“Nothing is not my business in this country: everything is my business, everything. The state of education, the state of our economy, the state of our agriculture, the state of our transport, everything is my business” – President Hastings Kamuzu Banda (1972)
In 2021 we can wonder if General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni wants to distort his whole legacy. He has already destroyed much of it and with more time in office. Now with a new term starting soon. The Self-Styled President for Life is soon ending up like Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko. Why do I say that? Mobutu was a man Museveni despised. However, it is so unique that he ends up replicating him.
Mobutu ruled Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo) from 1965 to 1997. He ruled the Republic for 32 years after being installed by the CIA and Belgium after the assassination of Patrice Lumumba. Since then he had all power and the state was the personification of him.
What is making him more similar to Yoweri is that they we’re both getting old. In 1997 Mobutu was 67 years old and had cancer. His cabinet was decaying. The army was hated by the general public. An army that killed and preyed on the citizens for their cuts. Mobutu owned several of businesses and the treasury was his personal bank. There was reports that he had an wealth of USD $4 billion.
Another trick Mobutu had to prolong his time in office. Was the usage of Kleptocracy. Where the President held meeting with rivals, chiefs and opponents. Later he would appoint these persons into his cabinet or create positions for them. They became Ministers or at a leaders at a Governmental Parastatal. A place where they didn’t remain for long, but got enough coin to not create their own power-base.
I am just saying these things, as we can see similar things is happening to Museveni. Museveni is on the other hand celebrating 35 years since his takeover. Nevertheless, his popularity have been dwindling. He has used the tricks of Mobutu and become Ugandan answer to DRC’s Mobutu. If there was someone like a young Yoweri in the near proximity. They would have the rights to topple him and install someone else. As Museveni used all reasons and said it was for the betterment of DRC to get Laurent Kabila as the President there in 1997. Therefore, Museveni should be careful. Because, the old man has done this to others and his own actions could be applied to himself.
Yoweri Museveni is a walking contradiction and he knows it. If not his deluded and forgotten everything he did in the past. Something I doubt, as the old man is always telling stories that benefit him in the current time. That is how he white-wash history and ensures it fit his any given whims. Just like all the random people have on his pay-roll, as Presidential Advisors and appointed to a government parastatal.
The people despise the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), Special Force Command (SFC), Uganda Police Force and all the other state security agencies. These entities are all destroying civil society and easily taking lives. They are state sponsoring violence and the civilians are their causalities. The President promotes this violence, usage of force and arbitrary arrests without any proper cause or justification for the action in the first place. Other then these people are associated with opponents and that’s why they are fair game.
We can wonder if Museveni wants to fall out like Mobutu. If he wants to fall out of favours in the West. Be a relic and a man who is a pariah. A man who went from being a donor darling into the total tyrant, which his currently proud of. The old man doesn’t care and he doesn’t mind it seems. That his turning into the 2021 edition of Mobutu. Where his kleptocracy and “Mobutuism” will destroy the republic. Where Museveni have skimmed off the top and built a extensive entourage of soothsayers, a rag-tag team of compromised opponents and loyalists. That is why there are former NRA historicals and Ghetto “Superstars” who was there to boost the President ahead of 2021 election.
Nevertheless, we are now on the 35 year of his reign. The man who promised “fundamental change” and promised more then he have ever given to the Republic. Instead he has turned into everything he promised to be different from. That is why his legacy is destroyed and what remains is how badly he wants to go out. There is no redeeming factor anymore. The old man had the opportunities, but he instead wants to become another Mobutu. Which is not a good look. When he spoke ill of everything Mobutu was about, but now he has become this man.
That what’s uncontrolled and absolute power does to you. It takes away your soul and whatever you possessed before and in return bathes in greed. This is why he resembles and have replicated the ones he promised to be different from. After 35 years in power. There should have been more positive things to look for. However, that train have left the station and there is no return. The General has ordered this meal and now he got to eat it. Even if it is bitter. Peace.