Thursday, January 25, 2007

Museveni : Uganda's Ultimate Demagogue!

"Soon after taking power in 1986. Museveni said: "The problem of Africa in general and Uganda in particular is not the people but leaders who want to overstay in power." More than two decades later, this is the one problem Museveni seems unwilling to solve."

Daniel K. Kalinak : The Africa Report | October - November 2008

Museveni's Road of No Return
Daniel K. Kalinaki : The Africa Report | October - November 2008

After 22 years in power, President Museveni says he will run again in 2011, setting off the possibility of another bloody contest!

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni announced in July that he would run for a fourth term of office in the 2011 election if, as expected, he is nominated by his National Resistance Movement (NRM) party. In reality, this will be Museveni's sixth term, including the ten years he ruled as a military leader before the 1996 elections.
By 2011, Museveni will have ruled for 25 years, longer than Uganda's six former presidents put together, and longer than any other East African leader, including former President Daniel arap Moi, who ruled Kenya for 24 years. More than half of Uganda's 32m people were born under his rule."
When he took power after a five-year guerrilla war, Museveni promised a fundamental change", with the restoration of peace and stability, the return of democracy and the building of a self-sustaining economy. A slew of economic reforms, including privatisations, a restructuring of the civil service and economic liberalisation have been relatively succesful. According to the World Bank, annual GDP growth has averaged 6% since 1987 and the percentage of population living below the poverty line has fallen from 56% in 1986 t0 31% today. Inflation has been below 7% for many years.
These impresive figures, however, do not tell the whole story. A population growth rate of 3.2% - one of the highest in the world - has meant that the number of people living below the poverty line has, in reality, increased, while more than 80% of the population remains dependent on subsistence agriculture.
Life expectancy has improved marginally: more children go to school under a free, albeit poor quality, primary and secondary education scheme; and the HIV/AIDS rate is about 6.7%, down from highs of 30% in the ealy 1990s, thanks to a policy of openness about the epidemic spearheaded by Museven himself.
However, questions of governance remain largely unanswered and, since independence from Britain in 1962, Uganda has never had a peaceful handover of power. The rules of political competition are unfair. After coming to power, Museveni banned multiparty politics and rolled out "the Movement" to which all Ugandans belonged, in theory.
Although political parties were officially allowed to resumes activities in 2005, political commentators argue that this was out of pragmatism on on Museven's part. At the same time, he was trying to amend the constitution to allow him to run again.
Professor Joe Oloka-Onyango, a legal scholar and Museveni critic, argues that the president's lack of acknowledgement of opposition with in the Movement and externally from the older political parties, plus his "utter contempt" for political opposition, makes it clear that he "has not made the conversion to genuine multiparty competition".
The return of multiparty politics has not fully opened up space for democratic debate, according to the Kampala-based Foundation for Human Rights Initiative. Opposition parties are cash strapped, have little or no presence outside Kampala and are fraught with in-fighting. Security agencies routinely break up opposition rallies, and opposition leader Kizza Besigye, who spent more time in jail or in court than on the campaign trail for the 2006 election, still faces treason charges after the collapse of his trial for rape.
Besigye, who took 27% of the vote in 2001 and 37% in the last election, has indicated that he will run against Museveni for the third time if nominated by his Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). Although some FDC officials want a fresh candidate, Besigye remains the most high-profile opposition figure. Opposition parties could decide to field a single candidate, as they suggested in a recent cooperation pact.


It is not clear what the theme of Museveni's 2011 campaign will be, but he and his advisors increasingly speak in terms of poverty eradication and "prosperity for all". He will certainly try to ride on the fortunes of the oil recently discovered in western Uganda.
The opposition will try to make governance a key campaign issue and it is here that Museveni is most vulnerable. His most glaring failure has been the inability to defeat the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels over the last two decades, despite spending a large chunk of the country's budget on the military. The north has enjoyed peace since July 2006, when talks started between Kampala and the LRA in Juba under the mediation of Reik Machar, vice-president of the government of southern Sudan. Although a peace deal was agreed upon, LRA leader Joseph Kony has refused to sign it until his indictment by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity is lifted.
The war in the north could as yet flare up ahead of the referendum in southern Sudan and Uganda's election in 2011. Museveni needs peace and the post-war cash pledged by donors to improve his electoral figures in the north - the only region he has consistently lost in the last three elections. He also faces tests in regions that have previously voted for him; controversial land reforms have turned the vote-rich Buganda region hostile to Museveni; the east wants its turn in state house and many of Museveni's historical supporters from his own western region have since fallen out with him.
Museveni still has the support - and the trappings of incumbency - to win in 2011, but this will come at a high cost. FM radio stations up-country are often ordered not to host opposition candidates, while a new law requiring televiosion and radio stations to renew their licences each year is seen by many as designed to force critical stations to tone down their opinions or risk losing their licences.
the lack of political space within which to articulate national issues has pushed politicians to retreat to tribal and ethnic enclaves and to propose sectarian views. In July, two former spy chiefs, Brigadier Henry Tumukunde and Major General Jim Muhwezi, who are facing separate trials, cited their ethnic links and said they would defend one another in the face of what they term political persecution.


