Does the iphone generation in the diaspora have the right to criticise Museveni and Kagame?

Posted on July 4, 2011


by Drew Ddembe on Monday, August 16, 2010 at 1:56pm

Here we are, 24 years into Museveni’s reign about to embark of project extend Museveni’s rule, yet we are supposed to continue giving him a blank cheque because he is down in the trenches while we are enjoying our iphones and ipods!!!

Kagame is in his 16th and has just got a lease on 7 more years but his right to stand for further office should not be questioned or his record because he is in the pits sweating it out while the lazy elite opine in cyberspace without getting their hands dirty!

You mention Adolf Hitler and mein Kampf. I was thinking more about all those other revolutions where the elite were attacked and massacred.

We have the Bolsheviks persecution of “petite bourgoisie” just like the French revolution turned on the more cerebral of its members and devoured them. We have Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge where all of their educated elite were massacred as enemies of the revolution! how about Mao’s china that elevated paesant Generals and ostracised or dealt a final solution to “enemies of the peoples revolution”?

This same quotation can be used for evil and interpreted in a way that suggests that the thoughts of a seratin part of the populace are ‘enemies” to be suppressed or eliminated for their ‘unhelpful thoughts. there are other equivalents in western thought -liberals which can be a dirty word depending on who is using it and in what context. These liberals were branded comies and persecuted at the height of McCarthite madness reminiscent of the churches own inquisition!

Without reformers and critics, the Catholic church would not have been able to reform itself and probably would not have been able to survive through the ages. Drivers of change in any organisation can be from within or from without. Its those who criticise us who allow us to rexamine ourselves as well as our motives and also allow us to modify our own behaviour! its part of why all modern democracies are based on the principle of a government in power and a shadow government in opposition providing cheques and balances on the tendency for the people in power to abuse their power!

Incumbency has a corrupting influence on even the best of motives. I am very sure that even Museveni would not recognise himself on the day he was sworn to power in 1986. Many of the quotations from that time are risible today as the movement has been around long enough to contradict themselves on almost all of their original motives codified as the ten commandments.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Prolonged incubence breeds corruption and impunity! unchallenged power breeds contempt for the normal controls that govern most of our usual behaviours. The belief that out leaders are a separate special breed with motivation and a vision for which the rest of us are incapable is promoted by many despots the world over!

In a world where it is ‘undemocratic” for one to have a dissenting opinion and the space to disagree becomes narrower and narrower, some people will conform or just stop voicing their disagreement. All will agree with the kings courtiers that the king who is actually naked is really clothed in the finest of clothes!

Sometimes it takes a child to point out to all of the wise men and courtiers that the king is indeed naked!

Museveni is at that point where only a child would be able to point out that he is naked and his courtiers are all corrupt!

Many years ago Alex Mukulu staged a play. My parents took me to that play. Museveni also attended the play. In the play Mukulu depicted all of the past presidents as busts without eyes or ears. He concluded that all of Uganda’s past presidents had no eyes and ears -they could not see or hear. They were poor students who had failed their exams. He stated that Museveni was still in school! That his report card was yet to be assessed. That with time Museveni could demonstrate that he too was a failure like all of the other previous students without eyes and ears!

The New Vision just published a national survey today of Ugandans aspirations for the next elections. The NV however put a spin on the results. They failed to present the results in the context of the prolonged incubency of the current president.

In my opinion, those wishes of Ugandans should be seen as a report card! What I find most interesting is the disconnect between the NRM and the people of Uganda. The NRM sees its main achievement as having brought security! In the national survey, Ugandans placed security at the bottom of the list and listed ordinary concerns like healthcare!

In my opinion, if this survey were used as a measure of Museveni’s performance over the last 24 years, he should be booted out!

But in a country where Museveni (and Kagame) really stand against themselves, who is going to point out that they are tired and need to hand over to someone else, particularly when the word is put out that such a thought is unpatriotic or treasonous!!

The NRM of 1986 used to pride itself on their internal democracy and individual merit! I will only believe that when I see a successful internal challenge from within or without their own organisations that is not viewed as high treason!


Posted in: Nina, Uganda