The just concluded electoral charade that saw the whipping of innocent citizens on the streets, torture and detention of journalists, civil society employees, election observers and, tragically unprecedented loss of innocent lives was a mere confirmation of what UPC and its leaders did, and have always told Ugandans and the world.
Mr Museveni, who studied the psychology of Ugandans early in his life, tested, exploited and has used it to his advantage to the maximum. He never was a democrat and neither was he ever a nationalist. Even within the context of ideological left or right, he is simply absent; the man moves with the wind – depending on which side will butter his bread best. I will expound:
He claimed he was in DP as a youth and for some reason, joined UPC after graduating from the University of Dar es Salaam in 1970. He possibly was neither because while DP is a conservative political party, UPC is on the other hand a progressive left socialist political party. And to make my point, Museveni quickly found home in dogmatic ‘Marxism’ with Samora Machel of Mozambique, training how to equip little boys and girls into angry youth.
It has been suggested that he went to Luweero believing that he could breed Cuban style ‘revolution’ in Uganda.
Considering that immediately after stumbling into power in January 1986 he swiftly went into barter trade with Communist Cuba – exchanging our good coffee for arms – then it is plausible that Mr Museveni was now a Communist.
Swiftly, we saw the same man selling off UPC-built public assets and turning Uganda into the sweatshop of Europe and North America, aka the perfect agent for imperialist capitalism. The same Museveni then set out on a further mission of breaking up Africa – starting with Rwanda, then Burundi, Congo, Sudan – before settling in Somalia, renting an army while claiming ‘pan-Africanism’.
He knows how furious Kwame Nkrumah and Patrice Lumumba are in heaven, but of course, he also knows that the average Ugandan he has blinded over 50 years continues this week, in the same state. A pan-Africanist cannot become the chief agent for breaking up Africa and worse, using anti-Africanist tools.
Then comes the ‘democracy blindness’. Museveni claimed he went to the bush in February 1981 because elections had allegedly been rigged. He has never provided evidence. Those elections were held shortly after a vicious war that got rid of Idi Amin. Yet Museveni came to power in January 1986 and has ridden on ‘security’ competence.
Why then would he – 35 years later – supervise an electoral process that turns out the worst in terms of apparent rigging, violence and deaths? Why indeed, would he clamp down on the very basics of free speech, cowardly blocking social media in the process, impacting on the lives of millions of people, business and the economy?
The answer is that Museveni neither cares nor has he changed. Just imagine this, he initially claimed elections had been rigged so he imported his team into Luweero to assist breed democracy. Then on coming to power, he (with the backing of all those guys you know), banned political parties until UPC defeated them in court – forcing return to multiparty politics.
Now that the circle is complete after 40 years, I thought I would just remind Ugandans and some of our pretentious friends; we told you that this Museveni is exactly the ‘Uganda’s problem’ we sang as students, a man whose dream it was to feed his family and on patronage, hangers-on – at your expense.
The only change is from the Museveni you though-or-were-duped-to-be to, the Tibuhaburwa, the very one Dr James Rwanyarare used to tell you about.
The writer is former UPC spokesperson