Will I be wrong or seen as exaggerating if I say there is no other familiar name in the Ugandan political scenario and nation than President Yoweri Yaguta Museveni? Obviously I guess not, hence, the gradual prominence that his name has succeeded in occupying in the hearts and minds of the people of Uganda. However, this, is not for the fact that he is the president and the prominence which accompanies this position rests on him, but rather, for the toughened political character which he has earned for himself over time.
President Museveni, ‘a man of intrigues’ as others may choose to call him, known for both good and evil begun his reign as far back since two decades ago when he declared himself President of Uganda on January 29, 1986 after forming the National Resistance Movement which abetted him to come to power by manipulating the then political structure which was on ground. This successful plot and event was actually what started Museveni’s political career.
In his early days of rulership, a lot of Ugandans concluded that Museveni was the long awaited Messiah. This was because Museveni’s deeds spoke clearly his desire and determination to re-shape the decayed political structure in Uganda before he assumed office. And as soon as he assumed office, he was set on restoring Uganda’s lost glory. Just within few years, Museveni was able to put a lot back in so many ways. He revitalized the country by reconstructing an almost collapsed state; he rebuilt a shattered economy, effectively embarked and achieved political sanity and rebranded Ugandans international image from a pariah state to a nation full of viability in almost all the sectors of the economy. A promised land you may want to compare, I guess.
Today, though, Museveni has stayed in power for 27 years, but the big poser here is that has Museveni been able to continue the way he started? Does this name still maintain a valuable spot in the hearts and minds of Ugandans as it then? Well, now, the president and his citizens are at variance with themselves over the recent political developments made by Museveni in the political context of Uganda. As earlier said, Museveni is a man known for both good and bad, and so, despite his good political landmarks, his bad deeds have covered and marred his well invested efforts in re-writing the political history of Uganda.
There are so many controversies associated with Museveni, most evident is his ruthless, repressive, and selfish nature. This political character is what made the president to constantly make certain controversial decisions without having a little prick of conscience as to what may become the outcome of his decision on the Ugandan community. Some of his obviously excessive actions include: plundering of Congolese resources by invading and occupying Congo during the second Congo war (the war in Democratic Republic of Congo) which has resulted to an estimated 5.4 million deaths since 1998 and other conflicts in the Great lakes. Others are his pronounced looting of government’s monies/funds, cabinet corruption, massacre of the masses by his army, torture of his opponents by his security services (this which is the most controversial of all).
In my opinion, the fear of opposition is Museveni’s greatest fear as the president. I think this president has fought opposition more than he has even worked towards the unification of Uganda. Just recently President Museveni again ordered his National Resistance Army and security agencies to harass anyone in opposition against him and his policies after his not long ago saga of strategically abolishing presidential term limits before the 2006 election through a constitutional amendment so as to facilitate his re-election as the president without any constitutional basis of opposition. This single action has attracted a lot of concerns from both domestic and foreign domains—condemning this action of the president. Now, one may begin to wonder why a president should be so aggressive about opposition groups or parties knowing well that every good society is shaped by its readiness to listen and learn from the criticisms that come during its leadership lifeline.
Well, let’s think together on Museveni’s political gimmicks; maybe this would give us a better insight to our doubts and questions over the president’s fervent decision to forget every other thing and face opposition the way he is currently doing. Don’t we think that Museveni’s unceasing fight against opposition has something to do with his greed for power? Remember in 1986, Museveni formed the National Resistance Movement which aided him to cease power and become president. Also, in 2006 president Museveni had to twist the constitution to favor his re-elections as the president by abolishing the presidential term limits through a constitutional review. Now again the president has begun his opposition saga. I don’t know but can we really ask ourselves why each time the elections are at or near at hand, Museveni will be up again harassing oppositions?
For this time the matter even seems to be more confusing and difficult to understand, because he has promptly begun his opposition combatant actions. What should one think here now, is it that the president has decided to start setting the way early enough for his probable re-election again as the president of Uganda for the fourth time by simply making opposition docile or he is concealing another unknown plan? Well, whatever it is, Ugandans must have their eyes fixed on the moves being made by this well experienced and witty politician who has been in office for more than two decades, because when it comes to Museveni and his moves, nobody knows.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of WikiColumn.
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