Today marks thirty-four years since the resilient and glorious National Resistance Movement/Army (NRM/A) under the leadership of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni captured Kampala. The battle for Kampala, marked the defeat and retreat of UPC and UNLA remnants, which also ended the reign of terror, uncertainty, and political anguish that accompanied national ruin and state collapse in Uganda’s first two decades of independence.
A small section of the political and media class is wagging their loose tongue faulting President Yoweri Museveni for having not walked the entire 195km trek from Galamba in Wakiso to Bireembo in Kakumiro district on foot having chosen to partly drive about half the route. For the record, President Museveni actually walked 84km of the trek including climbing the three most treacherous Kanzira, Katera and Butoloogo among the Singo hills. In addition to being long and winding, there are also very steep and stony.
The year 2020 is beginning in a high notch considering that yesterday Saturday, President Yoweri Museveni began his long march from Galamba in Wakiso to Birembo in Kibaale district, a distance of about one hundred ninety-five kilometers leading liberation war veterans, servicing army personnel, political leaders and youths. The trek will be over a six-day period with rests at eight preselected venues where captivating war story-telling will be over camp fires.
The year 2019 is coming to a peaceful end, with Uganda steadily marching off in stability, national unity, democracy, freedom and an all-round progress, contrary to the alarmist assessments that the collective opposition made at the beginning. At the time, taking false advantage over insecurity, murders, robbery with violence, and widespread economic uncertainties especially among the vulnerable urban poor, unemployed youths, and rural folks, the opposition believed that sudden and sad end of NRM and President Yoweri Museveni had approached.
The much anticipated cabinet reshuffle made by President Yoweri Museveni last Saturday appears to have come too late, too little in the estimation of many Ugandans who had believed that a massive shake up was necessary to kick out evident inertia in what had been christened Kisanja hakuna mchezo. Clearly, the public is demanding that more blood flows especially on corruption related issues which they believe this reshuffle hasn’t decisively dealt with, but merely people going through the revolving door.
Uganda is entering that time, the election campaign season when opposition groups and their allies in the civil society and Western so-called donor groups accuse the NRM, and President Yoweri Museveni of dipping hands into the public till to run elections campaigns. But knowing that no opposition group has independent, reliable and sufficient sources, we must ask them if their tree isn’t rotten as well.
In the last three months Cabinet has vacillated with statements over the possibility of permitting the development of hydro-power dams on Uhuru and Murchison Falls (devil’s cauldron) along River Nile three times. That vacillation is causing anxiety and suspicion that perhaps government is acting under pressure from a dubious hand, up to no good, and the public is spoiling for a big fight.
Next week marks one year since President Yoweri Museveni established the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) under State House as a direct link to him and additional efforts in the fight against widespread, but neglected reports of corruption within government.
The political murmurs doing rounds that perennial presidential contender, Kizza Besigye Kifefe, and his sidekicks are collecting ‘evidence’ and two million signatures to drag President Yoweri Museveni, senior government and security officials to the much acclaimed International Criminal Court (ICC) is a bluff. Without pouring so much cold water, Ugandans need to be reminded that there have been three failed similar efforts previously by the same groups to drag President Museveni to the ICC and other similar bodies.
The recent appointment of three artists, Catherine Kusasira, Mark Bugembe (Bucherman), and Jennifer Nakamgubi (Full Figure) by President Yoweri Museveni as his advisors for Kampala and ‘ghetto’ affairs has kicked up needless raw anger with some leaders across the aisle exchanging political expletives. Not surprisingly, some NRM leaders especially in Kampala joined the opposition in a chorus of condemnation and damnation with absurd claims that their roles were being taken away, and efforts undermined, not recognized or enumerated.