History has a habit of repeating itself with near-mathematical exactness. Few could have thought Biblical parallels could easily be drawn with Bible-time Israel and present-day Uganda; but heck, here we are staring at as close a replay as it gets.
Back then Israel had King Saul, a man initially anointed by God to lead Israel and then he goofed so bad, the Lord took his hands off him. The fellow chosen by God to replace Saul was an unknown quantity, who emerged from nowhere, what American author Mark Twain (In “Tom Sawyer”) called ‘a thunderbolt out of a clear sky’.
David was a little boy, young enough to be Saul’s son or muzzukulu (grandson). He lived off the radar, tending sheep. His only claim to fame was that he was a brilliant musician – always full of songs that people liked. Sounds familiar?
Israel had an aging king, tired and stressed by the weight of the kingdom whose problems mounted by the week and were now clearly beyond him. Sounds familiar, again?
Then out of nowhere, in the face of a national emergency, (the Goliath challenge) emerges a boy musician. His songs had hit the charts. He had skill on the harp. In fact, when the king wanted a gifted musician, his servants told him the son of Jesse was exactly what the doctor ordered. David was the highest ranked musician in Israel; not exactly what you’d consider political material. Rings a bell?
The Spirit of God abandoned King Saul and went and rested on David – and everything changed. David, overnight, grew in favour with God and with people everywhere. From that moment on, the boy musician David became Government Enemy Number One. He was hunted everywhere. In fact, Saul abandoned every other project of the kingdom and made it his priority to finish off David. It didn’t help matters that everyone was singing the praises of David. “Saul has killed thousands, but David – tens of thousands”.
Caught by complete surprise, frustrated that God had left him and driven by sheer jealousy and primitive outrage, the Fountain of Honour of Israel began to engage in the most dishonourable conduct.
The disparity was obvious. Saul was an older man, experienced in governance and warfare. He had the best fighters in Israel around him – commanded by Abner, who was a brilliant fighter. Think a man of war; an accomplished fighter who could command a real armed conflict and emerge victorious.
Under Abner there were serious fighters; elite forces. I Samuel 14:52 says whenever Saul found a mighty and valiant fighter, he enlisted him into the national army. We are talking about an elite force, comparable to Uganda’s equivalent of the Special Forces Command (SFC). The core was 3000; not counting the rest of the army.
But this army was no longer for the defence of the people; it was for the repression of King Saul’s opponents. Hello people?
As for David – he was a baby of a boy. Too young even to wear a man’s armour (I Samuel 17:39). David had just about 400 men – who only joined him later when he was fleeing for his life. And I Samuel 22:2 says there was one thing common about them – they were people who were regarded as failures. Some were debtors who had failed to pay up. Some were homeless chaps who had nowhere to go. Others were outcasts who had been ostracized by their own people as being no-gooders.
It’s easy to tell when a leader no longer has the hand of God upon them: they go around chasing and torturing little boys who are younger than their children, in a desperate attempt to cling to power which is steadily slipping from their grasp.
They dedicate public funds, abandoning worthwhile projects, just to pursue the little fellow and all he stands for. They kill or throw into jail those that are linked to the little fellow (I Samuel 22: 18-19).
So I look at this really great Bible story and then take a closer look at the boy, Bobi Wine; verdict – going up. I take another good look at the great Bible story and then take an even keener look at President Museveni…verdict: going down, looks like.
For when an old and tired king gets stressed by a little boy younger than his children, and dedicates all time and resources of government to fight such a kid, you know his kingdom is in its final stages, and time has kissed him goodbye.
Gawaya is an Advocate and journalist