The Special Forces Command was early around Serena Hotel to secure the premise before the debate happened as pictures of them walking around the premise from early morning. This here piece will be certain quotes and not every ones as the debate is like a long book. I have taken the ones I have though is worthy of compelling and thinking of. This here will be different then my first debate coverage as President Museveni, the ghost of Bushenyi was at the event; even if Shaka Ssali was mediator somebody who was under fire from NRM before the event as he has been forceful as a journalist under Voice of America African desk and channel.
It seemed like the famous show-up of the Yellow booklet of the President as every time he was hit with “facts” he lifted in the air as he had answers of the other candidates; like he is only one who knows and have the arguments. The worrying part was that the moderator’s was that Shaka Ssali was not asking question to the President, but to everybody else, check the footage again; if I am wrong! The other ones gave lot of more time to the candidates even if certain got less, but they gave more freedom then in the first one as Allan Kasajja was not a part of the team now.
I will start with a few fun quotes from Museveni, as I don’t fell taking the Mabirizi jokes, as they will you know get spread online by other people anyway; as he came late as he was eating Rollex at Kawempe and forgot time. Mbabazi was deflecting and diplomatic again, without saying much, but this time not sounding like NRM imposter which was refreshing as he promised a change with his manifesto this time. Prof. Baryamureeba was just talking education and wondered if he would show some more character as a man and a leader, which took too long time, so he didn’t make any progress from last time. Bwanika and Biraaro continue to sound like exiting outsiders. But they were not really rebuttal by Museveni, Mbabazi or Besigye. The trio was the Markie and especially Museveni. What angered me was his arrogance in the beginning; it was like he was mumbling when Kyayla had her opening statement. As he was not used that people questioned his leadership. He never got used to it or appreciated it as he had to use long time answer everybody; more than anybody else! I know I am not wrong in that assessment.
Top Quotes of the Debate – That we’re unnecessary:
Museveni: “Problem with this debate is that we don’t have enough time to exhaust the many points raised”. Second one from Museveni: “If you want good accountability don’t make false accusations. There is no government that is accountable like the NRM”.
I will now take the best Opening statements as I see it. They speak for themselves!
Bwanika Opening Statement: “30 years ago I went to Kabale to get into high school. I saw a group of men pull a young lady to rape her. With the help of1 man we rescued her. That’s why I am in politics. I cannot continue to watch while our country goes down the drain. I believe I can help this country to move forward our economy”.
Dr. Kizza Besigye opening statement: “Serena Conference Center has profound influence on his being here tonight. 1981, I was incarcerated in this building. Actually, in the direction where candidate Museveni came from, In Feb1981 I was incarcerated in this building (Serena hotel). In1980 I supported Museveni; when he was running for Uganda Patriotic Movement We fought a war because of rigged elections. But we disagreed later. I’m here because off mismanagement of our politics. I am here to help in any way to set that foundations for our country. Museveni spoke about the problems of Africa is leaders who don’t want to leave”.
Museveni Opening Statement: “Other time I did not come because I was far away. I am here to talk about Uganda, not fiction. In 1900, Uganda was made up of different kingdoms. In 1962, it became an enclave economy. In 1962, Uganda was hinged on 3 Cs (cotton, copper and copper) & 3 Ts (tobacco, tourism and tea). NRM has revived economy. I’m glad I came here to talk to you directly. I’m not sure about mode of debate because it doesn’t give enough time. Talk about Uganda as it is, not as it should have been because it wasn’t”.
Now I will show the basic different views on certain cases and themes of the evening; as the Debate took a lot of the many topics that was hard and also very specific. The candidates had different view on the matters and how they think of solving or the natural answer to the topic. The most highlighted for me was ICC and DRC/Somalia. Or the Army in the politics and the army abroad as a tool for the government, the important issue of accountability in any issue; while certain candidates fixed on that; the other ones deflected that one.
Kyalya: “I would make sure there’s total peace among the kingdoms”.
Museveni: “On regional insecurity, insecurity is ideological, sectarianism, religion or tribe. It is a step forward that we no longer have wars in Uganda”.
Mbabazi: “Democracy can thrive in Uganda; Ugandans are free to vote whoever they like”.
Biraro: “Ugandans don’t need to go to Somalia to develop it, Somalia should develop itself”.
Besigye: “You can only go to a country to support it if they already have stability but if it doesn’t have it, then you can’t add value”.
