After Zimbabwe, people have started to blaze the horns and expecting other dictators to fall. Well, I am humbly saying, I hope so, but don’t expect so. Unless, there are vital changes, unless they lose their support and their weapons behind them. If the support and armies are not behind them, than the Robert Mugabe story can be repeated elsewhere. But it will be different from state to state, from president to president. As each President has built around a stronger or weaker system of orders, strength of institutions and also personal cult around themselves. We also know they are using their myths and their state media to serve their interests.
President’s that I will honor with a mention are Joseph Kabila, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Pierre Nkurunziza, Faure Gnassingbe, Hailemariam Desalegn, Isias Afwerki, Omar Al-Bashir, Idriss Deby, Paul Biya, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasango, Mahamadou Issoufou, Paul Kagame and Ismaïl Omar Guelleh. These are a list of honorable mentions, there several more that could be put on a list, but these was the first to mention, if feel someone is left behind. Please leave that in the comments down below(I know that sounds like a Youtuber, but I had to take inspiration from somewhere).
All of these men in their republics knows that they use power and security organizations to quell, silence and oppress their opposition. They are keeping control of the state reserves and has their party as filled of loyalists and cronies. All of this states are militarized, there is state controlled media and has various of different rules. They are strict and controlling from the state houses and the freedom in these states are limited. The state and business are usually connected with the President and his family. If not there are cronies who also have business and fortunes. So the dictators are for the moment having control and making sure the people is not uprising.
What we can know is that if these dictators take it to far and the fear for the repercussion from the state. So as long as the public and opposition are detained for arbitrary arrests and citizens hurt after demonstrations. While the state reserves and donor funds are eaten by the elite, while the countries are kept poor. As long as the republic’s are poor, than they still need more foreign donors and supply. So it is good for the dictators to keep their nations poor, as the Western and Multi-National Organization can continue to supply them with non-binding funds. That they are free to use on military and one themselves, instead of building institutions and good governance, it is all controlled by the one man on top and his loyal subjects around.
This is well known and for different reasons, these men should always worry about their decisions and their capacity to rule. Nothing last for ever. There will be some who might want to take their place and replace them. Someone will always be opposition and fight for democratic values, but sooner or later they will succeed. It is just a matter of how and how long it takes.
They are all based on strong military control, even minor specialized groups who are like Presidential Guards/Republican Guards or Special Forces. These are controlled usually by either relations or trusted generals, who are loyal not to turn against the President. The Presidents promotes and demotes leaders inside their armies often, the same in the police force/service to compensate and also to make sure the old guard of warrior and soldiers who fought for the President. Will not be seen as a threat or have power to ever topple him. That is why they are trying to distance themselves from the ones who brought them to power, because they will know their inner-tactics; that is why the stalwarts and historicals are more public personas, but not people of power. Even if they did have so in past.
That is done to secure the role and secure the commander-in-chief, even the President always need the historical battles and origin story to keep himself relevant and prove his place. He don’t needs ones who fought with him and his cause. They will just ask for checks- and balances on the promises made in liberation and in the battles against previous oppressors. That is why they are not entangled with these, unless they give them phony medals and grant money, to hopefully silence them.
Still, with all the protocol and strength of the army, they are still vulnerable as they know this too. That why they are calculating and trying to find out the next person who wants their role and their positions. Which is why there are changes in their cabinets, Vice-Presidents and Prime Ministers. Until they find persons and people they trust to not ambitions to overpower them. Also, they want to stop other MPs and other voices to install hope in the population and to create popularity that is bigger then their personal cult and their teachings.
However, there are ways to bring them down by actually not fearing the state security organizations, waiting for the President to act swiftly without feeling the tensions within his own party. Like President Robert Mugabe did recently. If not actually know you have lost all legitimacy in recent elections, but not willing to step down like Yayha Jammeh. That was ECOWAS and Senegal who intervened on behalf of the newly elected President. Which was the reason for the dictator ending in Exile recently.
Therefore, we have to hope for leaders who have capacity to capture the pulse of the people who are oppressed, of the ones who are marginalized and the ones who are captured by the state. Since the dictatorships doesn’t give up easy, unless there is no escape. History has learned us that and therefore, the lesson needs to be learned. We in our time cannot give in and accept that the liberty, freedom and government are taken by one elite and one ruler.
Certainly, it will not be easy, the fight against oppressors will cost and take time. That is proven time in and time out. The same will happen here, but with their aging and their lack of control. Their trust in family members and trying to create family dynasties. They might fall like Mugabe. Even if some are sons of former presidents. Doesn’t mean they can continue owning the title and running the state. It is proven that is not accepted and that is all within reason. This is what happen in Zimbabwe and we understand if similar events transpire elsewhere.
