Opinion: Why isn’t the NRM and Museveni celebrating 11th April 1979?
It is special that the National Resistance Movement are celebrating the Independence Day on the 9th October and the NRM on the 26th January every year. The President is busy celebrating the end of the Obote II and the Independence from the British Empire, but something weird is up. Especially, considering how the President the National Resistance Army/Movement are so proud of being part of what toppled the Presidency of Idi Amin. They are still never celebrating an important day.
The NRM and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni haven’t in years been celebrating the 11th April of 1979. It is like a day from the calender, that has vanished in thin air. The Independence of 9th October 1962 is relevant. The victory over Obote II and the bush-war, the 26th January 1986 is carved in stone. They got to celebrate it in lavish and nothing is speared in this manner.
However, the 11th April is forgotten or is done on purpose. Because Milton Obote remembers Museveni’s way of liberating Uganda on that day: “ On 11 April, 1979 when Kampala fell to the Kikosi Maalum and TPDF, Museveni was in Fort Portal staying with Princess Elizabeth Bagaya in the Omukama’s Palace which the TPDF who had captured the Town never damaged at all. On that same day, the President of the UNLF and all his ministers who attended the Conference at which the UNLF was formed except Museveni were, like me, in Dar es Salaam” (…) “When the mobilisers and others left, Paulo Muwanga gave me what he and President Nyerere had discussed. Paulo reported that in the long meeting with President Nyerere, the President kept repeating and emphasising three points. The first was that 11 April, 1979 was a glorious day for him, the President and Milton Obote who had overthrown a most brutal dictator. The second was that he, the President, was very much pained that his “comrade” Milton Obote was not happy and the third was that he, the President, could not understand why his comrade Milton Obote was regarding Lule and the UNLF as anything other than flies falling on a carcass. Paulo reported that President Nyerere used the word comrade and the expression “flies falling on a carcass” repeatedly” (Milton Obote – ‘THE UPC ROLE IN THE REMOVAL OF AMIN – PAPER BY A. MILTON OBOTE)
Because, certainly if Amin’s rule was bad and Museveni was proud of taking part of the overthrow of him. The President of today would have celebrated this, but alas, it seems more to be part of his history, that he wants to erase and not speak so loud about. Since, his role in the overthrow of Amin wasn’t as successful nor as big as the President wants it to be. That is why, he cannot celebrate a military victory, where he was hanging out in Fort Portal, when someone else invaded Kampala. That is why the President celebrates the 26th January and not 11th April. Since, in January it was him entering Kampala, while in April it was someone else who did it.
That is maybe why it isn’t an important date to Museveni. His vanity and his lack of courage, that he has to rewrite history and make people forget of his mediocre role. Is the reason, why he doesn’t celebrate the victory over the Amin years. The brutality of Amin and the killings of Amin. As him as President didn’t get rid of him, but got rid of Obote II and others.
Certainly as a part of the newly transitional council, Museveni should take some credit and his participation from exile meant something. However, there are also evidence of his lacking resources and soldiers for the combat. But, the others saw the need for their and gave him a space in the National Consultative Council, interim government post-Amin.
That is why its weird for me, that he celebrates two other dates, which was ending of other people’s reign, but the President who usually credits himself as the saviour from dictatorships. Are not celebrating the one said to be the worst in time or his conscious playing tricks on him? As he feels guilty that he is acting as Amin and ordering killings in the same manner as he did?
Because, there got to be a reason, as this was a jubilant day and with celebrations in the streets of Kampala on the 11th April 1979. Surely, the ones celebrating on the streets might not be living anymore. But the legacy and the history of that day is out there.
Darton reported on the 30th April 1979: “ KAMPALA, Uganda — When Tanzanian soldiers and Ugandan exiles marched into Kampala on April 11, they found the carnage left by the institution.’ alized brutality of a state gone insane” (John Darton – ‘Idi Amin: A Savior Who Became The Creator of 8 Years of Horror’ 30.04.1979, New York Times).
With this in mind, the state should celebrate this. A ending of one tyrant, however the current one is maybe not so jolly about remembering his end. Since, that even remind him, that his day will come too? Peace.
FYI: If you calculate this year, 2019 is actually 40 years since it happen. A fourth decade since the Tanzanian army went in and invaded Uganda to free them from Amin’s rule. Still, it doesn’t seem to matter to Museveni. Just a footnote in the scheme of things.