Baryamureeba: “Involving ourselves in other countries’ matters, we will raise more enemies thus creating terrorism”.
Bwanika: “Uganda should have pulled out of ICC yesterday, it doesn’t show any fairness, we should build our own African systems”.
More on ICC:
Museveni; “A founding signatory of the Rome Statute, on ICC: Yes we should be out of the ICC. ICC is not serious. It is partisan. There are so many people who should have been tried if they were serious. The way to go is to have our own African Criminal Court. Trying to work with ICC was a mistake” .
Here we see the different approach on the matter as the candidates see different reasons for the insecurity. The strangest thing was Bwanika and Museveni totally agreed on something and had an accord. It was a miracle that even Justice Ogola could not have for-seen!
When it comes to the basics of insecurity their approach either seemed to be on the rights of Ugandans and their life would not be safe if they was not taken cared of; as if the borders and army is strong, but not food on the table what is the value. And certain like Kyalya was putting it in the hands of having peace in between the kingdoms as they have been pushed together by the British colonial power and now has to be sorted out to generate security in the country. This here was not the most heated piece of the evening that came when they started to discuss the exploitations and army invasion of Democratic Republic of Congo.
On the DRC and Somalia:
Biraaro: “The UPDF’s continued role in Somalia is not a threat to stability in Uganda.
The only weakness with UPDF in Somalia is that it has no end. We need to put a time limits to operations”.
Besigye: “It is not a bad idea to send UPDF to help other countries. The problem is how it is done. Not only did we go into Congo without consensus but our mission was also contentious.
Deploying of UPDF must only be to support a political process. Going to enforce a political solution is reckless”.
Museveni rebuttled: “I object to Besigye’s stand. We intervened in Congo to defend ourselves. Congo was harboring rebels who were killing our people. We couldn’t accept that. Rwenzori is now peaceful. We defeated ADF and Rwenzori is now peaceful. Nobody can play with the security of Uganda when I am president”.
Besigye: “Unconstitutional behaviour of our government in Congo led to unpaid reparations worth $10bn. Ugandans are as aggrieved as the people of Congo as per the actions of our government”.
Mbabazi: “as an authority on the DRC matter, the ICC decision wasn’t based on the presence on Ugandan troops in Congo. He went to defend the Ugandan stance in the Hauge”.
While this question and topic was heated and made reasonable depth to the occasion as President Museveni was really irritated with Besigye questions on the actions done in the DRC, and also the way UPDF has been a part of the AMISOM mission in Somalia. While Museveni more said was a self-defense, though getting rid of two DRC presidents in short amount of time, doesn’t seem like self-defense for His Excellency, you would not just get rid of Mobutu, but also Laurent Kabila after that, that was not to destroy ADF and LRA, that was more and an government enterprise. But dear President, please continue to lie to yourself and your cronies. Mbabazi knows this an was very silent on the matter, nearly defending Museveni in a rare banter and tone, as if he tried to prove his loyalty towards him. Not being an alternative to him in a way; and a dangerous stance to do so if you supposed to candidate in contrast to another one, right?
Later the President had to say this:
“When I listen to the talk here, it confirms that there is one person who can manage Uganda”.
This one here is just classic Museveni as he want to confirm for himself that he can only run Uganda, that he believes as he eats of everybody in the country and want to continue the party that he has had since 1986. I expected him to say 1986 a little more than did, though he had to be a history teacher and count back to Amin and Obote, as he can’t counter to other presidents, as there been none other in the last 30 years.
On the Economic Prosperity:
Bwanika: “”Uganda’s economy is only $27b. It cannot even attract McDonalds”.
Kyayla: “”Ugandans have not endeavored to even learn Swahili yet it is a and official East African language, how do we expect to get jobs in Kenya and Tanzania?”
Besigye: “”If you have a corrupt system you cannot attract genuine investors, Ugandans should be helped to invest in their country.”
Barymueeba: “”If you go to our supermarkets here you will find mango juice manufactured in Cairo,We need to look at global competitiveness indicators. Rwanda beats us. So we do not compete”
Museveni: “Tax collection has gone up because of the investment. Indians are very dynamic business people… The talk here confirms that it is only me who can manage Uganda. These candidates want ready-made things”.