In the end it is all up to the public for change, the public reactions and their demonstrations, boycotts and their inner works to dismantle the oppressive dictatorship. Often the international community and international counterparts will not intervene as they wants mineral resources and other commodities for cheap; and as long one partner can be bribed, the workers and resources don’t need to paid-in-full or proper. This prospers foreign investments and multi-national companies. This is not well-spoken of, but should be revealed, as it is so often shady dealings with resources sold or land to investors from these dictators. They are funding the state and military, that together with aid are keeping these regimes afloat.
With all this in mind, we have to continue the struggle against these men that are keeping people hostage and taking away freedom and liberty, freedom to assembly and to be activists. They are licensing and authorizing businesses and if people are allowed to have parties and civil society organizations. This are all in different ways, the same with the media and other public ways of sharing information. These are often controlled like all else are in society and in the republic.
We can just wonder if we let this repeat itself, let them continue to oppress and letting these multi-national corporations earn on this forms of government. If we can accept that aid and multi-national organizations keeping budgets and keeping them as leaders, because if these leaders would struggle more economically, more loyalists and more cronies would actually deflect quicker. Also, that if the economy struggle and the security organizations are not paid-off. They could instead of turning their weapons against the public, they could turn against the government/regime. So there are many ways together with public uprising that is needed to topple these dictatorships. Peace.
“Museveni: My critics always forget to mention that I was democratically elected, the others were not. Everyone in Uganda can challenge me, everyone can vote, the elections are free. Not many countries have achieved what we did. One third of the seats in parliament are reserved for women, five seats for youth, five for workers, five for the disabled and 10 for the army. How many democracies with such a record do you know?” (Koelbl & Puhl, 2016).
Just as the knowledge of the all the state businesses and properties of President Museveni that he has amassed over the 31 years in power in Uganda. It reminds more and more of the state of affairs under President Mobutu. Mobutu Sese Seko was a dictator that President Museveni was proud to ouster and reinstate President Laurent Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). So that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni knows about Mobutu’s fatal fall, is certainly known.
President Museveni has gotten rid of other dictators before the fall of Mobutu, he even knew or had knowledge of the death of the plane of Juvenal Habyarimana, the plane who got shot down in April 1994, as his fellow comrade General Paul Kagame of Rwandan Patriotic Front was on the way to overthrow the current regime there. Also that the President Museveni together with President Milton Obote overthrew President Idi Amin in the late 1970s. So the current President Museveni has been involved in lots of armed change of power, he is even rumored and not verified if he had knowledge of the death of John Garang of SPLA and the South Sudan.
Still, the man who has used force and taken weapons to change history and his own fate, again and again, also to get puppets in states around. Have certainly thought of the demise of the men he got rid off. So when the stories of the last year of Mobutu sounds like this:
“For 32 years President Mobutu has treated Zaire like a toy and used its rich mineral reserves like his own private bank account. He plundered its mines, insisting their entire annual profits be transferred to personal accounts overseas” (…) ““We had to be close to the regime to do business,” admitted Mohammed Abdul, a Lebanese businessman yesterday as he fortified his shop for an expected pre-Kabila pillage by Zaire’s ruthless and brutal army. The Lebanese are hated by Zaireans who believe they colluded with President Mobutu to plunder the country’s diamonds” (Kinshasa, 1997).
“The decision by the Swiss Federal Council came a day after judicial and police authorities seized his luxurious villa at Savigny near the lakeside resort of Lausanne. The 30-room mansion is estimated to have a market value of more than $5 million” (…) “After three decades of plundering the mineral wealth of his country, Mobutu is believed to have accumulated an enormous fortune. There have been persistent reports that he has stashed as much as $4 billion in Switzerland, but a government review of the country’s 400 banks last week said that none reported having accounts in his name” (Drozdiak, 1997).
Just as you think the dictator of Democratic Republic of Congo would be different than the current one in Uganda, your terribly wrong and President Museveni tries to keep it hidden, the way he is using the state reserves on himself and build his wealth. Just like President Mobutu was trying to move the money to the Swiss accounts, President Museveni has his own way.
