By Andrew Mwenda
Finally, the state has allowed Bobi Wine to leave the country for medical attention abroad. As we pray for his quick recovery, it must not be lost on us that he has chosen America for his treatment. Uganda’s politicians – in power and in opposition to power – share one attitude: they have no faith in Ugandan hospitals and doctors. Actually, they have no faith in anything Ugandan.
Bobi Wine supporters and apologists will defend their hero and idol by claiming that President Yoweri Museveni has destroyed the healthcare system in Uganda. Even if this were true, our country has many private hospitals where Museveni and his incompetent and corrupt state exercise no management control. Bobi Wine has not gone there. He and any other rich Ugandans won’t go there because they do not believe in local skills and initiatives. This is the crisis of the elite in Africa.
I have been to Mulago Hospital and seen our surgeons conduct the most advanced heart bypass and brain surgeries that make your mind turn around. I met a one Dr Muhumuza, a brain surgeon, last year. He operated on a patient whose skull had cracked in a road accident and the brains were oozing out of his head. Muhumuza opened the skull, put back the brains and assembled them correctly. I followed the life of this patient. Amazingly he recovered most of his mental faculties except for the brain parts that were left on the road.
The examples of the greatness of our doctors and hospitals – especially public ones – are too many to enumerate here. Sadly they go unrecognized by our government and by the opposition, in their mindless desire to criticize Museveni. But they show the greatness embedded in our country, the amazing skills of its people and the silent gratitude of ordinary people who benefit.
Therefore the belief that our hospitals and doctors cannot save Bobi Wine is a deeply entrenched mentality in Uganda that has little relationship with reality. It has led us to worship everything foreign: foreign doctors, foreign investors, foreign contractors etc. It has also led us to ignore the need to cultivate our own local, national or domestic entrepreneurs. It is the mentality that has led President Yoweri Museveni and his government to literally sell our country to multinational capital.
Most of the politicians opposing Museveni do not do so because they share different values, hold a different mentality or even different policies. It is this: they too want the power to do exactly what he does: load it over other Ugandans. Like Museveni, Bobi Wine is a puppet of foreign forces, especially America, who are looking for another instrument to help them retain control over our country.
The masses who rally behind Bobi Wine are mere fodder that allows these foreign interests to claim there is democracy in Uganda and that is their mission. But the Americans cannot love democracy for us more than we love it for ourselves. They cannot mourn more than the bereaved.
This is why the few of us who believe in Uganda easily see through the facade of lies and pretence. Bobi Wine, his supporters and apologists cannot hide it from us. Their hero and idol do not represent change but the status quo, seeking his own self-aggrandizement. That is why he has no alternative policy ideas. He only has a face and a different age. He will follow the dictates of Washington (where he has gone to be lectured and tutored), Paris, London and Brussels – because Museveni has grown too close to Beijing.