Who would have thought we would have had to witness not one but two Presidential debates in the space of one month in Uganda? Justice Ogola, and the Inter-Religious Council Uganda, we (I may be speaking for more than myself here) do salute your efforts. The cries of many for a leveled ground for all candidates was heard. Naturally, there are candidates who appeal to the populace more than others. But this; or these debates, are less about appeal and more about stability and issues.
We had no idea what to expect from the first but many will agree the organizers put up an unforgettable show. From the ambience of the hall, to the not so bad time management, and crowned by the fashion in which the panelists/moderators handled the presentation. In modern political debates, it is common courtesy to observe Newton's 3rd law of motion, thus expect rebuttal for every statement made.
The bible preaches that "Those that have a lot, will be held accountable on all the lot," and this is what ensued. Eminently, we weren't just going to nod to all the gibberish from the candidates, so the moderators represented us and asked the questions that needed to be asked. They walked on turf so unfamiliar to many but the goal was to grind out perfect responses and tangible backup to what the candidates were saying and proposing. They were all held accountable on the spot. The leveled ground wasn't so leveled after all. Miss Maureen Kyalya can attest to that. Like I said earlier, the debates are nothing about popularity. Many will agree the infamous Gen. Biraaro & Dr. Abed Bwanika were top of the class.
The delivery was top notch and we were left hungry for the next. It wasn't before long and the it did happen. If we wanted more of the same, we were met with a more convincing lineup, on paper. An attacking force of three vastly learned individuals, doctors.
"The debate is the thing." Justice Ogola is famously quoted to say with poetic wit. That wasn't the case in the eyes of a bevy of revelers. A one Frank Gashumba couldn't hide his frustration. Befuddlement writ large on his face, on top of a malfunctional AC system. The back & forth arguments we were hoping to see came to pass but only in our imaginations. For the moderators, we were handed very potent babysitters. A trio of very compromising babysitter doctors.
Since I don't want to make uninformed and secondhand guesses, I'll ask these questions.
1. What changed about the second debate?
2. Why weren't more people invited for that tea party?
3. Just how comfortable was Dr. Shaka Ssali's seat?
4. And on behalf of @subtle_royalty, why was the organization of this debate not in the hands of Ugandans?
Maybe the debate wasn't the thing after all.