The issue here is the way Museveni thinks that his tax-collection is the basis of the investment climate, as if the stability and added workforce that does not add to the statics. The system need an overhaul as the State is not prioritizing or sufficient has mechanisms in place to generate the added value or regenerate the economy as it stagnates. Even if the corn or maize production has tripled since 1986, that does still not tell enough consider all the unemployed youth and little industry that are existing. That Uganda export is true and the country has ability to do so much more if the infrastructure and roads network had been a priority. The EAC is weak since the states has not used it well, or wanted to use it well, since they all have agendas. Nobody want to be the weak one. I was surprised by Prof. Barya as he proclaim that Rwanda has a better state then Uganda, as if the coffee export there is on the same level as Uganda and as the economy is better? That is a fiction as the size of the Rwandan economy is smaller and more fixed towards the government then in Uganda, as in Uganda it is a single elite who controls the economy and the materials that are exported. Something that need accountability and look into as the Kenyan need to look into the Tea and Sugar Cartels!
Mabirizi: “We need to invest more money in agriculture and tourism, Oil can spoil our environment. When you go to the international market oil is going down. So we should invest in agriculture”.
Bwanika: “Oil does not belong to anyone. It belongs to the people of Uganda” Abed Bwanika This notion that oil belongs to individuals should never be heard of. Oil belongs to Ugandans and not individuals”
Besigye: “Oil is certainly a curse in the hands of an unaccountable and corrupt regime. Oil can create complications including environmental disaster when mismanaged. In our plans, we think oil should be given specific attention and should have an authority. part of oil revenue should be saved for future generations”
Museveni: “The oil was discovered by the NRM… under my leadership and direct command. Uganda is now an exporter of human resource in terms of petroleum experts. Oil money will be used for infrastructure, science and innovation. It will not be used to import perfumes. I don’t think there is anybody who can be more accountable on oil revenue… we have a law passed by a multiparty Parliament”.
Besigye Rebuttled: “Oil was known to be in Albertine, even before Independence. He says NRM caucus was ‘ferried to Kyankwazi, drilled and came back to Parliament & reversed resolutions on oil law”.
Museveni: “”The British looked for between 1920 and 1956 and wrote a report that there was no oil”.
This here topic got heated as did the DRC adventure. The issue was how the Oil and what the oil-money can do. As the accountability is not there, as the WikiLeaks have shown and also how the Government has courted Tullow and sold the operations to other companies after that; there certainly some stories that is not told in the saga of Oil in Uganda. That I am sure of since Museveni want to eat that money, since he has been waiting on the operations of the oil-industry. The lie from Museveni was about the British as he want accept it wasn’t found before him. Since he is the man knows everything in Uganda and can assess anything; especially if he can earn money on it while the people or citizens will not. That is why he had to address Besigye and say he was wrong, as Besigye could never be right on any topic as he is not the man with the hat or the Museveni. Because Museveni is the only one who understands Uganda, you see how stupid that is Museveni? I don’t think so, because you were lying to your citizens on live-TV yesterday and without any scruples, you who started the evening as the history teacher and ended with lies!
Let me take the lie for what it is:
“In 1925, E.J. Wayland, director of the Geological Survey for the Uganda protectorate, mapped out indications of oil in the country to help re-spark exploration interest. In 1938, the Johannesburg-based African European Investment Company drilled the first exploration well, Butiaba Waki” (Oxfort Institute for Energy Studies, 2015).
I rest my case. 1925 and 1938 is ages before NRM even was birthed by President Museveni, even decades before he started Uganda Patriotic Movement. Get real or go home Museveni!
On the Age and longevity in Power towards the end for President Museveni:
“I think this is a wrong argument. It’s a diversion. People need to be given the right to choose”.
Well that is all you as you cannot see other people then yourself Mr. President. It is not a diversion. Your former self mister President said it was problem with African leaders that they overstayed in Power! Therefore you became what you claimed was an issue. Therefore it is not a diversion except you want to deflect it as you never seem to want to leave power as you see yourself the one fit. I am sure there are more people who can be fit as President as they can either be able or live into the position. As you weren’t born a President Museveni, you took the power with arms and rifles mister President! The People can choose you or not. But the way you play around with it is to keep the guns and rise fear to continue to stay in power. Which is not letting the people choose, but your choosing for them. And when you go to your farm, please take with you the Yellow Booklet or binder; enjoy the cows and calls to Daniel Arap Moi! Peace.
Oxford Institute for Energy Studies – ‘Oil in Uganda: Hard bargaining and complex politics in East Africa’ (Ocotber 2015).