Friday, January 7, 2011
WHY IS MUSEVENI SO DESPERATE TO REMAIN PRESIDENT AFTER 25 YEARS?
WHY IS MUSEVENI SO DESPERATE TO REMAIN PRESIDENT AFTER 25 YEARS?
President Museveni if elected President after the forthcoming General Election his success will greatly be a result of patronage and lack of information by many of the voters, not ruling out the fear from some quarters of the population who still see him as a potential force that can destabilize the country! It is unbelievable the poverty levels out there in the country side. The living conditions of so many people are so bad. This is easily established when one reaches out to the people. It is sad. On my part however, there is no way I can vote for President Museveni. Unlike those Ugandans who have always seen President Museveni as their ‘man’, my view of Museveni changed on the day when it became public knowledge that they (Museveni and company) had removed Professor Lule from being President of Uganda, and Museveni as Defense Minister had the role to ensure that demonstrations by people to show their wish was managed. As a student at St. Mary’s College Kisubi, I was one of those who went down to Entebbe Highway to show my right. It is then that Mr. Museveni met us. I was shocked to see how he stopped and had his men surround us; he instructed us to go back to school, and we had one option, to leave the highway!
Since that time, I have tried to have a second thought about Museveni’s moves. It did not take long to see President Binaisa removed from power. One reason was because he had assigned Mr Museveni another role, which was a big mistake by Binaisa. Lukongwa was put under house arrest and he had to escape to be a free man! The same Museveni turned around and got Lukongwa close in his UPM when parties got involved in contest for power. I was shocked to learn that in bush, Museveni had got to some understanding with the Late Prof. Lule! What I am trying to bring out is simple. We are having political problems simply because many of the people we entrust as our leaders are either opportunists or they simply don’t measure up. Because I understood Museveni from 1979, I have never made a mistake about him. I understand him well and I am always clear on what I see as right or wrong. Never did I support his 5 year Bush war, and I was clear because I have always seen him as a schemer and it is unfortunate that many people who are respectable have been used.
When I look at the financial management function of the NRM Government, I don’t belong to that class that can advocate for giving President Museveni a vote at all. When I see how resources are used, the corruption which has made our people virtually paupers, I just cannot understand it. The lack of implementation of some would be good plans as written on paper. It is not clear how deep in debt Uganda is. The productivity out there where many people have no viable employment is a concern as to how the Government can pay back the borrowed funds. When I see the President promising districts in his rallies; promising heaven on earth his delivery in the last 25 years not withstanding, I just say, we are an unfortunate country to still give such a desperate person opportunity to see the destiny of our would be Pearl of Africa! It is clear that he is so desperate as if he has not been in power for the last 25 years. I simply don’t see how well informed people can give President Museveni another 5 years; though of course those who reap from corruption as well as those who see their wrongs shielded by Museveni’s continued tenure, otherwise, Ugandans deserve better.
God help Uganda.
MUSEVENI SETS TERMS FOR HIS SUCCESSOR
President Museveni during the interview at his country home in Rwakitura. PHOTO BY isaac kasamani
By Alex B. Atuhaire
Posted Saturday, January 8 2011 at 00:00
Those seeking to succeed Mr Museveni will have to show what they have done for the National Resistance Movement—and the candidate with most contribution will get the mantle, the President has said.
In an exclusive interview at his country home in Rwakitura on January 1, Mr Museveni declined to comment on whether his current bid for a fourth term in office would be his last, a revelation that most likely is not music to the ears of those eyeing his job.
Mr Museveni, who was off the campaign trail on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, looked fresh and relaxed inspite of the many days of vote-hunting. He opted to stay at his country home with his grandchildren.
In power since 1986, President Museveni will chalk up 30 years in office in 2016 if he wins next month’s presidential election.
“The answer is, we shall cross the bridge when we get there,” said Mr Museveni, when asked to comment whether he would step down come the 2016 call for other candidates.
If elected for another term, Mr Museveni will be 70 years old in 2016 and still eligible to run for fifth term in office.
Asked about the candidates who would succeed him if he was to leave the mantle, Mr Museveni said: “In NRM we don’t think about leadership historically, we think about contribution.
For us leadership comes from work, it doesn’t come from favouritism saying you: ‘You are the one I am grooming’; no that is not NRM. How did our leadership come? It came through fighting. So if you have got a political force which puts work before positions, then you will be able to understand the NRM.”
He added: “We are working, people are working, old and new members are working and out of these we will see who is leading [in putting out the fire]. Because if you do it in any other way you are sort of distorting the process,” Mr Museveni said.
Vice President Gilbert Bukenya and Mr Mbabazi, who doubles as the Security Minister, are understood to habour the interest of succeeding Mr Museveni.
