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Straight to the point

by Ahmed Yahaya Joe
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Ahmed Yahaya-Joe

The Ugandan leader has no time to do guy because he is more interested in remaining in power instead. For all he cares a tailor could also be a carpenter. President Yoweri Museveni is as the “Last King of Scotland” Idi Amin Dada would say “an Obote man” Mr. Museveni was 42 years old when he first became president. In January 2021 he was re-elected at the age of 76 for another term having been in office for an uninterrupted 34 years.

How has he been pulling it off?

First, by spreading the cheese that is how. Uganda has a population of 42 million but has 529 national assembly members. Compare with us that have a population of over 200 million but 469 national assembly members. There are no state governors in Uganda guzzling “security vote” Their nation is divided into 121 districts with constantly changing council members and leadership. As long as you remain loyal – simply wait for your turn. No shunting!

Second, some Idi Amin tactics are applied from time to time to remind Ugandans who is really in charge. And as far as press freedom is concerned Museveni’s position is unequivocal; “I will no longer tolerate a newspaper which is like a vulture. Any newspaper that plays around, I will not tolerate it – I will close it.”

Third and most importantly, President Museveni repositioned the agricultural fortunes of his nation. Uganda now exports beef to other African nations and even parts of Europe. That nation is only 241,038 square kilometers compared to our 923, 769 square kilometers. The moral here is that as long as people are not hungry their anger will be better manageable. They become more productive.

Uganda is not without the usual African suspects of ethnicity, nepotism and corruption. There is however constant electricity and security. Now crude oil and natural gas deposits have been found. The most crucial aspect of Museveni’s leadership template is the revolving door of power.

He constantly invites others to “come and chop” as long as you don’t aspire to take his seat. Under Museveni, the Ugandan national assembly has seats specifically reserved for women, youth, labor including serving and retired military officers. Museveni’s suits might be ill fitting but he is all inclusive.

The main issue confronting Uganda is that of generation gap. Museveni’s main rival, a Hip hop artiste, Bobi Wine, at 38 was not even born when the president was a guerrilla fighter wrestling Idi Amin to the ground back in the late 70s and early 80s. Older Ugandans know the fundamental change their nation has undergone since then.

Where are the more matured candidates? They can’t do better in the type national unity Museveni has woven in Uganda under his near dictatorial rule. But more significantly, the income disparity gap in Uganda has been steadily closed in the last 3 decades. Museveni is undoubtedly a guru in “stomach infrastructure”

Half democracy is better than none!

President Museveni is straight to the point. But the major challenge is his tailor. Then there is the matter of his ancient black brogues that are gradually “swearing to God”

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