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Understanding Negative Foreign Interests in Uganda

By Ofwono Opondo

Sept. 5. 18

It was China’s Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, who in 1949, soon after the Communist party of China captured power, warned his comrades and countrymen, that the elites were “swollen in head, weak in legs, sharp in tongue but empty in belly,” particularly when consummating with or facing an aggressive Western imperialism. For a while now, Ugandan elites, especially those in opposition, have been quick to dismiss accusations that some of them could be working in consort with negative foreign interests to undermine Uganda, claiming that such accusations are merely meant to blackmail them into silence.
But incidents like where Paul Ssemogere, Kizza Besigye, Peter Otai, Olara Otunnu, Gen. David Sejusa, and now Robert Kyagulanyi, gallivant, in the US and Europe, bad mouthing Uganda, is just one example. Each time they have local disputes, they run to America and Europe, or to foreign embassies here, as places of refuge and support. It shouldn’t be surprising, that Kyagulanyi, this week went to America, to castigate the Uganda government, and ask foreign support in his struggle for regime change. And because he isn’t that sophisticated, Kyagulanyi is incapable of understanding that he comes off as a front for foreign criminal interests.
Currently, the US government is investigating alleged foreign infiltration of its systems especially elections, but the same US, through its respective ambassadors, without pretence, dictate to Africans how to model their governance. This week, Google, Facebook and Twitter executives were summoned before the Senate Intelligence Committee to respond to charges that they had left their platforms to be used by anti-US foreign interests. Among them were that many bad faith actors are spreading harmful disinformation using the internet and manipulating public sentiments, which constituted national security threats. If the US can be worried, it baffles, that African elites, are this un-aware.
Today, when imperialism is very powerful, still maintains an aggressive behaviour and sophisticated, it is necessary to draw the attention of our leaders in government, opposition, civil society, religious, academia, business, professional, and student bodies, that the world has actually become more dangerous. Just this week too, a team from UK parliament, was here to lobby a group of Ugandan MPs to draft on their behalf, legislation on the so-called ‘modern day’ slavery, which in effect, is a British ploy, to guard its boarders, but unfortunately our MPs may not be aware they are being used.
The cardinal responsibility of leadership is to identify the dominant contradiction(s) during each historical process and work out a central line to resolve them. However, if they are not handled properly, or if, we relax our vigilance, and lower our guard, irreconcilable antagonisms may arise and lead to destruction.
Where or when naked aggression is attainable or shunned, imperialist agents will employ sophisticated maneuvers, like they have been doing in Venezuela or currently in Africa. Where they can get away with abrasive conduct, as in Libya, Iraq, and Syria, they will do so, because they know, no one will stop them, especially if they recruited or lured local agents into their mischief.
Right now, we are in the middle of a strategy by foreign governments and agents led by certain western countries to cause regime change in Uganda outside the constitutional framework. Their first line of action is to demonstrate how undemocratic this government is. The second, is multi-pronged fronts to bring government into conflict with major constituencies. Externally, they have tried and will continue to project Uganda as an unstable and unsafe place to invest, live and do business in. The ongoing rancor over Uganda’s engagement with China and with Russia is one such example.
Thirdly, is continuous issuance of public rebuke against government on governance and human rights issues as recently happened from the Age limit debate and Arua municipality by-elections where they just ignored the details of what actually happened, and haven’t condemned the opposition for instigating the violence against President Yoweri Museveni.
Internally, they have been funding and infiltrating our politics, with the objective of building a strong internal opposition among civil society organisations, NGOs, media, professional bodies, and direct support to the opposition parties in and outside parliament into a formidable force as a ‘government-in-waiting’. The other is to try and bring government into a major conflict with internal constituencies among them youths whom they have identified as a perhaps gullible, especially when there is widespread unemployment. Even among this category, they have identified youths in music and entertainment industry as a major catalyst in political provocations.
In addition, they will continue drumming how corrupt, non-functional, and un-sensitive this government is towards the plight of the youths, women, and business community, and therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising, that they have mapped out each part of Uganda, identified local grievances and action groups they seek to use for this purpose. But, to paraphrase, Sun Tzu’s writing in “Art of War,” never rely on the likelihood of the enemy not coming, but on your own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that you have made your position unassailable.