KAMPALA – The ceremony to swear in Museveni for his sixth term began with accusations and counter accusations that many of the western countries were bankrolling the opposition to destabilize Uganda.
Having won the election, there were counter accusations that Uganda had violated human rights for which travel sanctions were slapped on many high ranking government officials perceived to have been behind the violations.
The government later came up and told off the western world as having been interfering with the sovereignty of Uganda.
In his own words, Museveni said it is quite laughable to try to give lectures about democracy to architects of a well-organized democratic system:
“We built this system for our people. We neither seek nor need any approbation from anybody outside Uganda, except our peers in the AU and NEPAD to whom we are linked by African brotherhood, solidarity and shared values, based on mutual respect.
We can also share our experience with those beyond the African shores, on the basis of mutual respect.” Reading between the lines, Museveni seems to have been very bitter and was short of telling the western world to try him in the art of war. He spoke with a lot of anger and felt betrayed by the western world more so the Americans.
His war trumpet was however sounded using the example of Libya’s Muammar Gaddaffi when he was repulsed by a combined force of some actors that he did not name with the help of some Libyans within Libya. This is what he had to say: “….
First of all, the situation in Libya, was created by the arrogant and irresponsible actions of some actors that took actions that were against the express position of the African Union. I can reveal to you now, that those actors, had a narrow escape. When some actors started attacking Libya against the decision of the African Union, I contacted Jacob Zuma of South Africa for African Armies, that so decided, to intervene in Libya and confront and teach a lesson to those aggressors.”
To the African Heads of state present at the swearing in ceremony, this was a message well crafted and was short of telling them that if Africa had united as one, Muammar Gadaffi would never have been forced out by a combined force of the western world.
Sadly, Museveni did not tell us why Jacob Zuma did not work with him to save Muammar Gaddaffi. From my own point of view, I see Museveni becoming a war monger in his sixth term given the military tactics that he exhibited in the air a week before the ceremony and on inauguration day.
Museveni went on to say that he was let down by Muammar Gaddaffi who abandoned Tripoli without a fight:“Although, at that time, I did not have direct link with Muammar Gaddaffi, I advised his envoy who came to see me, to turn Tripoli into a Stalingrad.”The name Stalingrad was derived from a brutal military campaign (Battle of Stalingrad- now Volgograd- July 17, 1942–February 2, 1943)) between Russian forces and those of Nazi Germany and the Axis powers during World War II.If it is true that Museveni advised that Tripoli be turned into a Stalingrad, Museveni is indirectly telling us that in case of any external attack, he will not run away like Gadaffi did, he will keep around and turn Kampala into a Stalingrad, a war zone.
The foregoing statement reminds me of Uganda’s former President Amin Dada. I honestly consider this man to be one of the most patriotic leaders that Africa has ever had and it is high time African scholars considered rewriting history to set the record straight on Amin. Despite being illiterate, he was a nationalist and I think he loved Uganda despite claims that he was a Kakwa from the current south Sudan. In one of his interviews on YouTube after being over thrown, Amin told journalists that he had all the capacity to put up a fight but he chose otherwise because he had Kampala at heart. That he had worked so hard to get Kampala from the Indians and would not over see the destruction of Uganda’s capital city.
Museveni went on to say: “…With H.E. Jacob Zuma, we had to work out a solution for the air-craft and cruise missiles that attack defenceless people from far away, so that if the aggressors so wished, could come on the ground and we fight man to man. Such a confrontation would, of course, have been imposed on us unnecessarily. We have, since long time ago, stated that African patriots, like we in the NRM, are neither pro-West nor pro-East.We are, first and foremost, pro-Africa. It is on account ofthat, that good friends should only deal with contentious strategic African issues via the African Union. By-passing the African Union is not acceptable when it comes to dangerous strategic African issues. We have no interest in fighting anybody except poverty and under-development in Africa, starting with Uganda.”
Museveni went on to ask African leaders to stand up for the right cause. What I don’t know is whether or not Museveni may have picked some intelligence information of an impending war against him and Uganda as a whole:“Africa can defend itself against any and all aggressors if we co-ordinate. In 1963, our leaders met in Addis Ababa (only 36 of them at that time) and declared that the rest of Africa must be freed peacefully or Africa will use force.”
In his speech, Museveni made reference to the USA National Security Council meeting of 1974 on Azores attended by among others Henry Kissinger who is quoted to have said that African anger does not matter because they have no capacity to enforce it. “Exactly 5 months from the date of that meeting, the Africans who did not matter, defeated the Portuguese who were supported by the USA. It is up to us to show all and sundry, that we matter and we have the capacity. We defeated the Islamic hoodlums in Somalia; we defeated the racist Whites in Southern Africa. We can defend Africa, if we act together and act right.”
In just a few days ago in Tanzania and while handing over a house constructed for JakayaKikwete by the late Magufuli, the current President SamiaSulhulhu is said to have thanked the recipient for accepting to hand over power peacefully. A similar statement was made by Samia when handing over a brand new Benz to Tanzania former President Hassan Mwinyi. Whose message was she trying to push across more so that Tanzania has been peaceful over the years?
The truth of the matter is that it does not matter how good you are, leadership has no monopoly, and anyone can be a good leader once given a chance. Before the death of Magufuli, many of us did not know that Samia would make a good leader. I guess her message was for Museveni.
Museveni’s speech that was intended to usher in his sixth term turned out to be a lecture and a call to African leaders to unite against western forces that were unnecessarily interfering with African democracies. This call has come in one time too many.
Will it work out this time round? We had earlier received press statements that the swearing-in ceremony would be graced by over 20 heads of state, I think we got slightly above 12. Why did the rest turn down the invitation?
When all is said and done, Museveni’s entire speech was a retaliation, it was a speech of a scared man looking for allies but as it was during the times of Gadaffi, many went mute until Gadaffi was over thrown and treated like trash. Let us not forget the oil curse still looms and must take with it some people.
The author, Roger Wadada Musaalo is a Lawyer, human rights activist, researcher, and politician