KAMPALA — Determined Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament Francis Zaake has hit back, aiming a dig at President Museveni for referring to the youthful activist as an ‘idiot’ and ‘enemy of the people’.
Addressing his party leaders recently, President Museveni promised to have Zaake and all other opposition leaders arrested over claims that his administration is exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic for political gains.
But Zaake in a dossier denied any knowledge of Museveni’s accusations and wondered why he is being singled out for persecution and ridicule.
Zaake explained himself, saying that Museveni’s angry outburst against him was motivated by the unequivocal demand for justice and freedom that he delivered to him through ICT Minister Judith Nabakooba at a recent burial in Mityana.
“It is unfortunate that he conveniently took my legitimate criticism of his leadership for an ‘insult’,” Zaake said.
“That misplaced anger is now driving him to decree that I be prosecuted, as if persecuting me invalidates the legitimate questions that I put before him on behalf of many other suffering Ugandans”.
Zaake was early this year clobbered by security forces for distributing food aid to his constituents in Mityana Municipality.
Government later dropped all the charges against him.
“I think that the regime’s conduct towards the COVID-19 situation has been highly suspicious, shrouded in mystery, punctuated by corruption, and calculated to cripple opposition leaders and their supporters under the guise of fighting the virus. As a result, several people have concluded that either there is no Coronavirus in Uganda or the regime is exploiting it for political and financial gain. If this were not so, Museveni’s regime would have taken the lives and livelihoods of Ugandans more seriously during this period than it has pretended to do,” the determined MP added.
Zaake who is also the
Team Leader, People Power Youth Wing slammed president Museveni, saying he “should not use me as a scapegoat when he squandered the opportunity COVID-19 had given him to earn people’s trust again”.
For example, he says, Parliament allocated Mr. Museveni UGX 59Bn more than 3 months ago to feed 1.5M citizens during the lockdown but majority those the target group missed food.
“How many of them were actually fed? Where is all the money that the regime has collected from citizens and the international community to purportedly fight Covid-19? How many Ugandans have really died from Covid-19 and why are more people allegedly dying of the disease as we approach political campaigns? These are legitimate questions being asked by ordinary Ugandans out there. They need convincing answers instead of Mr. Museveni’s threats and insults”.
He says President Museveni administration has irredeemably squandered public trust after “it hid behind Covid-19 to settle political scores and when started publishing questionable statistics of casualties”.
Zaake says he’s simply amplifying the voices of several Ugandans out there who feel that something doesn’t add up and “if you Mr. Museveni are going to arrest and kill me this time round after letting your men torture me on 4 previous occasions, I am ready to pay the price. You are not beyond criticism. You are not God.”