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On Speaker Anita Among: Likely scenarios to play out

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Author: Asuman Bisiika. PHOTO/FILE

It is now clear that the sanctions the Government of the United Kingdom slapped on the Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda have a psychological effect on the political leadership of the Government of Uganda.

It is not so often that Mr Museveni writes several letters on a matter in so short a time. So many were the letters that some people even thought it was atypical of Mr Museveni. Some even wondered whether he was panicking.

Matters were made worse when one of Mr Museveni’s staffers claimed that one of the letters was forged. Yet the usual winding story-telling delivery and conversational syntax could easily be identified as Museveni’s handiwork. But then, this is Uganda.

So, people were wondering: which of the two letters was forged? Most of the people we spoke to joked that the forged one was that which claimed the other was forged. At least the one purported to be forged had Mr Museveni’s signature. But the one whose content claimed that there was a forgery was not signed; it was only attributed to “management”.

Some people have made it look like it is a Mr Museveni and Ms Anita Among issue. No. The only thing we can say about Mr Museveni on this matter is one: failure to protect (under whatever circumstances) Ms Among.

Indeed, if it were some kind of contest or challenge between Mr Museveni and Ms Among, it would not be that Mr Museveni is limited to do whatever he wants. With the contents of the letters he has been writing, he has actually set up all the possibilities to do whatever he may want to politically do to Among. And remember, even before the sanctions, there were revelations from the Parliament Exhibition.

But all in all, the sanctions have already shifted the paradigm on the general political projections for the 2026 General Elections (and other matters incidental-to). And the question to ask then is: Should Mr Museveni encourage the impeachment of the Speaker of Parliament? What are the strategic benefits of such a move? Nze nawe (it is moot).

Me as me, I say that Ms Among’s exit from the Speakership of Parliament (either by falling on her sword or by being pushed off the cliff) offers no particular strategic benefits for Mr Museveni. She, in the first place, presents no tangible threat to Mr Museveni’s hold on power. Neither can she cause any disruption to whatever form of transition Mr Museveni would like to manage.

If Mr Museveni winked to encourage the exit of Among, he would squarely be acting to appease foreign development partners who have recently been very difficult to deal with. 

It would amount to a tactical action with strategic consequences. In the Intelligence world, superiors would not endorse or sanction an operation of such a nature.

Since the country is still dealing with the meaning of the appointment of the new military leadership and what it portends to the future of the country, it would not be necessary to create another narrative that could muddy the national political waters.

Let us just accept it, we are in the beginning of a transition to a Uganda without Mr Museveni as Head of State, Head of Government, and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. One would therefore advise that in spite of the fact that Ugandans are baying for blood (any blood), the power balance should remain as it is until 2026.

The best way out is simple: let’s keep Ms Among as the venerable Speaker of Parliament. She would politely advise herself not to seek re-election for Speaker of Parliament after 2026 (I am assuming it would be an easy win for her parliamentary seat in Bukedea).

Asuman Bisiika is the executive editor of the East African Flagpost. [email protected]