Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

As a young man who has been born in the NRM era, I have never had the chance to experience what other regimes felt like. I can’t tell if you are also feeling the sense of dictatorship at this moment as I am.

What is happening now I can say, it’s like “creating the enemies you need’ to confuse the mass. Seem like a new brand authoritarian government has evolved, “hard dictatorship taking root.

An Acholi adeg ming. I mean some. And they are trying to reshape Uganda in their own image, replacing the little peace God has granted us with skepticism and corruption. Uganda needs to understand how these regimes work and how to confront it.

Look, the confusion now, all minds and eyes on JPAM Vs NRM, this suggests that any chance of reinstatement of NRM, be it JPAM or whoever, “yer dong yer” and this is very bad for the future of Ugandan democracy, but this sentiment must be weighed against the equally significant fact that the people of Uganda are clearly unwilling to put up with rampant corruption without a fight. As dishonest as the past campaign may have been, take the Amuru woman Member of Parliament by-election, the people have proven themselves vocal, opinionated, and capable of organizing in opposition to such political maneuvering.

Therefore, while Uganda may be up to its same old tricks, the people are up against a distinctly different Uganda.

If a ruling party relies heavily on the exploitation of the poor to gain and maintain its power, then there is an obvious incentive to keep a significant portion of the population poor enough to remain easy to persuade, take Northern Uganda for example. The use of dirty campaigning tricks shows a general lack of respect for the democratic process itself: having a party in power that routinely employs such tactics will normalize corruption and impede Uganda’s progress as a truly democratic nation.

Occasional political arrests, strict social control (take Public Order Management Bill) and frequent lawsuits to fool the press…..the list continues.

They often use propaganda, censorship and other information-based tricks to inflate their ratings and to convince citizens of their superiority over available alternatives.

When their economies do well, such leaders co-opt potential critics with material rewards. In harder times, they use censorship. The new autocrats bribe media owners with advertising contracts, threaten libel suits, and encourage pro-regime investors to purchase critical publications, check the UCC warning to media houses.

Soon the internet will be dominated and access to independent websites blocked, I wish I were a hacker, I would surely take up opportunity like this; to vandalize the opposition online media sites.

The new dictatorships preserve a pocket of democratic opposition to simulate competition, check the opposition’s Aruu county Member of Parliament Odonga Otto, Kilak’s Gilbert Olanya and their One million person’s March (OPM). By the way, where is the source of their funding? They are trying to fight the created enemy.

New autocrats use violence sparingly. This is their key innovation. Mobutu hanged rivals before large audiences, while our own Idi Amin fed the bodies of victims to crocodiles. Claiming responsibility was part of the strategy: It scares, you know! But don’t worry; we have an old broom that knows it all, we won’t be scared.

They violently block unarmed protesters and this reveals the regime’s true nature, hope it turns their supporters into opponents. Today’s dictators carefully deny complicity when opposition activists are murdered.

And violence is not just costly — it’s unnecessary. Instead, the new authoritarians immobilize political rivals with endless court proceedings, interrogations and other legal formalities. No need to create martyrs when one can defeat opponents by wasting their time.

To be a dictator, one has to be self-confident, ruthless and skilled in personal management. So when asked whether there is a way to recognize a dictator now, let’s look into the way they act within their own parties. “There are also certain actions… censoring the media, even in a very subtle way, means that the person is not really democratically inclined.

Remember! There is a created enemy out there.