By Odongo Lango
This evening, I was listening to KFM Friday’s Panel of Journalists.
The panel were agonising about how urban uprisings have been so ineffectual since 1966 in Uganda.
In explaining it one of the panelists brought out the concept of social junks versus social dynamite.
The social junks are urban drug abusers, thieves, pickpockets, etc that are underlooked and disparaged by society (those I call, the unwashed of the slums). Any uprisings from this social group has minimal chances of success.
The social dyamites are members of nationally coordinated professional bodies like trade unions, teachers, doctors, etc. This groups, once organized, and well motivated have the potential to topple governments.
Exhibit 1 : The Sudan Medical Association led the nation wide strike that eventually contributed (but was not critical) to the toppling of Bashir
Exhibit 2: The Tahir Square revolution in Egypt was led by savvy university educated and young middle class people who had superior organizational acumen.
My conclusion : given that the uprising we see in Uganda is mostly led by social junks (i.e. drug addicts, thieves, rapists) who are more interested in robbing innocent people and raping women in broad daylight, they’re unlikely to succeed and will fizzle out soon.