A legislator has been pushed to the point of concluding that if President Yoweri Museveni of today met his old former self of 1986, the two would fight a fierce combat until they both lie dead-vanquished.
Geoffrey Macho, is the ruling party NRM Member of Parliament for Busia municipality in Busia district and a teacher by profession.
He is a former resident district commissioner office of the president, former private secretary to the vice president in State House, former district youth chairman, Busia district local government and teacher/deputy head teacher Busia district local government.
Macho, whose hobbies are; public speaking, counselling, debates and mobilisation, reached that absurd conclusion on Tuesday after listening to a harrowing report about Nalufenya police detention facility located in Jinja district.
“If the President Museveni of 1986 met the President Museveni of today they would fight and kill each other,” Macho told plenary chaired by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.
Overstay in power
The most commonly fronted reason by Ugandans as to why the revolutionary Museveni of 1986 would walk up to State House with his favourite gun [Rwitabagomi-the one that shoots down stubborn ones], shoot the Museveni of 2017 in the head and blow the smoke off its muzzle; is his overstay in power which he said was Africa’s biggest problem.
Writing in his 261-page book: “What is Africa’s Problem?” published by Minnesota Press in 2000, Museveni said, ““The problem of Africa in general and Uganda in particular is not the people, but leaders who want to overstay in power.”
Aware that he has already forgotten what he wrote a quarter of a century ago, Winnie Byanyima, wife to opposition strongman, Kizza Besigye, over the weekend reminded Museveni with whom they shared cold nights during the 1986 bush war, not abrogate the constitution and run in the 2021 presidential elections.
Too many ministers-don’t know their roles
Yet another reason, according to MP Macho, is the huge number of Cabinet to the extent that ministers even forget their duties to their constituents or the fact that they need to appear in parliament.
“We have way too many ministers and I don’t know whether they don’t know their roles,” Macho told plenary.
He was supported by the leader of Opposition in Parliament, Winnie Kiiza, who said: “As a Parliament, on many occasions, Ministers don’t come to this house.”
Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] party secretary general, Nathan Nandala Mafabi, who represents Budadiri County West in Sironko District, also told the house that General Haji Abubaker Jeje Odongo, Minister of Internal Affairs, had not been seen in the house for a long time.
MP Mafabi: Minister Jeje hasn’t attended the house in months.
Speaker Kadaga: He wrote to me asking for sick leave.
MP Mafabi: I saw him running.
This coincided with Speaker Rebecca Kadaga summons to ICT minister and Kibaale MP, Frank Tumwebaze, not only for defying her directives but also skipping parliamentary sessions.
To this effect, Eng John Byabagambi, the Minister for Karamoja Affairs, [just shaken out of his half-slumber] told parliament that he at least attends Parliament once a week.
Using torture like in Amin, Obote days
But according to MP Macho, the other reason why the old revolutionary Museveni would kill today’s ‘political farmer’, is because of his use of excessive torture which mirrors exactly what used to happen in the past governments of Idi Amin and Milton Obote that he fought to overthrow.
Appearing on NTV last week, Ladislaus Rwakafuzi, a human rights advocate, said Museveni just learnt from his forerunners and still uses torture to quell dissent across the country just as Amin and Obote did before he fought them and removed them from power.
“Amin, Obote II and now Museveni are using torture against perceived opponents in the same way,” the lawyer concluded.
Butambala county MP, Muwanga Kivumbi, appearing on NTV last week said torture has been a growing disease in Uganda, naming a one ‘Mutoto Wa Acholi’ who heads torture at Nalufenya detention facility now turned into a death chamber.
Today, MP Kivumbi told parliament there was a deliberate profiling of Muslim clerics when it comes to the shooting and that he has a list of five people who have been arrested for five months in Nalufenya and haven’t appeared anywhere.
MP Kivumbi even read out the list of Police officers whom he calls the chief torturers in the different police stations.
Bunya East MP, James Waira Kyewalabye Majegere, also took time to narrate to Parliament how he was beaten for packing on the side on Nalufenya in his suit.
The MP for Ndorwa East, Wilfred Niwagaba, then demanded that those who tortured and their bosses be brought before the courts of law before the end of this week.
“Torture has been going on for ages, but now an NRM cadre has been tortured you now all now,” Mafabi also added his voice to that of Niwagaba.
Having run out of ideas as to what to do with Nalufenya’s torture tales, Obongi County MP Kaps Hassan Fungaroo, suggested that Ugandans from now onwards, just avoid being arrested so as to survive the torture.
“If you feel like your arrest may lead to torture, please avoid the arrest,” Fungaroo suggested to plenary.
How would Museveni of today answer ‘What is Africa’s Problem’ then?
In 1986, after more than a decade of armed struggle, a rebellion led by Museveni toppled the dictatorship of Idi Amin, and Museveni, at 42, became president of Uganda, a country at that time in near total disarray.
Since then, Uganda has made remarkable strides in political, civic, and economic arenas, and Museveni has assumed the role of “the eminence grise of the new leadership in central Africa” (Philip Gourevitch, The New Yorker).
As such, he has proven a pow erful force for change, not just in Uganda but across the turbulent span of African states.
This collection of Museveni’s writings and speeches lays out the possibilities for social change in Africa.
Working with a broad historical understanding and an intimate knowledge of the problems at hand, Museveni describes how movements can be formed to foster democracy, how class consciousness can transcend tribal differences in the development of democratic institutions, and how the politics of identity operate in postcolonial Africa.
Museveni’s own contributions to the overthrow of Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko and to the political transformation of Uganda suggest the kind of change that may sweep Africa indecades to come.
What Is Africa’s Problem? gives a first-hand look at what those changes might be, how they might come about, and what they might mean yet Museveni himself agrees “cleanliness in leadership is one of the rarest commodities in Uganda”.
He told the Weekly Topic June 6, 1980, that “even leaders can turn into bad people. If something falls in milk, you must not let it stay there – but remove it before the milk gets bad. We should be careful. We must not only praise ourselves, but critic ourselves too or, the movement fails.”
He told Monitor in an interview June 26, 1997, “I was saddled by all types of unclean people in the UNLF government. Otherwise, things would have looked much better than they are today. Some unclean people are responsible for the suffering of the people of Uganda.”
He told Uganda Times, July 15, 1980 that bad politics in Uganda produced bad governments which have “plunged the country into the present crisis”.
He then told Uganda Times, August 3, 1980 that he is a freedom fighter and would feel insulted if he was called a politician.
“Politicians here in Africa do not have a good reputation. Africa is tired of leaders who cling to power against the wishes of the masses.”
But that patriotic, democratic Museveni last year ran for a fifth term in office, saying “this old man who has saved the country, how do you want him to go? How can I go out of a banana plantation I have planted that has started bearing fruits?”
For fear that he would outgrow the country’s age limit is 75, Museveni denied knowing his exact date of birth.
“My parents were illiterate and so did not know the date,” Daily Monitor quotes him as saying in his autobiography Sowing the Mustard Seed, published in 1997.