By Professor Mwambutsya Ndebesa
In Marxist language there is a concept of primitive accumulation of capital. It refers to taking away factories, land and other means of production and putting this capital in the hands of a few leaving out the masses to provide labour without these masses participating in economic decision making and allocation of resources. In primitive accumulation of capital, the capitalists use force, threat of use of force and fraud to deprive the masses of capital.
I see a similarity in politics in Uganda. The parallel is primitive accumulation of power. I see a lot of using force, threat of using force and fraud to disenfranchise the citizens not only from voting freely but from decision making power where citizens are only consumers of policies made without their input.
The best long lasting vivid examples of this primitive accumulation of power are the images such as Besigye participating in elections with the symbol of handcuffs raised on his hands, Amuriat campaigning while walking with no shoes in his feet and Kyagulanyi campaigning putting on a bullet proof armor. In my opinion these are symbols of primitive accumulation of power. Symbols of political entrepreneurship by use of force, threat of force and fraud.
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Talking about fraud how can you tell someone to invite only his supporters to a gathering and campaign. This is like telling a pastor to invite only the saved to a crusade. This won’t be a crusade but a fellowship. To convert non believers you invite believers and non believers to the crusade. Likewise to convert people to support you or your candidature you invite those who don’t support you to your rallies. But Byabakama guidelines told candidates to have rallies by private invitation i.e invite only those the candidates know by name, give the list of invitations to police to allow only those in the venue. This is fraud. How do you canvas support from those that are already converted to your side?