2021: Would Museveni’s rule become more moderate or fascist?

Sunday November 17 2019



Alan Tacca

Alan Tacca  

By Alan Tacca

After one Davis Kimuli, who describes himself as a great researcher and political analyst, switched from the image of former prime minister Amama Mbabazi’s most dedicated publicist to an all-knowing defender of President Museveni’s virtual life presidency, many people are baffled: Was he a mole then? Is he a mercenary now? Or has the prophet just grown in enlightenment?
Listening to him battling John Kikonyogo and other Opposition politicians on Top Radio last weekend, we ordinary listeners were left still baffled.

The great thinker proclaimed that the Opposition was finished because it was not united, not organised, and had not shown how they intended to take power.
When reminded that Mr Museveni’s politicised security machine routinely frustrated their efforts, so they held some cards close to their chests, Kimuli replied that it was not the responsibility of the NRM government to help the Opposition overcome any obstacles.

In the same week, on CBS radio, Kabula MP James Kakooza, who often volunteers to present NRM arguments that are intellectually embarrassing, said more or less the same thing, when he told Opposition politicians Ssemujju Nganda and others that power was not ceded casually; that the NRM was duty-bound to try to retain power.
A man claiming great intellectual prowess and a ‘tiresome’ Kabula MP were reasoning alike.
But if the monopoly of power is stripped of any ethical considerations, then the roots of the NRM already veer into the territory of fascism.

Two: As if Mr Museveni’s government is irreparably discredited, it has become almost standard form for the President’s media hacks and opportunistic functionaries outside Cabinet to denounce Mr Museveni’s government but profess their undying support for Museveni as president. Today, tomorrow, forever.
It is stupid. No. It is actually clever. Why?
In an ordinary society, you denounce a government because it is evil or has performed badly. The rulers understand the principle. Some even resign before they are humiliated.
In extraordinary Uganda, Mr Museveni’s propagandists have probably judged that his mind is 80 per cent imprisoned in the resolve to retain power, with only 20 per cent committed to performance considerations.

With the evil and incompetence around us, those propagandists want to appear to be on the people’s side. So they detach Museveni from his government and denounce the government.
But why not give power to another leader and a different government?
Reply: The other people cannot be trusted with power.
In other words, Museveni should be given – or even by force seize – another five-year mandate, during which he will set up a completely new government, a clean government.
Now, there are Musevenists who seem to say that this new government should be more democratic, more competent, less corrupt and more humane.

There are also Musevenists who include people like RDC Bamwine, who seem to say that this new government can only be less corrupt and more competent if it is undemocratic, harsher and more brutal.
It is a contest between moderation and fascism.
Historically, Museveni’s campaigners have always accused the Opposition of not spelling out how they would do the job better than Museveni.

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But if all this bleating about performance – roads, education, health, agriculture – means little to Museveni, with 80 per cent of his concentration on the chunk of raw power in his fist, his apologists should help their fellow citizens to make informed choices:
Kimuli, Kakooza, Sekabanja, Kateregga, Mirundi, Bamwine, Kyeyune, Kusasira, Buchaman, Full Figure, et al; has Mr Museveni decided to become more moderate or more fascist after 2021?

Mr Tacca is a novelist, socio-political commentator.
altaccaone@gmail.com