Dramatic-cum-nicely-choreographed fall from grace of former Egyptian strong man, Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, was unprecedented though what happened in Tunisia tells it all.
Defiant and arrogant as the tyrant has always been, nobody thought he would easily be toppled. Day-dreaming as it was seen in 18 days, at last Mubarak succumbed to people’s power.
When the oppressor was booted out, my thought went ahead of this jovial moment. The first and crucial question was, if comparably affluent Egyptians can vent their pent-up anger by booting out the tyrant, what of the wretched of the earth in south of Egypt?
If you remind yourself of the pictures of Cairo, you’ll agree with me that Egyptians are relatively better compared to their cousins in south facing even grimmer situation. For example, currently, Tanzanians are facing acute shortage of power unnecessarily. Rationing is the norm next to reality. Corruption is an order of the day as accountability faces detumescence.
So too, Ugandans have known but just a one man show for over two decades. What is their take of what happened in Egypt and Tunisia?
Generally speaking, life is harsher in SSA than it is in Egypt, even the Maghreb in general. It is even more meaningless comparably. You, who are reading this, try to compare your life with those of Egyptian you will know what I mean. Go ahead. Compare your per capital with that of Egyptians. Furthermore, compare your infrastructures to that you saw in Egypt.
Another thing that busied my mind is geopolitics of the region. Ethiopia as well as Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are suffering from chronic mega corruption. Arab countries are suffering from dictatorship and monarchism.
Thanks to globalization whatever happens in any country of the world is echoed and aped all over the world. That’s why what transpired in Tunisia, gave birth to revolution in Egypt which soon will escalate to Algeria, Yemen and elsewhere. We’re waiting to see the end of what is going on in Yemen. This dyadic revolution is a new beacon everyone is looking at. Will this domino effect go on or dwindle? Egyptian revolution has rekindled it surely.
Many careless and myopic rulers would sooth their hearts thinking that Tunisia-cum-Egypt Jasmine Revolution has nothing to do with them. But again, this time, as US president indicated, is time for eradicating dictators and crooks. The timing of this new world order is accurate and people’s power is unstoppable.
I am asking myself. If the guys that were smart enough to hijack their population for three decades are shown the road, what of the rookies? Another killer fact, Egyptians, for thirty years, were regarded as the most docile people on earth thank to not taking on their tyrant. When Sudanese started demonstrations in the heart of Cairo, Egyptians were left baffled. They wondered how could one get the guts of agitating against the government and fall short of being totally insane?
But when hunger and miseries are at work, anything can unpredictably happen. Hungry person has no taboos Swahili sage has it. Who would put his or her name on shame, risking thinking that Mohammed Bouazizi would be the power behind toppling tyrants?
My shew stone tells me that a hungry man or woman in Cairo has no border with the same in Nairobi, Kampala, Dar es Salaam or Kigali. This means, what happened in Egypt and Tunisia is but the beginning-cum-replica of what is to happen.
Another crucial aspect of the whole history making is the fact that military is coming out of age. The decent and reasonable way that the Egyptian military acted in this process must be emulated by other napkin-like armies in the continent. Bombs, tanks and military muscles will nary defeat people’s power. This is a nugget of knowledge to those that are still day dreaming thinking that they can use the army to intimidate and rob the hoi polloi.
Mubarak had the mightiest army under his disposal compared to SSA. But by not sitting on their brain, they deserted him at the very time he needed them most. They understood the mighty of people’s power. They accepted the reality that president can come and go, but not the citizenry.
Now that Mubarak and his gang are out of the big picture, what should we expect? Will the military live up to their promises? Is it the beginning of the end of dictators or the end of the beginning of fear and day-dreaming?
Though Egyptian uprisings are regarded as well-coordinated and civilized ones, the credit goes to the military that chose to use brains in lieu of allegiance and loyalty. This is a good lesson for stupidly used armies.
Another important aspect is the police in Egypt betrayed the people so as to end in a shameful and awkward situation. Those that are in waiting, will this be repeated?
Having witnessed what happened in Egypt and Tunisia, let’s think deeply. Who is next? This is the question I asked two weeks ago.
“Salma/Salmah” means peace as the Egyptians put it. This was the take of the army and the people. Is SSA ready for peaceful transition or revolution? Those who for long have pinned their hope on army should forget. This question makes more sense for the police force than anybody else thanks to what happened in Egypt, before the army put sense in the big picture.
This epistle won’t make sense if it lapses without commending US’s stance to echo and support the voices of the mass. US president Barack Obama was jeered at for supporting the voices of the people before Mubarak hit the road. But the climax of this impasse has vindicated him as a visionary and trustworthy leader.
The upshot is the coming of Democratic Party under Obama has completely changed that ugly image of supporting tyrants. If Obama wanted, Mubarak would have still been in power. But again, time time before time times you. This is what Obama and his administration listened to.
Mubarak is history. What of other tyrants and thieves in SSA?