Deputy government spokesperson, Rtd Col Shaban Bantariza, has challenged British MP Dr Paul Williams [Stockton South, Labour] to come and remove President Museveni from power if he dares.
Williams had just tweeted: “Tomorrow [Tuesday] in Westminster Hall, I will be leading a debate on democracy and the current political situation in Uganda.”
He went on: “After nearly 33 years in power, President Museveni is now a barrier to Uganda’s development. Earlier today, I spoke to @ntvuganda about the debate:”
The house will debate the infamous Arua fracas in which a number of legislators were arrested and allegedly tortured in the hands of the state following a motion Williams tabled on December 3, 2018.
Dr Williams is requesting UK parliament to condemn the arrest and torture of both Ugandan legislators and politicians and asking the house to pass a motion calling UK Prime Minister Theresa May and ministers to use the influence of the UK Government together with the European Union, the United Nations, the Commonwealth and other transnational bodies to put in place initiatives that will promote democracy in Uganda.
In April, he also requested the UK government to ask Museveni to retire, arguing that he has become an impediment to good governance.
In response, Bantariza cited Museveni’s achievements in Uganda and challenged Williams to indicate how the president was a problem.
“Dr Paul, President Museveni is a real problem; tarmac from every broader point to the next, Makerere university graduands from 2,000 to 13,000 today,” he noted.
He went on:”…power from 60mw-1kmw, literacy from 43℅-75℅, trade surplus in 2018, 6.1℅ of econ growth, Uganda 4th tourist destination in the world….!!”
He then dared Williams to “Come and Remove him [Museveni]!” it he can.
Sam Waswa, a Ugandan journalist, told Bantariza to first get his facts right: “Uganda isn’t 4th tourist destination in the world. It’s not in the top 50! We are still scratching surface on roads; more are still in dire state especially here in Kampala. And those 20k grads, give them my wishes trying to find those jobs!”
Bantariza replied and claimed that India, Scotland and Canada are the three countries Uganda follows.
“As for jobs for graduates, ask those who already have, particularly, the skilled ones! In any case, what starts first; job or competencies?!”
Tomorrow in Westminster Hall, I’ll be leading a debate on democracy and the current political situation in Uganda.
After nearly 33 years in power, President Museveni is now a barrier to Uganda’s development.
— Dr Paul Williams MP (@PaulWilliamsMP) January 7, 2019
Another concerned Ugandan Nyombi Richard Byemalo told Bantariza: “Watch how police humiliated, embarrassed and brutally arrested an EU diplomat plus a South Sudanese minister for taking shisha. These are all signs of a collapsed regime.”
Bantariza: “Collapsed state”?! Good news for you! No need for a coup d’etat, even for a few minutes like in some West African State! Just walk in, take over, and resuscitate the collapsed state! What’s the problem?!”
Bantariza told Ugandans who doubt Museveni’s rule that if ever the system had failed, they wouldn’t be where they are.
“Even Jesus Christ who resurrected the dead, was rejected by some, and millions today, Worship Him!”
He went on: “As for President Museveni, he didn’t capture state power last time, through witchcraft! Those who believed and trusted him re-elected him!”
Bantariza said job creation is unfortunately slower than graduates creation, but certainly, the trade surplus realised is a product of investment, and job creation.
“As we reskill more of some of those unskilled graduates, more graduates will get employed, many, by self!!”
Daniel Kalinaki, an editor at Nation Media Group and Author of “Kizza Besigye & Uganda’s Unfinished Revolution”, also tackled Bantariza.
“African dictators did not liberalise their broadcast spaces out of a love for free media. They did it out of a fear of coups,” Kalinaki pointed out.
Bantariza replied: “Assuming that were true, there is still a silver lining, on the dark crowd! The media took advantage of that liberalisation to do and achieve more than they otherwise would have!! So I think!!”