I spent Eid Fitr this year at my home here in England with over 20 Ugandan mates; some of them were NUP supporters and Bobi Wine crazy, Muslims and non- Muslims. Naturally, Politics and, later, Bad Black, dominated our conversations.
The Nupians, with respect (no insults) accused me of always trashing their leader and linking him to Mr. Museveni. I humbly told them that there's enough circumstantial evidence indicating that Bobi is a Museveni project, and it would be a disservice to our country if we all keep quiet over it.
In turn, one of the Nupians asked me a question, and I quote,
"lf Bobi is working for Museveni, why did Museveni kill and arrest his supporters last year?"
I simply told him, “Collateral damage ".
Sure, collateral damage is ever considered before leaders do backroom deals. Sometimes it is an overriding consideration and sometimes it isn’t—it depends on how much collateral damage is expected and how important the deal is to both parties.
It is fair to say that Collateral damage will depend, in part, on how selfish the leaders involved are. If, for instance, a leader cracks a deal with Museveni to pretend opposing him, and the deal will involve the opposition leader being arrested at some point, there are a few choices that could be made:
1. A leader is arrested but he's somehow given a media platform to speak to his supporters; where he encourages them to remain calm in the face of provocation. This, in effect, saves the lives of protesters and a lot of disruptions, if they listen to him.
2. A leader is arrested with the intention of further building his political profile, or making him look genuine. In this case, some of the radical protesters will be killed and arrested by the state, and the opposition leader will get more political capital out of it.
The second option can, however, be damaging to the state nationally and internationally, but its a risk worth taking if the state is absolutely in control of the situation. The state just has to make sure that they neither hold on to the "kiwanyi" leader for so long, nor put him in prison for so long. Putting him under house arrest every time he's detained is the best option.
Collateral damage is something those who watch CIA documentaries are familiar with. America can kill over 100 people with a drone when they are targeting just one person. In the past, they used to refer to Collateral damage as " bonus damage ". They also used to refer to bomb strikes in the same way a chef would refer to steak as: medium, rare and well done.
For the record, no human deserves to be killed or jailed for his religious or political beliefs. Human life must be respected.