A look into Museveni:
“The way the Museveni family is paid royalties, or rent, by escrow accounts for their ownership of the title deeds of the Stanbic Bank business name in Uganda (what was once the Uganda Commercial Bank, Uganda’s largest banking group) is the way it is paid for their ownership of other apparently South African or foreign-owned businesses in Uganda” (…) “These sources say that it is Stanbic Bank that is used to finance businesses like Roofings Ltd, Speke Resort Munyonyo, the J&M Hotel along the Kampala-Entebbe highway, businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba’s hotel and Kampala International University, all of which actually belong to the Museveni family” (The London Evening Post, 2012).
This is just the business side of it, it could be worse by now and they could own more pieces of all the businesses that are bailed out or even getting tax breaks by the government, because who knows the true deeds or royalties going to accounts owned by the royal Ugandan Museveni family. So the next says more about the value of the Museveni family and their estates.
“Museveni’s wealth includes ranches in Rwakitura and Kisozi Uganda which accommodates over 2,000 healthy cows which produce thousands of liters of milk daily. The Uganda president makes at least Ush 100 million per month from his farm” (…) “Apart from livestock farming, Museveni has interests in real estate, hotel industry as well as transport industry. He has also invested heavily in the banking industry” (…) “The longest serving president of Uganda is estimated to be worth $ 700 million” (Venasnews, 2016).
So when you see how the Museveni family has become as wealth and rich as President Mobutu did. Mobutu had after his 30 years of dictatorship stashed away US$ 4 Billion into Swiss Bank Accounts, what is more uncertain is the total value of the 30 years President Museveni rule in Uganda. What is right now and known is the businesses that the President is involved in or having ownership in. Secondly is the knowledge of estates, as well as ranches in Uganda with livestock that the President owns. Therefore, the extended wealth of secret bank accounts and not revealed businesses could show the true value of the Museveni family.
With the knowledge of this and the sudden departure that President Museveni together with President Kagame, as they forced the dictator away in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I don’t think there will be an intervention on President Museveni from one of the neighbors. Still, the world can see the dictator protocol is kept by Museveni as he himself have crafted ways of emptying the state coffers. Therefore, that the riches, the estates and the value of Museveni have risen over the three decades in power isn’t strange. What is more worrying is how he has been able to keep is wealth and ownership.
That President Museveni wishes to look like a hardworking rancher and that he works for his fortune. The yields are coming from hard-work and dedication. At the same time the ownership in banking industry and in other parts of the economy shows how much control the family and the President does have. The private industries and companies are run or ordered directly from the State House.
So that President Museveni said this in 1997 as he overthrew Mobutu is now insane:
“Mr. Museveni’s ideology is simple. For too long, he says, African politicians have hoodwinked the common people, manipulating tribal sentiments to stay in power and steal millions of dollars in foreign aid and taxes. A former Marxist, he sees the true struggle on the continent as one between corrupt leaders and the dirt-poor people they exploit” (McKinley Jr., 1997).
So he said for to long African Politician played the commoners, using the sentiments of tribe on their populations and using this tools to stay in power, while doing so taking an emptying the state reserves and donor funding to themselves. Therefore, 20 years since he stood for this and said these words, he has now done the same.
President Museveni of today would assassinate himself or overthrow himself… since he is now the Mobutu of Uganda, he has the character of the men he overthrew in past. He should be worried, because the ghosts of the past and the reckless leadership will follow him and that is why he trust the guns more than people. Since his own insincere political game might catch up with him.
On some levels now, there aren’t much difference between President Mobutu and President Museveni. Peace.
Drozdiak, William – ‘Swiss Freeze Mobutu’s Assets; Reports Put Worth at $4 Billion’ (18.05.1997) link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/africa/zaire/swiss.htm
McKinley Jr., James – ‘Uganda Leader Stands Tall in New African Order’ (15.06.1997) link:http://www.nytimes.com/1997/06/15/world/uganda-leader-stands-tall-in-new-african-order.html
Kinshasa, Mary Braid – ‘Mobutu takes the money and runs to a safe haven’ (16.05.1997) link: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/mobutu-takes-the-money-and-runs-to-a-safe-haven-1261945.html
Koelbl, Susanne & Puhl, Jan – ‘’This Is Our Continent, Not Yours’ (10.06.2016) link: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-ugandan-president-yoweri-museveni-a-1096932.html
The London Evening Post – ‘Revealed: How the Museveni family owns Uganda’ (03.01.2012) link: http://www.thelondoneveningpost.com/comments/revealed-how-the-museveni-family-owns-uganda/2/
Venasnews – ‘Yoweri Museveni Salary and Wealth’ (27.06.2016) link: https://venasnews.com/yoweri-museveni-salary-and-wealth/
I know it is supposed to be celebration of 30 years of NRM rule in Uganda. I have discussed the economic situation and democratic deficit now and then. Today I write about something I have thought about for a long time and think is necessary to be told. Never enough as long as President Museveni is a leader and also President Kagame and the son-of Laurent, Joseph Kabila in Democratic Republic of Congo. There is a dark history in the way President Museveni took power in Uganda and right after. Here will not directly tell about the atrocities between the UNLA and NRA. There we’re massive breaches in the middle of the civil-war. This here will be snippets of histories from both former loyal men and documents that have been released recently that we’re not public before. They tell how Museveni ushered Kabila, used force to earn wealth for himself and Uganda, how he gave way to Kagame after he helped Museveni gain power in Uganda, And lastly a little story about the recent adventure of Museveni in South Sudan as loyalty to President Kiir. Some tricks doesn’t die easy, as long as he gain something with the use of arms and guns, President Museveni will take it. Take a look!
