The unmanned bus

Kizza Besigye was today arrested again, this time even more brutally than the last.

Many claim that Museveni has now lost it — this is the kind of brutality not seen since the days of Amin. But back then, such things were whispers in the dark, rumors you hoped weren’t all true. Today they are broadcast far and wide for all to see.

But if the state (read: Museveni) appears in disarray, so too does the movement opposing it. Anger, not vision, drives people to the streets. Not one Uganda, one people, but one Besigye who has been brutalized. The campaign is still more anti-Museveni than pro-anything.

As Andrew Mwenda says, Uganda is barreling down a highway, facing four exits: Exit Saudi Arabia, where protests go to die, Exit Yemen where stalemate prevails, Exit Egypt with transformative revolution, and Exit Libya, where civil war reigns.

The problem is that this bus is unmanned, and traveling at high speeds. Which exit will Uganda take? Ordinarily one could try to predict the outcome by the relative organization of either side — Museveni or Besigye/opposition. But disorder and chaos abound on both sides. Thus, the outcome is to a large extent vulnerable to random chance. An accidental gunshot, a careless arrest, a viral video. All these can send the unmanned bus veering off wildly. Who will grab the wheel then?