Thought and Ideas
Prof Baryamureeba is a falsely perceived intellectual, a sycophant
Posted Sunday, October 27 2013 at 01:00
My attention has been drawn to an opinion published by Prof Venansius Baryamureeba on Facebook. It’s titled “ten reasons why Col Besigye must apologise to the people of Rukungiri and the President of Uganda”.
My immediate reaction was total disbelief that it could have been written by someone with the intellectual attributes of Prof Baryamureeba.
I’ve never personally interacted with him but he certainly has an impressive academic profile. The opinion piece was not only written in poor English, but its content is nothing that can remotely be associated with a university professor.
Disappointingly, I’ve discovered that the opinion is actually published on Prof Baryamureeba’s Facebook page. The page has other publications; mainly, concerning Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU) of which the professor is the vice chancellor. Also found on the page are political opinion pieces that are consistent with a person determined to show support for whatever Mr Museveni does or says, however wrong or illegal.
He defends the appointment of Gen Aronda as an NRM minister, while still a UPDF serving officer (offering outrageous reasons); he wants strikes and demonstrations to be “strongly discouraged” because they affect the economy (citing KACITA strike); he attacks the lack of internal democracy in UPC, DP and FDC (strikingly silent about NRM); he announces that he “has been honoured by President Yoweri K. Museveni with a Golden Jubilee Medal during the celebrations to mark Uganda’s 51st Independence anniversary on October 9, 2013 in Rukungiri”.
I’ve previously opined that many intellectuals have betrayed our country by surrendering their souls to the dictatorship.
Prof Baryamureeba seems to distinguish himself as such. Being a university professor, one would at least, expect him to get some facts to cloth his boot-licking. He criticizes my actions as going against FDC policy; when he clearly has no idea what that policy is. The country deserves better from such intellectuals.
Regarding the reasons advanced by the professor as to why I should apologise to Rukungiri people and to Mr Museveni, I would like to offer the following information and observations:
1. The “National” function was held in Rukungiri but the people of Rukungiri were not “hosts”; they were invited like other Ugandans were. That’s why even the MP of the area where the function was could not be offered an opportunity to welcome “guests” to his constituency.
The only marginal involvement in organising the function was by local NRM functionaries.
This was in spite of the “host” Constituency being entirely led by FDC; that is the MP, Municipal Mayor, all Municipal Division chairpersons etc. Some FDC district councillors had volunteered to participate as ushers, when a call was made by the district chairperson, they were exclusively weeded out by the Kampala organising team without any explanation.
Therefore, it was very clear well ahead of the function that this was, like all before it, essentially an NRM do; Rukungiri people only had to choose how to deal with it. Several options were suggested by our people, including that of holding a separate function for the non-NRM to mark their Independence Day.
Some of us discouraged the idea of a separate function since this would not properly demonstrate the problem we had with the “National” function. We held a meeting with all our leaders on the eve of the function and agreed to attend the function and, once it proceeded as we expected, to walk out in demonstration of our displeasure.
2. Independence is about people’s power, freedom, and justice. Walking out of a function peacefully does not interfere with anybody’s enjoyment of their own rights.
Those who preferred to stay at the function would do so, as they did. However, those of us who preferred to leave were either arrested and later released without charge (as happened to me, Kampala Mayor Erias Lukwago and Hajj Mubarak Munyagwa) or forced to remain at the function by locking up the gates, as happened to very many of our people.
Even people who had not been at the function were violently arrested. In the case of Ingrid Turinawe, she was arrested and driven at breakneck speed and detained in Ntungamo (60kms away) until night when she was thrown out of police cells and told to go!
3. The legitimacy of Mr Museveni as President of Uganda is, at the very minimum, questionable. He did not come to power through a popular mandate but through the force of arms.
He manipulated the Constitution-making process to entrench the NRM/NRA political/military establishment as the only political organisation (this is what I exposed in my 1999 critique).
The NRM party is still fused with the State, nearly 10 years after supposedly adopting a multiparty system of government. All Local Council One officials in Uganda are of the one-party (NRM) system; no elections have taken place under the multiparty system. Public Offices operate as NRM offices such as RDCs, office of Minister for mobilisation, Patriotism offices; not to mention the security organisations. UPDF officers are now serving as NRM officials.
Mr Museveni fraudulently abolished presidential term limits that had been unanimously approved as part of the 1995 Constitution. All Judges of the Supreme Court unanimously ruled (in election petitions) that Presidential elections were not conducted in accordance with the law and more crucially, that they were not free or fair- the only type of election allowed by our Constitution.
Therefore, Mr Museveni may be legal (according to Kelsen’s doctrine of revolution) but he cannot be a legitimate President of Uganda. As such, Ugandans do not have to accord him the respect due to the office of the President of Uganda.
That’s why I refer to him simply as Mr Museveni and cannot respect protocol arrangements attached to the Office of the President of Uganda when it’s occupied by an illegitimate holder. Respect cannot be demanded or forced; it has to be earned.
What we’re undertaking is a defiance campaign against a dictatorship. It is similar to the campaign Mr Museveni himself undertook to remove the previous regime. The main difference is that Mr Museveni used violent means while we deliberately and painstakingly employ non-violent means.