A delegation of foreign diplomats visited the National Unity Platform (NUP)/people power camp at Kamwokya and met with the embattled opposition party’s leaders. Details of what they discussed are known in security circles but according to the group’s spokesperson, Joel Senyonyi, the group reported to the diplomats, accusing the NRM Government of squandering donor funds and using them to acquire arms that are used against citizens.
NUP/people power, of all possible ideas that they could have raised, reportedly proposed to the diplomats that they should cut off financial support to Ugandans.
The proposal is not entirely new as the group’s leader, Bobi Wine, has spent much of his time visiting Western capitals including the US, lobbying donors to cut off aid to Uganda, basing on ridiculous allegations. What has been a suspicion of these dealings is now unveiled in broad daylight although opposition always applies similar tricks but which never bear results.
That NUP/people power lobbies negatively against Uganda is a sign of lack of a strong agenda with which to convince Ugandans and friendly international contacts to back it. In the whole world, anybody who flies abroad to negatively advocate against his or her own homeland is regarded with scorn with a lot of scorn but many actors in the political field have not realised this. That trick worked in the past but today, Western countries have their own problems and have little time to admit “native gossip”.
Even then, they have sufficient information on what’s happening in Uganda since they have intelligence agents stationed around in addition to diplomatic missions which work hand in hand with Government. Senyonyi should have provided details of every penny received from donors and how it is used. Sweeping or blanket allegations do not weigh much at that level. It only goes to show how raw some of these political players are. Uganda accounts for any support it receives and uses it to benefit Ugandans, which is why despite endless counter lobbying by the opposition, development partners continue entrusting the Ugandan Government with various donor packages. Government invests every coin for the security of the life and property of Ugandans as well as empowering them for better personal and communal livelihoods.
At the same time, Uganda does not live on donor aid; we are at a stage where our entire budget can be funded with our locally generated resources. Donor support is none essential. It is only complementary.
The presence of diplomats at Kamwokya does not pose a particular problem except in as far as it formalises foreign meddling in local politics. Foreign meddling is a major threat to Uganda’s stability and NRM’s leadership. Meddling is carried out covertly and overtly but mostly covertly. The Ugandan state will not hesitate to act on criminal acts of meddling in internal affairs of Uganda.
Because we are in election season, foreign agents and their local contacts are most active now and going forward with the intention of pushing for regime change. Meddling in elections and internal affairs of sovereign states is a criminal enterprise which every country is entitled to resist. The Americans had their dose of foreign meddling in 2016 while the hand of powerful countries has been identified in various upheavals that happened in South America, Africa, Asia and the Arabia Peninsular, causing havoc each time.
Everywhere, it is an attempt to usurp the role of citizens in deciding on how they wish to be led; the power of the people is subverted to push the rise of foreign puppets whose interest is only to enrich themselves and carry out reprisals against those who stand in the way of their scheming.
Uganda is a target because President Yoweri Museveni has proved to be an icon of Pan-Africanism at a time the West thought that Africa’s teeth had been broken. After killing Gaddafi, overthrowing Mubarak, the death of Robert Mugabe, the departure of Dos Santos, Museveni remains the most experienced leader, moreover, one who is passionate about Africa’s locus in world affairs.
He is the leading advocate for African togetherness, East African federation and all those ideas that promote Africa as a single bloc. For racist and chauvinist goals, foreign powers still believe that Africa has to remain the footstool of their aggression, policy and scientific experimentation without which their own societies cannot progress. Their calculation is to keep Africa as a “vassal state” where they can siphon resources from, pollute its governance and dump unwanted goods.
As Ugandans, as Africans, we must learn to put our interests first, and create our own solutions for our own problems, as President Museveni usually advises. There is enough space in Uganda for anyone to raise their grievances and enough ears of Ugandans to hear those grievances and act on them, whether through the ballot box or any other Constitutionally enshrined methods.
Foreigners should only come into the equation only as development partners, friends, tourists, diplomats, investors and so on. They come in on agreeable terms for the benefit of all Ugandans and not a tiny segment of political schemers. NUP does not have people behind it and hopes to ride on the back of foreigners. This won’t work!
I hope that the diplomats who went to Kamwokya will also visit Entebbe, Kyaddondo, Najjanankumbi, City House, Uganda House and other political party bases in order to “balance the boat” and leave matters of Ugandans to Ugandans.
The author is a Presidential Assistant in Charge of Media Management
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