we remember in February 2011 the High Court in Mukono found then Arua Municipality MP Akbar Husein Godi guilty of killing his 19-year-old wife Rehema. Justice Lawrence Gidudu held in his ruling that, “the evidence adduced to court in the case proved beyond reasonable doubt that Godi murdered Rehema Caeser”.
There’re millions of examples of “High ranking” officials involved in criminality. In Kenya, our immediate neighbors a good friend of the same political group (NUP) the Embakasi East MP Babu Owino allegedly shot and injured a Dj at a popular club in Nairobi.
Some have now shifted the discussion on the way they were arrested and the rank of those who arrested them. First, let’s respect all our officers in uniform because they all wake up every morning to serve this country and they’re equally important.
Our constitution is very clear it gives security officers the power to use necessary force to subdue and arrest a criminal in case you resist arrest. Now, I ask, why were the MPs running? I’m failing to understand how someone’s concern would be the manner in which a suspect in a case where over 25 innocent citizens were brutally murdered is arrested and not the innocent lives lost.