First, or another plain case on record recently, was of former presidential candidate, Kyagulanyi Robert Sentamu (Bobi Wine), going abroad and using the criminality in Karamoja around cattle rustling and the involvement of security forces to bring the situation under control as a bargaining chip to advance his personal interests. Bobi Wine addressed a forum in Europe where he claimed that the people of Karamoja were being harassed and killed by the Government of President Yoweri Museveni for supporting him-Bobi Wine.
This claim was both ridiculous and an absolute lie because the facts from the elections sow that Bobi Wine’s party, NUP, won only one youth council seat in one district out of nine districts. Out of 26 Parliamentary seats, the ruling NRM won 25, while one went to an Independent who is NRM-leaning. Bobi Wine himself got 5.3% of votes against President Museveni’s 90%.
Bobi Wine had little claim to Karamoja, but rather than join the rest of us to sympathise with the good people of the sub-region for suffering the insecurity and join Government to stamp out the criminality, he was using the situation to advance personal aims. This was not surprising, but shocking all the same!
Being someone of his generation but also someone who loves and cherishes my country, and who also understands the workings of President Museveni, I came forward and disputed the former Kyaddondo East MP’s claims, although most people ignored him. While giving such actors “cold treatment” works, by way of denying them coverage and social media mileage, it gives room to impunity and copy cat syndrome.
I am also aware that many of the protesters we see in Western capitals and their local contacts here in Uganda stage those protests as accountability to their donors; what they have to do is to show the donor community that they are fighting “dictatorship” at home. They are funded to leave their jobs, given money for banners and allocated public relations agents to widely disseminate and spin their low key events and make them look widespread. These staged shows are then compiled and presented as evidence of work done.
Then in comes the case of author-turned sharp Government critic, Kakwenza Rukirabashaija; he is now based in Europe and was seen recently staging a street protest with a white man beside him. The man claimed to be Kakwenza’s friend and was interviewing passersby and asking them leading questions on Uganda. They had banners of President Museveni and first son, Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba. Kakwenza and his “friend” were using these banners to pass on a very misleading and potentially libelous message about the President.
I will not repeat the claims but what the public should take is that they centered on Gen. Museveni’s role in the security of the Great Lakes region, but negatively. Now, anybody who knows what has been happening in this part of the world and anybody who has heard or read about Museveni’s ideas on peace and security for the region, and Africa at large, cannot be fooled by anyone. I believe that all serious people cannot be fooled about what Museveni’s presence in leadership means for the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not billions of Africans, in terms of stability and belief in the potential of Pan-Africanism.
For Kakwenza to team up with foreigners to try and twist facts is very unfortunate and likely to boomerang. There is another way to earn dollars and pounds and Euros and that is by doing normal kyeeyo, but resorting to malicious campaigns is meant to sow hate and destroy the image of Uganda in the guise of holding certain individuals accountable for crimes that cannot be substantiated. If the alleged crimes were real, why not compile a proper dossier or dossiers, build a strong case and file a petition with the International Criminal Court (ICC) so that it pursues justice? Wouldn’t that do greater for humanity and strengthen the cause against the abuse of human rights and democracy?
What Kakwenza and his people were/are doing in Europe is more of “street begging” than any activism to talk of. There are more such individuals engaged in such schemes but they are wasting their own time and exposing themselves because no serious person takes them seriously.
Knowledgeable people believe that the democracy agenda is globally a scam meant to destabilise small and poor countries while creating business opportunities for shady civil society actors but as true patriots and Pan-Africanists, we shall stand by our countries and continent and find solutions to our problems internally because foreigners have their own problems and cannot love us more than we love ourselves.
My research has established that Uganda is a special focus for bad publicity and meddling because President Museveni is a strong and popular leader who cannot be defeated democratically, and even militarily. The “solution” is to malign him and cause as many people as possible to hate him. But Ugandans are the owners of Uganda and they know the truth; they know who Museveni is and they know that the worst of him cannot compare to the best of those making claim to the seat of power.
Donors are being conned big time, and some are to be blamed because they are biased and very poor at doing research.
They prefer desktop and briefcase reports that advance their racist and neocolonial agenda and what is clear is that democracy and human rights activism is now big business and the biggest beneficiaries are ready sell their souls to tap into it. No wonder, President Museveni said a while back that by 2021, there would be no opposition in Uganda. Are these activists really “opposition” or just merchants chasing a quick buck? Food for thought!
The author is the Deputy Presidential Press Secretary
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org