Ugandans Gripped by the Stockholm Syndrome-Captor Bonding

Ugandans Gripped by the Stockholm Syndrome-Captor Bonding
Ugandans Gripped by the Stockholm Syndrome-Captor Bonding

On 23rd August 1973, a career criminal called Jan Eric Olsson, stormed the Kreditbanken bank in Stockholm and took four bank employees hostage. After the standoff that lasted six days, it was found that the victims had developed some kind of positive relationship with their captor. The victims had formed some sort of bonding with their captor to the extent that they did not want him attacked or arrested by the police. Actually one of them begged to be allowed to leave with the robber.

Psychiatrists and criminology experts explained this thus. That when free people were taken captive, they became abruptly and fiercely alienated from all their liberties and freedoms. They got gripped by deep fear and hopelessness and thought they were going to die. Then the victims experienced a sort of infantilization- where like a kid they are unable to speak, eat, go to the toilet or enjoy any such inherent freedoms without permission.

In this situation, small acts of “humane kindness” such as being given food, allowed using the toilet or any other, prompted primitive gratitude to a “gift of life.” The hostages experienced a powerful primitive positive feeling towards their captor. They lived far away from the fact that this was the person who put them in this helpless situation. In their mind they saw him (because of his “kindness”) as the one who was extricating them from a hopeless situation. The Stockholm incident has since been cited in legal face offs where lawyers use it to justify acts by their clients as being acts informed by primitive gratitude as opposed to free minds and normal will power. It is more like a disease.

The NRM regime came and killed industries, sold public companies, killed all public health facilities that were quite salubrious before 1986, paralyzed the education sector, killed cooperatives, sold the economy to foreigners, stole everything and slapped such deep fear and anxiety on the nation. Put the nation into economic, political, social and economic captivity. They then carefully and meticulously hatched a plan to fob us off with small “acts of kindness” to make us feel he is the one to help us live when we could have died.

He keeps harping on security and how he has brought it. How was the insecurity he purports to have fought brought here? He was a senior officer in the UNLA that he says wrote all the insecurity. I concur with the school of thought that he was a traitor in that army who worked against it knowing all too well that he would in future need to castigate the army to perpetuate his relevancy politically. He participated, either directly or indirectly in those brutal exploits that he now faults. We have all heard about the in famous massacre of Moslems in Western Uganda in the 1980s.

He planned and commanded the operation. He was an astute traitor. And those presidents innocently trusted him. He confesses in his book, the mustard seed that during the Luweero war, they used to steal plantations, cars, motorcycles and other things. They caused insecurity. When he talks about security, I hear small act of “kindness”. Empty health centers in lieu of the good hospitals he found here, still small acts of kindness.

UPE and USE which produce hopeless products as opposed to what we produced before 1986, yellow round neck t- shirts once every five years, youth livelihood fund that is eaten up during acquisition process in kickbacks, useless and inefficacious NAAD, Bonna baggawale, operation wealth creation and all-small acts of “kindness”.

Truth is, we have been taken captive. This captivity will last forever if our people who are hypnotized into the Stockholm syndrome by the captor’s small acts of “magnanimity” are not shaken out of the hypnosis. There is no peace here. We have imposed silence. Everything has fallen apart and the captor is insidiously breaking this nation, Unless Ugandans rise up in defiance. MP Sekitoleko’s planned age limit lift should not succeed. Betty Amongi’s land Act amendment has to die. Yes together we can.

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Peter Waiswa, is a writter, analysit and accountant