Museveni has contributed directly to the tribal and ethnic fracturing of the country by creating new districts in a policy of tribal appeasement and opportunistic gerrymandering. Over 30 new districts have been created in the last decade - many of them are so poor that they depend on central government handouts to pay their bills - and a similar number of applications are pending.
Despite carving out smaller districts with the country, Museveni has been a strong proponent of the East African Community, supporting the appointment of a Ugandan, Beatrice Kiraso, to head a team to fast-track a deeper political federation to start in 2013. However, a senior aide to Musevni told The Africa Report that the president may now lost interest in a regional presidency because "the Tanzanians were not too enthusiastic".
Snubbed in the region, Museveni has now turned his focus on extending his grip on power in Uganda. His presidential guard brigade has swollen to 12,00 men - including his son, Lieutenant Colonel Muhoozi Kainerugaba, whose new role is to build a team of special forces within the brigade, which has the best equipment of all the military units.
The NRM has no succession plan, and debate on the matter is frowned upon. Without internal competition and with the tools of persuasion and coercion to use against the opposition, the Museveni juggernaut will roll towards 2011 determined to smash its way to the finish line.
Soon after taking power in 1986. Museveni said: "The problem of Africa in general and Uganda in particular is not the people but leaders who want to overstay in power." More than two decades later, this is the one problem Museveni seems unwilling to solve.

From The Africa Report | October - November 2008

One trait that distinguishes free democratic countries in the world is that they’re without exception all dynamic.

A few among other dictionary meanings of the word dynamic is: "being at work or in effective operation". The opposite of this is: "being static, i.e. showing little change, or operating ineffectively".

Invariably, the underlying foundation of all dynamic democratic societies is that, they all embrace diversity in leadership.

Diversity is about valuing and making the most of individual differences found in each and every person. This creates a synergy effect: A dynamic state in which combined action is favored over the sum of individual component actions.

An individual leader, however, talented, can only accomplish so much; but a combined variety of leaders will accomplish much more. Relying on only one leader is like inbreeding - it multiplies flows in leadership. Diversity on the other hand, mitigates those flaws.

When the USA elects its next president in November 2008, it will be the fifth US president since Museveni has been in power! Uganda is, no question, under utilizing its precious diversity in leadership potential!

Andrew Mwenda's Resignation letter, and its revelations about freedom of press in Uganda!

Its an irony that the man who said "African leaders stay too long in power", is now among the remnants of Africa's perpetual heads of state that oversaw a change in the constitution that favoured his stay in power!


Uganda's militant First Couple! - Janet & Kaguta Museveni!

Museveni stands next to a larger than life image of himself as if to symbolize the exaggerated ego and monomania that has prevented him from yielding Uganda's leadership for more than twenty years now! This image is the soft arrogance and bigotry of an archaic one man rule calture that continues to rob Africans of the tremendous potential benefits that come with diversity and periodic turnovers in leadership.


  • Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary!

    Author: Reinhold Niebuhr

  • M7's ATTIRE!

  • The Root of Africa's Political Chaos!


  • PRA Suspects Saga!


    The future of democracy in Uganda depends on peaceful and periodic turnovers in leadership rather than any single regime hegemony! The opposition in Uganda may, as Museveni has noted, be weak! But one should never underestimate the innovative, talented and skilled leadership potential it holds and sadly goes untapped because of the unfair and undemocratic obstacles imposed in favour of Museveni's overextended stay in power!

    An independent and vibrant opposition is part and parcel of a stable and prosperous democracy. When the opposition has the freedom to participate, a country's problems and potential conflicts are more easily solved.

  • " Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power "
    -- Abraham Lincoln

  • Freedom of the press & expression under attack after 21 years of M7's reign !

    In his speech marking the 21st anniversary of his National Resistance Movement rise to power, Museven warned the opposition against telling lies and cautioned the media against lies and sensational journalism.


  • Uganda's Leaders Should Listen to Voices of Reason

  • The media should always be professional and balanced and avoid sensational information. M7 reiterated! They should report objectively, the good news and the bad news without bias, just factually. But some of the papers make it a point to tell lies, abusing the licence which the Government gave them to run newspapers or radio stations just to misinform the public. That is not the idea about freedom of speech...but we shall get time to sort it out. Some think they can continue like this but I can assure you they won’t.” M7's Caveat!

  • Opposition Finally Takes a Stand!

  • M7s 21 YEAR REIGN


  • Sphere: Related Content

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