The question about who will succeed Mr Museveni is one quietly discussed in the NRM. But it is in 2001 that the subject found most
'MUSEVENI IS DESPERATE' MP ANYWAR
Written by Lawrence Sserwambala
Friday, 07 January 2011 09:53
MP Beatrice Anywar
Kitgum district member of Parliament Beatrice Anywar has expressed worry given the rate and level at which President Yoweri Museveni is showing signs of desperation.
Anywar, who was recently alleged to have been planning to cross over to the ruling party from the opposition Forum for Democratic Change, says she was only trying to remind the President of the pledges he made to the people of Kitgum in 2006.
Anywar says the President is so desperate to the extent that he has taken it upon himself to make calls to the opposition politicians in a bid to lure them to NRM.
She also explains that NRM is a party, that has despite being around for more than 25 year, failed to build capacity and has to rely on buying support from the public.
Anywar says the President has called her several times asking her to join the ruling party but she has snubbed him. This, she says, the President has interpreted as hatred towards him by her.
She warns NRM not to be complacent that they have gained political support in the region because the Achoil region has lagged behind because of NRM.
She adds that the people in the region are only waiting for elections to express their dissatisfaction with the President and his NRM cadres.
MUSEVENI AND NRM HAVE OUTLIVED THEIR USEFULNESS
By Dr. Vincent Magombe
6th Dec 2010
When George Orwell said in his ‘Animal Farm’ that “…all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”, he was referring to the hierarchical dynamics within the political infrastructure of Communist societies.
Museveni’s Uganda is far from being a communist nation. But the way sections of Ugandan society are being rewarded for being loyal citizens (read supporters of the NRM regime) and others punished for their ‘disloyalty’ (read supporting opposition parties) cannot be any less similar to George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’.
Museveni has on numerous occasions categorically stated that only those Ugandans who pay homage to him and support his NRM party will be rewarded with jobs, financial assistance, and development programmes in their districts and regions.
President Museveni’s ‘reverse patronage’ inevitably means that whole regions, districts, and localities are often starved of public finances and resources unless they don yellow t-shirts and yellow hats. Simply put, to ‘eat’ in Museveni’s Uganda you must be an avid disciple of His Excellency’s ‘Yellow Revolution’.
Desperate times call for desperate measures
For Museveni, these are truly desperate times and they call for desperate measures. The urge to dish out cash loads of public money and a variety of “small small things” like posh cars and houses has become more prevalent in this election.
One wonders what else he might pull out of his magic bag come the last days of the election campaigns. Helicopters perhaps! Or will it be squads of Presidential Guard Brigade soldiers to guard the rewarded chiefs!
But why should anyone be surprised about Museveni’s ‘kind-heartedness’. President Museveni and his NRM are now being perceived by an increasing number of Ugandans as guests who have over-stayed and outlived their usefulness.
This is a regime that once exuded such pompous and obdurate confidence in victories of all sorts. Today, it is unsure of winning a mere 51% of votes required to retain power.
It can also be argued that NRM’s desperation is instinctive – an in-born quality. After all, the NRM was born out of a desperate intolerance and impatience that saw the military-minded Museveni and his lieutenants launch a war against what they said was lack of democracy in Milton Obote’s Uganda.
Today, we all know that it wasn’t the lack of democracy that sent these citizens to the bush. If it was, Uganda would be swimming in very warm democratic waters.
A President swimming above the currents of the law
Museveni is a ‘legally lucky’ man. He is clearly engaging in illegal and unconstitutional actions for which ordinary Ugandans would be prosecuted at once. This is what is referred to as ‘swimming above the currents of the law’. On the other hand, some ‘unlucky’ Ugandan politicians who were found to have bribed voters have been strangled by the long arm of the law.
The law bars serving government officials from using state resources during campaigns. And we all know that as President, Museveni is a government official. It is therefore possible that some concerned Ugandans may use the unfairness inherent in Museveni’s incumbency benefits to challenge his ‘victory’ if he rigs again.
The more plausible scenario however would be for Museveni to be decisively rejected with a massive anti-NRM verdict at the polls. Most Ugandans who have for a long time been suffering from an indescribable ‘political sleeping sickness’ seem to be steadily waking up. Ugandans may be hypnotized by extreme poverty but they are not stupid.
Evidence of this was seen in June 2008 when a traditional chief and a senior army commander were chased from a village in Northern Uganda where they had gone to regularize a controversial acquisition of 10,000 hectares of land. The army officer was nearly lynched by wanainchi.
