Archive for November, 2015

Yes Mr. Museveni. Ugandans Are Mad – Dr. Muniini K. Mulera

By Dr. Muniini K Mulera
Yes, Mr President, Ugandans are Really Mad
Dear Tingasiga,
President Yoweri Museveni’s 2016 election manifesto is an easy read for one who has read previous editions. The language has been tweaked here and there and a few new promises have been made, but the story is basically the same.
I am not interested in the unfulfilled fiscal and developmental promises of the past 20 years. I accept that many politicians cannot resist the urge to promise rain even in the Sahara desert.
What I am interested in are the more fundamental matters of principle that speak to the integrity of the man that has ruled Uganda for 30 years. His promise to entrench democracy, made in 1986, and his anti-democratic conduct in 2015 are as far apart as Christianity and Voodoo.
He who launched a guerrilla war on account of a stolen election in 1980, now oversees a privatized political party that has taken electoral violence and fraud to a new level. He who condemned the dictators of yesterday, has criminalized internal party challenge to his rule.
Museveni, of course, is a beneficiary of perennially fraudulent elections. Justices of the Supreme Court told us so in 2001.
In 2006, the election was stolen using an illegal, parallel electoral commission that fed fake results to the official Electoral Commission. Gen. David Sejjusa, the chief of that operation, has come clean about it. We find no reason to doubt him.
Then there was Section 14 of Legal Notice No. 1 of 1986 that promised that the National Resistance Movement Government would hold interim power for a period not exceeding four years. In late 1989, the Proclamation was rescinded, with persuasive reasons given.
In what would become a recurring theme over the next three decades, Museveni told the NRM National Executive Committee on October 24, 1989: “It ought to be clear that some of the objectives of the NRM interim administration have not been achieved in the time we prescribed.”
Twelve years later, Museveni, seeking re-election in 2001, assured Ugandans that it would be his last and final term as president. He just had a few loose ends to tie up.
As if to affirm his promises, he assured Ugandan MPs on May 9, 2001, two days before being sworn in for the fourth term, that this would be his last term. “ When I retire, as I will do after these five years, I may have to help these people (the UN) because they do not know what they are talking about,” Museveni said.
In 2006, with term limits lifted, Museveni sought re-election to another last term, his reasons a mere variation on those he had offered in 2001. By 2011, nobody remotely believed that Museveni was seeking his last term again. The man who had announced in July 1995 that he would retire at age 55 was now 67 years old, with no plans to quit.
The man who had told The East African newspaper in 1999 that he would retire at age 61 to look after his cows, was no longer talking about serving a last term. Instead he was already thinking 2016.
Today, the man who diagnosed Africa’s problem as partly due to rulers staying in power beyond ten years, seeks re-election after 30 years on the throne.
That Museveni has clung to power is less bothersome to me than his repeated utterances of untruthful statements and promises. That is why I found it rather striking to hear him declare last week: “Unless Ugandans are mad, why should they vote for Dr. Kizza Besigye and Mr. Amama Mbabazi who are telling lies?”
Clearly Museveni’s view is that Ugandans should not vote for a candidate who has told them lies. I agree with him.
Meanwhile, the president needs to be told that in fact Ugandans are mad, but not in the sense that he used the word.
Ugandans are mad at being lied to and manipulated; at numerous unfulfilled promises and commitments; and a bloated patronage system that has sucked all life out of the state’s social obligations to citizens.
Yes Ugandans are mad at being denied basic health care and quality education, while a chosen few enjoy first world services in India, Kenya and elsewhere at public expense.
Ugandans are mad at their money being used to sustain a luxurious presidential lifestyle and to buy votes, with presidential brown envelopes dished out to clergymen, musicians, a clan l and other parasites.
Ugandans are mad at the hijacking of State institutions and the violence used to sustain the ruler. They are mad at the personalisation of the State.
Ugandans are mad and they are right to be mad.
To paraphrase the main character in the 1976 American movie “Network”, every Ugandan should stand on the mountaintops and at the polling stations and shout: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Where they place their votes is entirely up to them.
Dr Mulera is based in Toronto, Canada.

Uganda: Vote For Change

26th January 1986 found me in Kinoni, Masaka, that small township along Masaka-Mbarara road. I was 10 years old and I remember that evening my Dad had just finished constructing a rather decent house for his mother (my beloved grandmother, may her soul rest in peace) and we were having a house warming party, which was for a short while disrupted by the sound of bullets. People temporarily scattered until someone came in saying that soldiers were jubilating for capturing Kampala. Okello’s government had been overthrown.

