The Palaver Hut
It is known that Mr. Yoweri Museveni has been president of Uganda since 1986, that is, for 25 years, and he is undoubtedly one of those despotic African rulers.
Not surprisingly, he was, in the mid-to-late 1990s lauded by the West, as part of a new generation of African leaders. Well, as it was recently reported, President Museveni has been holding a series of secret meetings with his ruling NRM political party MPs at his country homes.
Before one of those meetings, many thought that the meeting was to enable MPs interact as freely as possible with their leader in relation to his unpopular proposal to give away part of Mabira Forest for sugarcane growing, and another proposal to deny alleged economic saboteurs bail by courts of law.
Reverse was the case when the president made it categorically clear in his introductory remarks that Mabira and law on bail were not going to form part of their discussion. He said the two matters should and will be settled in the party’s parliamentary caucus. He also asked his guests not to raise constituency issues.
A confident Museveni then reportedly told the MPs that NATO cannot make the mistake of attacking another African country. “They cannot attack a black African country,” he insisted.
He reportedly boasted of his power, saying that he can’t be deposed through any form of protest by the Ugandan people as happened in Egypt, Tunisia and now Libya.
I believe I’m not alone in thinking President Museveni is clueless on this one. He should be thankful that Uganda’s natural resources are not mouth-watering and eye-popping enough to warrant an immediate attack from NATO, bombing his presidential palace to ashes and wanting a regime change.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the West decided to support the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group as a way of destabilizing Uganda and pushing for Museveni’s exit from power.
Let’s return to the meeting. After outlining his economic policies, one of the MPs pointed out to President Museveni that some of the economic policies he had just outlined are part of the reasons citizens in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya had risen up and removed their leaders.
But convinced that since he has not banned any political party and has new military equipment, Museveni told the MPs there is no way he would be removed from power like Gaddafi or Mubarak.
Well, as the meeting came to an end, the apparently confused MPs left praising Museveni as being a “very, very good man”, reckoning that he is only surrounded by bad guys.
Please note that before leaving the president’s compound, he asked his guards to accompany them and each MP was reportedly given 500,000 Ugandan Shillings for accommodation and transport refund.
I’ll be sending a copy of this newspaper page to NATO to let them know where to go next after their operation in Libya. I’m sure the small deposits of copper, cobalt, iron-ore, limestone, and salt as well as less viable fields of tungsten, beryl, columbo-tantalite, gold, bismuth, tin, limestone and phosphates should be something to consider especially in this global economic downturn.
By Joseph Spencer