The people of Acholiland and Uganda as a whole should now remember and reflect on the ‘hook and crook dynamics of Ugandan politics’ that the late Okot P’ Bitek wrote in his famous poem ‘Song of Lawino’. Published in 1966, Bitek wrote:
“…And those who have fallen into things…throw themselves into soft beds. But the hip bones of the voters grow painful…sleeping on the same earth they slept before Uhuru. And when they have fallen into things…they become rare…like a bull water buck. In its tummy, they hibernate and stay away…and eat! They return to the countryside…for the next elections…like the kite that returns during the dry season. When the kites have returned…the dry season has come!”
As all that goes on, Bitek continues, “…the pythons of sickness…swallow the children…and the buffaloes of poverty knock the people down…and ignorance stands there like an elephant”.
The people’s verdict will be known on election-day. END. Please log into www.ugandacorrespondent.com every Monday to read our top stories and anytime mid-week for our news updates.
Dr. Magombe is a UK based Ugandan Journalist and Director of Africa Inform International
WHY IS MUSEVENI DESPERATE TO HOLD ON TO POWER?
President and First Lady Janet Museveni during the Christmas Day service at the Anglican Nshwere Church of Uganda in Kiruhura district, western Uganda, Dec. 25, 2010.
Why is Museveni so desperate to hold onto power that he has discarded any pretence about having a political message and instead has turned to naked, unabashed use of money to buy votes and "support"?
First, Museveni has over the years made the sorts of enemies who have marked him out for assassination. Whether he is head of state or a retired president, he will be hunted down by these enemies. Remaining in power, then, is his only guarantee of personal safety.
The Uganda Record has in recent days chronicled reports of plans by Rwanda to eliminate Museveni, the First Lady Janet Museveni, Museveni's brother Gen. Salim Saleh and an army General, Gen. David Tinyefuza.
The 2009 U.S. State Department cables published by the WikiLeaks website, in which Museveni expressed his worry about Libya's leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi assassinating him, lend further credence to the mortal danger facing Museveni.
Secondly, over the years the Museveni family has amassed wealth of a kind that will someday require a film to capture.
This wealth was accumulated by the brazen plundering of minerals and timber in the Democratic Republic of Congo, stealing Ugandan embassy and Coffee Marketing Board land in Mombasa, Kenya, stealing money intended for new planes for Uganda Airlines in 1992, selling off the old places of the defunct Uganda Airlines in 1997, laundering money through various offshore companies and bank accounts and a whole host of other ways.
Museveni today is easily the richest person in Uganda, now about richer than even the legendary Madhvani family of Kakira near Jinja.
From Museveni's point of view, to lose the presidency would be tantamount to more than just losing a job; it would be the equivalent to being evicted off one's land or from one's home. Uganda has become Sugar Candy Mountain for the Museveni family.
To protect this ill-gotten wealth, Museveni now has the greatest interest in stability and the status quo. Things must continue as they are or his fall from tremendous wealth back to the haunting poverty of his childhood becomes a complete circle.
He has no choice now but to work night and day for the consolidation of his son Lt. Col. Muhoozi Kainerugaba's hold on the army and acquisition of political experience. However, Kainerugaba is deeply resented in the army and has, for the time being, no political base to speak of.
The efforts by Museveni to advance Kainerugaba in the army only deepen this resentment, which in turn increases Museveni's paranoia.
But in all this, the bottom line fact for Museveni is that to lose power would be catastrophe. It is unthinkable. If Ugandans can no longer vote for him out of belief in him, then perhaps they can be persuaded to vote for him out of their own selfish gain.
If their selfish interest in piles of free money, then piles of free money will be given to them. If the Uganda Record requires 100,000 dollars to bribe it to stop exposing his scandalous presidency and personal life, then find the Uganda Record 100,000 dollars.
If it were possible to bribe his main challenger, Col. Kiiza Besigye, Museveni would do so.
Do what has to be done, is the real theme of the 2010 and 2011 Museveni election campaign.
This recourse to all-out use of money, of parading leading political figures who are supposedly endorsing Museveni demonstrates the vulnerability, not the strength, of Museveni in 2011.
He is faced with an existential fight of his life.
The Ugandan opposition, meanwhile, is also determined that this time they will not allow Museveni to get away with rigging and they will dismiss the usual western diplomatic endorsement of a Museveni "win".
Museveni is not going to concede defeat even when --- not if --- he is defeated. The opposition is now confident and defiant enough not to give in easily.
Result? The Feb. 18, 2011 Ugandan general election, because of all these factors, is going to be messy. It is going to end up in a situation halfway between the part calm, part violent aftermath of the recent election run-off in Ivory Coast and the civil war-like violence that followed the Kenyan election in Dec. 2007.