Responding to my open letter to President Museveni published in Sunday Monitor of March 7, some people accused me of hating His Excellency. But who am I to hate a lad of God from Rwakitura? I know. His hecklers call him a dictator, and many names. Ask them why. They will say because he isn’t good, or because he’s just bad.
For my part, I neither call him a democrat nor dictator, but the son of God. How many people remember the late Bishop Festo Kivengere, especially his masterpiece I love Idi Amin? Essentially, Kivengere wrote this book not to show his hatred to Amin, but to show his love for a person who misruled Uganda as if he would live forever.
Although in this case, Mr Museveni, whom I love and follow dearly, is different from Amin. There are some commonalities: Amin and Museveni are Ugandans, presidents who grabbed power after evidencing some weakness in the upper echelons of power.
Second, they were both acclaimed as heroes on the days they pulled down the regimes of their predecessors. Third, they promised a lot of positive changes. Fourth, equally, though in different styles, they both didn’t make good on all of their promises, not to mention not being aware of how the ordinary people viewed them.
Fifth, the duo had connection with Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, though one was cloned and the other destroyed. This connection with Tanzania has a lot to do with the history of Uganda, especially after Tanzanian People’s Defence Forces supported Amin’s opponents to wage the war that saw him going to exile after his army was defeated in 1979. Another fact is Uganda hosts many Tanzanians, and vice versa.
Now, let me tell you why I love Museveni whose foes love to hate. Apart him being a wholesome guy, I love Museveni for doing Uganda a favour. When he took over power many decades ago, he promised Ugandans he’d not overstay in power. He knew how abhorrent this was. Museveni decided out of great love to soldier on to see to it that Uganda is always safe. Who wants the Amins to come back from their tombs and destroy beloved Uganda?
Being a good guy, I once heard him complain that whenever he wants to call it a day, the NRM party compels him to stay on. Whoever hates him for this revelation will soon understand. For being a good guy who respects authority, Museveni, against his will, has been in power for a while, which his detractors use to call him a tyrant, all because of NRM. What would you do if you were him? If he were a bad guy who disrespects authority, he’d have retired many years ago. Is it wrong for me to love such a democrat?
I also love Museveni because he is a caring person. Have you ever heard him talking beautiful about his cattle? Knowing his love for many things, including family and Ugandans, how can any God-fearing type like myself hate Museveni?
Another reason I love Museveni is his mission to unite East Africa and to complete the task that Mwalimu Julius Nyerere didn’t actualise.
With such big missions and visions, can any sane person hate Museveni? I once heard Museveni telling those who want him to relinquish power to think twice. For he doesn’t only have a mission, but also somewhere to retire and look after his dear cattle.
Let me wind up this piece by quoting Kivengere: “On the cross Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing.’ As evil as Amin was, how can I do less toward him?”
Like any human being, Museveni will one day leave power. Why hate him instead of loving him and praying that he understands this natural science?
Mhango is a lifetime member of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador email@example.com.