Opinion: Museveni gave the world a history lesson instead of explaining his manifesto

Today on the day of the nomination. The President who already had a small speech at the venue of the Electoral Commission (EC). He later held another one as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and President Museveni launched the Manifesto ahead of the 2021 Elections. Instead of showing pledges, promises and also what he himself has done in power. He went on a rant nearly going back to the big-bang theory.

Just as an example: “I pointed out to the country how the human being, initially only living in Africa until about 100,000 years ago, used his unique characteristics of his big brain, a hand that can shape things by holding and working and his bi-pedalism (walking on two legs), to make tools (stone, hammer, chisel, etc.) and use those tools to do work for purposes of producing or catching food (hunting, fishing, agriculture) and improving his quality of life” (Museveni, 02.11.2020).

Because, what use has the characteristics and the historical factors of human existence? I would expect that the President would talk about his own achievements and grandeur. That he has delivered and brought peace. Not that we as humans has evolved and learned techniques to make life better. That is for the Universities and the Humanities to explain. Not a supposed Presidential Candidate. His supposed to sell another story.

However, the President continues: “This ability of man to discover new technologies, reached a watershed point (a revolutionary boundary point) in the year 1440, when a German man by the names of Johannes Gutenburg, invented a Printing Press. Most of the previous tools were powered by human muscle” (Museveni, 02.11.2020).

It is just like the President wants to go on a historical journey. The President are using his time on events that changed humanity, but not things that he got to offer. This is because he has less of that to offer after all the time in office. Why is he going on lecturing like this.

The history professor continues: “Our chiefs, had misused the 400 years, fighting one another; but the Europeans, had used those 400 years to discover answers to our only reliable defenders: the long-distances of Africa and its jungle, rivers and forests; the mosquitoes and the tsetse flies; and the ferocious-tribesmen, but poorly led by the chiefs, poorly armed and isolated from one another by the same myopic chiefs but also by the difficult terrain” (Museveni, 02.11.2020).

The President continues and continues, lingers on historical pieces and anecdotes, which would make sense if he was lecturing at Makerere, Kyambogo or UCU even. However, the President is supposed to bring a Manifesto launch. Not a speech for a History Society. The Yes-Men says it shows his great sense and reasoning, but for me it’s rambling a long story. Because, he has to talk about other things… than what he and his party done over the years.

When his finally done with the history lesson, one of the minor passage on the manifesto is this: “Once we grasp that the NRM insists on Patriotism to deal with our prosperity and Pan-Africanism to deal with both prosperity and the strategic security of Africa, we cannot forget to remember that that prosperity will not come, until our society undergoes social-economic transformation as alluded to earlier. How will this come about? It will come about as a consequence of everybody going to school, having good health and entering the money economy by the masses invading the enclave economy and entering the four sectors for wealth and for jobs” (Museveni, 02.11.2020).

Where his using the same old stick and things we have heard before. The Prosperity gospel of this President. That apparently never gets old, but only get new versions at every season. He also continued on one of his pet peeves: “Since 1986, the economy has recovered and expanded. The colonial enclave has been restored after the destruction by Idi Amin” (Museveni, 02.11.2020).

That sort of statement is a broken record and been told so many times. It is lingering within the radios that haven’t worked since Ronald Reagan gave Museveni a handshake. While the President has a dream: “The most inclusive effort we are making to change the structure of the Society, is abolishing the culture of subsistence farming” (Museveni, 02.11.2020).

But trust me, the man doesn’t invest properly in the dream and therefore, it will be another of his nightmares. He talk big game, but will not deliver. Just like with all of promises during the lockdown. This one here is no different. Not like he will offer mechanical farming or even ensure the state properly gives subsidies to the farmers. That is a cost the state cannot carry and isn’t interested in doing. That is why this is a dream.

The ironies of his reign came in his final words after the long history lecture and anecdotes of the manifesto. A Manifesto of over 300 pages and still he needed to bring a lesson of human development.

The final words was: “We need to budget properly” (Museveni, 02.11.2020). The President is right about that. The man should know about this, but he always ensure his things are covered and that he has contingency funds, also confidential funds to secure funds for what he needs. Therefore, the state cannot fix the roads, schools and whatnot.

The history lesson was a wasted opportunity… the man could have explained his case and shown character. However, he rather wanted to speak about historical achievements of others. Trying to put himself into context of the ones who has been long dead. I don’t know why, but that is maybe his ego thing. Peace.

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