To date I consider myself lucky, having interacted with one of the uncles to my grandfather. Not many get that opportunity. The young man was special in many ways.
Everyone of my age who saw or interacted with him has a special story to tell about him.
Being a incuisitive young man, very interested in encient stories, I sufficiently used every oppurtne moment I got to be with him.
But one thing that must pass without saying is that he was a legendary environmentalist.
His love to preserve unique species of trees which in turn provided suitable habitant for diversity of unique animals made his sorrounding appear like a beautiful homestead in the middle of Mabira forest.
One of the trees he had specifical love for were the MUVULE TREES. These, he had uncountable numbers across his vask piece of land.
But other than the lessons the life of this great last born son of Odaka constantly presented to those that cared to ponder, his sorroundings too were much more like an environmental education center of some unique sort.
From the lessons I learned from his life stories, today I pick the aspect of legacy as presented by the MUVULE TREE to illustrate the contemporary political configuration we find ourselves into as a country.
In Kwara Olowo Odaka’s ecosystem, Muvule trees were the biggest, tallest and strongest trees. But more to that the Muvule in itself presented lessons in this mix.
The Muvule shades provided the coolest shade to both human and non human creatures of God.
For the humans, it shieded the poor, rich, satisfied, hungry, thoughtful among others from the scorching sun. The animals of all kinds including mammals, reptiles such as snakes, lizards. The birds like the the ever noisy weaverbird ouls, Eagles, and other kinds of scavengers.
Their being under same shade is not neccesserilly because they had agreed to coexist but because the Muvule tree served each ones’ interest in a very distinctive manner and therefore it was only a convenient base to facilitate ones’ persuit of group interest for some and personal interest others. To some, their interests were long-term and to other “Mere yaleero”.
The only principle in this matrix always remained the MUVULE TREE itself for the single that non of these dwellers had capacity to shift it elsewhere.
For the humans, the purpose of the Muvule was it’s cool shade where we would rest, play local chess among others.
It was also a source of metrological knowledge especially to those who had the knowledge. The village weather men would tell the likely change in weather and doone of new season by the behaviors of Muvule leaves. If shaded off the unwanted leaves, they would tell us how the dry season was approaching and vice versa.
But like the English say, amongst every 11, the 12th will be a Judas. Not everyone who comes under the Muvule tree comes to enjoy the excellent serenity it provides others come to survey on which side it would fall because cutting it down is all they intend to do. Others come to evaluate how much they can eat from it
The same Muvule shade also provided excellent environment where snakes come to harm other innocent dwellers.
Even when the dweller is a human being who treams and looks after the Muvule for the collective good of the rest.
Kwara Olowo Odaka himself was bitten by snakes many times. Never mind he moved with his local antidote all the time.
This is because he knew the environment he was operating in.
The Muvule also inhabited the always comical Mr. lizard that would run up and down the Muvule tree.
Mr. Lizard would reach half way the tree and test if the Muvule was indeed firm and would not breakdown because of Mr. Lizard’s assumed heavy weight. It was common to see Mr. Lizard bouncing (i wish he knew that it couldn’t even check the branch of the Muvule).
Lastly, were the birds. The weaverbirds were the loudest noise makers as though to attract attention.
But there was also the scavengers that would stand on the highest branches of the Muvule tree as if to show how powerful they were in the highest level, belonged and closest to the heart of the Muvule tree. Mr. Chameleon would beat then all because he would even change his colours to look like the leaves of the MUVULE tree itself.
The bats on the other hands were ever dangling on the branches with their heads upside-down, scorning at every passing human as if to say it’s actually human being who are moving upside-down.
But as all these dwellers harvest their temporary interests, the principle firmly remains recognizably tall, strong and evident in the pages of realities.
This is the angle and scenario in which I have chosen to contextualise what is happening to the PeoplePower movement in Uganda’s political reconfiguration today.
Consider the MUVULE tree as that permanent interest of the common man.
Not all who come speaking on the side and plight of the people actually wants change.
Some have come to put themselves in the shelve of the political supermarket, others on mission only to spy, disorganize and disorient the fighters.
But because of dynamic seasons and reasons of politics, others will fall off to give way and space.
The proverbial snakes will always be around sometimes leaking sensitive information and sometimes injecting venom. This can be through trading romours and confusion within the ranks and file of the fighters.
The antidote to this venom is always focus towards wining of the grand war and avoiding to diverted by small fights.
This struggle is also full of those who will always want test the firmness of the movement unfortunately when their own bodies shake, they think the movement is shaking. This comes the firm foundation on which the movement was built.
Lastly think about those who will always want to take pictures with principles so that the outsiders think they are the struggle themselves and on top of all the rest.
From these, there will always be those who will think that they are the only ones struggling and all other people are either spies or are fighting the wrong way.
They will insult, abuse and demean everyone else who they don’t see with them. They won’t even realize the struggle has many folds and segments.
Sometimes do this to attract the attention of the “buyer”.
This is in my view scenario we find ourselves in.
I hope someone else can make the picture more clearer.
For now I dedicate to you “….Situka…” by Bobi Wine
The writer is an aspiring MP, Tororo Municipality (Next Election)
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