I had followed this war and made friends with some kadogo soldiers who were stationed at Kibulala Primary School where NRA had established a barracks. We all beleived in the NRA ideals even at my tender age. My dad had earlier participated in the war, got captured by Obote’s soldiers in 1981 and imprisoned for three years and had been released in 1883. We all beleived in the revolutionary struggle as a family.

A few days ago I heard another story almost smilar to mine only that this particular family, a certain Haji in Hoima, actually built a special house for hiding Mr. Museveni. He sustained beatings and wounds to his body but he never revealed where Mr. Museveni was. I am sure there are so many such stories.

One simple conclusion I have made in all these stories is that these people/families supported the revolution to bring about the then much needed change for the political situation in Uganda which would enable them change other aspects of life from despicable to accepted standards of living. Mr. Museveni made so many pledges and promises to the Ugandan populace then and we have seen so many of such quotes being repeated now and again. The conclusion we have all come to believe in is that Mr. Museveni is a perpetual liar. He lied to his comrades in the bush; he lied to his family; he lied to all Ugandans; he lied to the international community. The unfortunate part is that he still does lie, even up to now, even during these campaigns. I am sure he will even lie about his death.

Now, him lying would not be the greatest undoing to our country and the lives of our people, but us the people who have believed his lies and worse those who still believe them even up to today after almost 30 years of lying! For God’s sake, what is wrong with us Ugandans? Especially those who still support this man (I feel shy to refer to him as a gentleman, which would be most appropriate)?

He told us that the problem with Africa and Uganda in particular is leaders who overstay in power. and overstaying by that time was between 10 to 15 years. He has been in power for 30 years! What changed?

He told us the he detested the luxurious lifestyle of presidents who move with fleets of vehicles, wasting a lot of taxpayers money in fleet maintenance. Today he moves with more than 10 vehicles, creating unnecessary traffic disruptions for business people who help maintain his rogous government.

He is currently peddling lies that he is going to do away with poverty, build hospitals etc in the next five years. I remember during the last campaigns he peddled the same lies, telling us that he is to bring Uganda to the middle class! I wonder if he even understands what middle class means!

For the very few people who support him – trust me they are very few, because he most of the times move with the same crowd ferried in buses ahead of him, of whom are paid support, or promised to be paid, which in most cases he does not pay and they end up complaining and threatening to abandon him – what is still motivating you to trust such a great liar that Uganda has ever seen?! Maybe you are of the same character, going by Napoleon Hill’s Secret Laws Of Attraction.

I ask again: How can you trust a man who has lied to you for the last 30 years, maybe even more for those who started with him in earlier days and are still with him today? What really needs to be fixed in your heads to open up your minds to see the truth?

The most pitiful fact is that he has also sucked in the youth who have every avenue, technologically, to know the truth, but I see them re-echoing his lies! Is he such a charmer? And with the youths falling prey to him portrays even a more dangerous path this country is taking especially when we talk about future leaders of this country.

The greatest enemy of any establishment in any form, heavenly, worldly or whichever is that one who lies. This is the greatest danger. In my house the only behavior that earns my children a beating is lying. He can break the television, he can cut the chairs, I will not beat them, but only when they tell lies about anything. I hate liars and such liars whose lies can change the fortunes, destiny, livelihood, policy, beliefs.

Recently he was recorded saying, during his manifesto launch that if Ugandans do not vote wisely, it is a matter of life and death! Why should it be a matter of life and death when he claims that he brought peace and security? Who will cause people to lose lives when they vote a different candidate other than him? His army or his police?

For 30 years in power if you have not been able to create an environment that can make other potential leaders to come up, why did you assume that position in the first place? Good leaders nurture other leaders. They create environments that enable good leadership traits to sprout out of others?

If you say that you have created a good environment, how have you planned for it’s continuity when you have not nurtured possible leaders to continue your legacy?

Fellow Ugandans, Mr. Museveni party in the story book of Uganda must come to an end. It is about Uganda yesterday, today, tomorrow and so many more years to come.

Those who still think that Mr. Museveni is still relevant to Uganda going forward, I beg you to open up your minds. Stop the selfish tendencies, because I am very sure that all those supporting him are doing so for selfish financial handouts that have been accustomed to his style of ruling which he uses to buy support. You are not doing it for Uganda, but for your selfish financial gains, like he also confirmed on the K24 Interview with Jeff Koinange, when he said that he is working for his family – his children and grandchildren – not for Uganda.

Let us vote for change, that’s the only way we shall be able to change other aspects of governance when Mr. Museveni is out of the way.