By Bobi Wine
On account of old age and increased arrogance, Gen. Museveni of late speaks the truth about his evil schemes, or rather the truth escapes from his lips. That was the case last week when he took to the podium to deliver the State of the Nation address, which he should not be delivering in the first place.
Before I go to that, other incidents where he has spoken the blunt truth about his evil schemes include when he acknowledged condoning and ordering mine and other opposition leaders’ torture in Arua by his guards in 2018. In the immediate aftermath of the 2021 rigged election, he purportedly told an NRM caucus meeting that he while Ugandans were shouting “Bobi Wine” and “People Power” everywhere, he ignored them because he knew he had ‘his army’ and the ‘Electoral Commission’ to do his bidding.
Most recently during the election of the Speaker of Parliament, he showered praises on Mr. Owiny-Dollo and went as far as saying that during the campaign season, he was executing duties on his behalf- the same man we had filed a Presidential Election Petition before, shortly before he discredited himself. It was clear from Gen. Museveni’s statements that the Chief Justice is firmly in his grip. Before then, Museveni had publicly admitted that his guards, the Special Forces Command were responsible for the kidnap and murder of so many citizens. What more? He spoke of how his people were responsible for the murder of our comrade boxer, Zebra Ssenyange Mando.
Therefore it was not surprising to me and most citizens when last week he spoke of his new strategy to employ sons and daughters of his cronies to strategic government positions! In fact, this is what has been going on for a very long time. Gen. Museveni has for long personalised our country and runs it as though it were his personal home or property!
He promised to deploy in public offices his clique’s descendants and “children of the rich” to curb corruption. In his wisdom, the rich are incorruptible: wealth connotes virtue; poverty connotes vice. What a shame!
Gen. Museveni’s revelation is a fact already well-known to the public. For decades under his rule, nepotism has been the unwritten criteria upon which citizens are hired or appointed to public offices. Out of public resources, Gen. Museveni and his inner circle have built a private empire to enrich themselves at the expense of ordinary citizens — the vast majority of whom are poor. Most of the “descendants” he intends to deploy in public offices come from those families that have gained wealth through corruption or through opportunities denied to the rest of the citizens.
He feigns ignorance about the fact that corruption is rampant today largely because of his leadership’s policy of patting on the back government officials implicated in corruption scandals. After all, it is usually his relatives and associates implicated as we saw in the 1997 junk choppers’ saga. And recently at the height of the COVID19 pandemic when his daughter-in-law mysteriously received UGX 6.5b to supply 2 oxygen plants to national hospitals but did not deliver by the contractual deadline. Nevermind that the same amount could have purchased at least 13 such plants!
Using the army to brutalize local fishermen, the fishing industry is now firmly controlled by Gen. Museveni’s family and business associates. His relatives are running a monopoly of sorts in the most profitable businesses.
They have amassed wealth, grabbed poor people’s land, and are now in an advanced stage of establishing an empire! Key offices in ministries and public bodies are populated by his inner circle. We all saw during elections how Gen. Museveni outdid himself by bribing some of our supporters to turn against me in exchange for material gain, and in almost no minute mock them for not having a back.
This is what happens when a ruler gathers absolute power around himself. Gen. Museveni and the people he is describing now came here as paupers without anything. They were a ragtag group of people with torn shirts and pants, lice dropping off their clothes. Ordinary citizens gave them cows. They raided our fathers’ and grand fathers’ gardens and took whatever was in there. Today, he has the guts to revile the poor people and call them corrupt and needy, because he has made them so.
Our task is not yet complete. Gen. Museveni’s statements spell doom for our nation. The poor people who are the vast majority must rise up and defend themselves from a small, unpopular clique that is overfed and wealthy at the expense of all citizens.
The National Unity Platform believes that all Ugandans must be given a chance. The saying that to those who have more will be added, must not be the driving force in nation building. Countrymen and women, let us all work for a future where you or your child will not be denied an opportunity to contribute to their nation simply because of their tribe or origin.