Gen David ‘Tinye’ Sejusa revealed this murders as ordered by Museveni:
“That after accusing Gen Kazini of sending money to elements of the SPLA, Museveni “ordered his execution by procuring the services of a 6ft 6in man to murder Kazini”. He went on to say: “Forget that trash of [Lydia] Draru. In case of Kazini, again some forex bureau, originally said to belong to Gen Kazini, but [which] actually belonged to a known relative of Museveni, was later to be used to pass the money for the payment of the executioners of Kazini, to the accounts of the assassins.” (…)”He said: “For those in the know, again Andrew Kayiira was said to possess money before he was gunned down by Museveni’s goons.” (Gombya 2013).
Human Rights Violations right after the Bush-War:
“NRA embarked on revenge against people from Acholi, Lango and Teso; and second, the collapse of discipline within the NRA coincided with insurgencies in the North and East. Both the NRA and thevarious armed groups in the areas continued to attack and kill civilians. As a matter of fact, the same strategies of gross violations of human rights the UNLA had used in the Luwero Triangle and West Nile are being used by the NRA in these areas. Hospitals, schools, churches, granaries and houses have been destroyed by the the NRA. The insurgents have likewise looted, raped and murdered people from their own home areas. (Otunnu, 1992).
Killings in 1993:
“There is no evidence that the Government sanctioned political killings in 1993. There were, however, reports of extrajudicial killings. For example, on June 21, police and internal security officials arrested four intelligence officers accused of murdering two prisoners in Iganga district on June 7. The case received considerable media attention. Two of the four accused officers were released without charge; the other two were being held in Makindye military prison without charge at year’s end” (U.S. Department of State, 1994).
Museveni support of Kagame:
“Despite Museveni consistence denials, Uganda has given the RPF military support since it began the civil war in 1990. Kagame, a Tutsi who headed Ugandan military intelligence before taking over the RPF, served closely with Museveni in Ugandan civil war” (EXDIS, 1994). Mr. Claver Kanyaryshoki reminiscing: “In September 1990, precociously on 11th September , a three party summer was organized between MOBUTU, HABAYARIMA and MUSEVENI to control the borders of his country and to avoid the invasion of other countries. On that occasion, they issued a declaration signed by the three heads of state that was meant to prevent the destabilization of a neighboring country from Uganda. As the threat became clearer despite all these efforts, president HABAYARIMA sent his foreign affairs minster to MUSEVENI on the 24th September to tell him that the attack was imminent. MUSVENI reiterated that these were rumors. He let HABAYARIMA know that: “he did not to lose single second of sleep thinking about an attack from Uganda, as this would never be the case as long as (MUSEVENI] would hold power”. Later on, MUSEVENI claimed later on the same day he met Fred RWEGEMA, after receiving the Rwandan Minister Casimir BIZIMUNGU. He said he calmed down the Rwandese. However, in fact his meeting with RWEGEMA was intended to put the finishing touches on the details of the invasion. MUSVENI was to attend A UN Summit on the rights of the child in New York. He knew he would not be around and wanted that he operations be carried out in his absence. By doing so, he would then pretend to be innocent or not aware of them. This is an old habit in Uganda. Even in October 1982 with Rwandese nationals were deported, President Milton OBOTE was by any chance away in Italy” (Unofficial OTP Translation, 2006).
