The Independent (Kampala)

31 January 2013

Uganda: What If Museveni Topples Himself?

The late Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt would still be presidents if it was that easy

What could have been in the mind of President Yoweri Museveni when he made remarks that army may take over government? I would ask this same question to the Minister of Defence, Crispus Kiyonga and the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima.

My understanding is they think and are fine if the army took over power because it will still be President Museveni who will topple himself and suspend the constitution, dissolve parliament and maintain Kiyonga and Nyakairima in their respective powerful position with even more powers and pay.

President Museveni shall then rule without checks and balances. This is the dream of life those three and other close friends have. To them Uganda is nothing without them. In fact Uganda is them.

However, this is so easy to say, and think. I wish they could remember that the army they want to use is made up of the people of Uganda who also lack basic services in life, earn small salaries, have unemployed sisters' and brothers, move on bad roads across the country, hate corruption as all Ugandan do, witness nepotism and tribalism common in the current ruling system and above all they are also unhappy with the extravagant lifestyle of some people as women die every day while giving birth including their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters .

Most of those UPDF officers know that Uganda is their country, and they do not need President Museven, Nyakairima or Kiyonga to serve in army. They can serve in the army because they are Ugandans with or without the three gentlemen. The small salary they get is taxpayer money. It is not from any of the three.

The thinking that the army is powerful and more brilliant than the people of Uganda is laughable and despicable. Without the support and the effort of the people of Uganda, Museveni's NRA rebels would not have captured power in 1986. The late leader, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt would still be presidents of their respective countries; after all they had strong, well-facilitated, and loyal armies.

I understand the nature of the MPs we have. Most of them view parliamentary work as employment from which they build dream houses and own cars. So the threats to suspend parliament is working on them. Many of them will cool down soon to protect their jobs from being taken over by the army. In fact that was the main purpose of the threat. It has worked by the way; the MPs are going to be quiet now.

One thing I know is that the people of Uganda will not tolerate this anymore. They will make a decision very soon. Change is inevitable.

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