Museveni fallout with Laurent Kabila because of business:
“At first, in 1997, Uganda seemed ready to tolerate many of Kabila’s shortcomings if the new president of the DRC would address bigger economic issues, such as US$2 billion road linking Uganda and Kisangani and the need to train police and anti-smuggling units. Both Rwanda and Uganda had hoped that by helping Kabila take power, they would ensure security on their borders and also benefit economically from North Kivu’s natural resources including minerals, gold and diamonds. By May 1997, Ugandan businessmen had jumped into the fray, selling everything from frozen chicken to plastic mugs to Congo. But Kabila had other plans. The Kisangani project also never materialized. This lack of interest on Kabila’s side to open up Congo to Uganda’s business interests was a critical blow to the relationship between Museveni and Kabila” (International Crisis Group, 1999). “Kabila was assassinated on 17 January 2001, the date set for commemorating the 40th anniversary of the death of Lumumba, whose successor he claimed to be. No light has ever been shed on this crime either” (Garreton, 2008).
The plundering under Museveni in 90s in the DRC:
“At the request of the panel, the Ugandan authorities provided extensive data, including production and export values for agricultural products such as coffee, cotton, tea and tobacco. In terms of minerals, the data also cover gold and coltan production and export figures” (…)”The gap between production and export could originate from the exploitation of the natural resources of the Democratic Republic of Congo” (…)”Ugandan gold export does not reflect this country’s production, levels but rather that some exports might be “leaking over the boarders” from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The central bank reported that, by September 1997, Uganda had exported gold valued $105 Million, compared with $60 million in 1996 and $23 Million in 1995” (…)”Second, the data from the Ugandan authorities are silent with regard to diamond production and export” (…)”These diamond exports are suspicious for many reasons: (a) Uganda have no known diamond production; (b) Diamond exports from Uganda are observed only in the last few years, coinciding surprisingly with the occupation of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo” (…)” (c)” (…)”external observers on the need to control the rich diamond zone near Kisangani and Banalia” (UN, P: 19, 2001).
Museveni’s adventure in South Sudan:
“Observers question how deployment of Uganda’s army, the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF), in South Sudan is paid for and who profits from it. At the beginning of the war, when Juba’s fall to the insurgents was a possibility, some of South Sudan’s national reserves as well as senior politicians’ assets were sent to Uganda” (…)”8 A return to intense combat or a protracted war in Uganda’s areas of operation would raise the financial and operational costs of the deployment. In February 2015, the defence ministry requested a supplementary budget allocation, in part to cover South Sudan operations, thus suggesting that they are as much strategic as economically motivated” (…)”Ugandan officials say these early payments do not appear in the national budget and speculate they may have been used for personal, not official purposes”.“The Report of the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs on the Ministerial Policy Statement and Budget Estimates for the Fiscal Year 2015/16”, Parliament of Uganda, May 2015 (hardcopy with Crisis Group); Crisis Group Report, South Sudan: A Civil War by Any Other Name, op. cit., p. 23” (ICG, 2015)
I don’t think I just discuss this deep subject to much. The stories and history tells enough and also the sadness of what the Ugandan Army has done after NRA/NRM took power in Uganda. This here is tales and stories of the darkness and shadow of President Museveni. Not only economic destruction in Uganda to personal gain, or democratic deficit to keep himself in power, this here is how he lived by the guns to keep loyal leaders in the neighborhood and also gain riches while looting the DRC. Peace.
EXDIS – Unclassified American Government official update: SC-12252-94 ‘Rwanda Update’ (12.04.1994).
Otunnu, Ogenga – ‘Socio-Economic and Political Crisisin Uganda: Reason for Human Rights Violations and Refugees‘– Refuge Periodical, Canada – (October 14-17,1992)
Gombya, Henry D – ‘EXCLUSIVE: Museveni “ordered murder of Kayiira, Kazini and many others” (25.08.2013) link: http://www.thelondoneveningpost.com/exclusive-museveni-ordered-murder-of-kayiira-kazini-and-many-others/
International Crisis Group – ‘ICG Democratic Republic of Congo Report Nº 3’ (21.05.1999)
International Crisis Group – ‘South Sudan: Keeping Faith with the IGAD Peace Process’ Africa Report N°228′ (27.07.2015)
Unofficial OTP Translation – Witness KVB46 – RP 31398-31403 BIS – ‘Report on the Interview between Counsel Yaovi Degli and Mr. Kanyarushoki Claver’ (20.11.2006)
United Nation – S/2001/357: ‘Report of the Panel of Expert on the Illegal Exploration of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo’ (12.04.2001)
United Nation – DOCUMENT ICC 01/04-01/06 – ‘REPORT FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT’ (03.12.2008) Written by Robert Garreton.
U.S. Department of State – ‘UGANDA HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1993’ (31.01.1994).