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President Museveni, thank you!

President Museveni

President Museveni

Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, the default setting of the lone TV station, UTV (now UBC) was a youthful President Museveni in cream Kaunda suits armed with a pen or chalk teaching us economics.

A stern yet smiling teacher, Museveni held court.  The entire family with rapt attention watched Museveni draw lines, arrows, and curves to demonstrate the heart of his teachings - Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross National Product (GNP). Museveni could do no wrong; he was the fire, we, the willing firewood. Armed with GNP and GDP curves, we were on the rise. And rise we did until we did not.  

The Museveni delivering the June 7 State of the Nation Address (SONA) is a much older, wizened and unapologetic Museveni. Much has changed since the heady days of the 80s and 90s. Museveni’s speeches are no longer prime family time nor is UBC the sole provider of TV programs.

As Museveni speaks, he sounds exasperated like the frustrated parent of young children who has to call his/her distracted children multiple times to get their attention, and usually by shouting. He has to constantly remind us how resource-rich Uganda is, yet we still import most of what we consume, as we build malls and petrol stations for our farcical modernization.

Removing himself, Museveni sounds like an opposition leader or a leader who has only been in power for one very long term yet too short to deliver. We are bewildered as he theorizes about Ugandan products as the panacea to depletion in global markets. Still the man with the plan, he intimates, Uganda is the phantom superpower working quietly behind the scenes to end the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Fascinated by his self-belief, I recall my fresh-from-university days when the folly and bravado of youth massaged my vanity that we were the generation the country had been waiting for. Our teachers right from primary school had feted us as the chosen ones; our economy would go swiii once we hit adulthood.

My youthful energy had me skydiving, paying premium pounds to willingly jump out of a plane in perfect working condition in midair. My father wondered why money ailed me so that I sought to jump out of planes.

The irrationality of my youth saw me slave away at a private company, where we beheld our work as the gateway to world domination. As the global superpowers have illustrated: why have world peace when you can have world domination?

My boss, a gifted salesperson and visionary, enthralled us with his wonderful interpersonal skills. Sitting down to a chat with the boss was to glimpse a glorious future where we employees would conquer and colonize the earth. We were young; his words stoked our desire to subjugate the earth.

Yet the realism in our pockets yawned hungrily while we slaved away for our big-on-ideas boss. His revolutionary words failed to pad our wallets. Was my boss wrong? No, he was a bad manager.

I have since realized there are those gifted with carrying the vision - when they hear the USA has a baby formula shortage, they immediately visualize Ugandan cows squirting milky aid to American babies. These types of big thinkers need painstaking management to keep them on the straight and narrow road to implementation.

As a country, our straight and narrow road is our constitution, which once had term and age limits for the presidency. These limits provided the opportunity for strategic and meticulous planning. Visionaries, wonderful as they are, are prone to hubris - they need ‘containment.’ Without term limits to manage Museveni’s shapeshifting vision, we float rudderless, facing each day as it comes on our own.

As he gets older, a robust Museveni, content in his ‘made in Uganda’ billowing curtain of a shirt, is more entrenched in his glory days - the golden era that commenced the sun-kissed year of 1986 where good Uganda starts. One wonders what afflicts him in the twilight of his years. His legacy perhaps?

The days where, armed with a blackboard, he held the nation’s attention are long gone. Now, as he speaks, he holds burning embers to our frustration. With every address, he leaves us discombobulated with more questions than answers.

The African Theater Magazine in June 2019 reviewed playwright Alex Mukulu’s theatrical production, 30 Years of Bananas.’ It highlighted how Mukulu explored the role of citizens in the turmoil of Uganda’s blood-soaked years, with the question, “What did you do for the 30 years?”

Museveni in his June 7 SONA asked that question in multiple ways. He sought to understand why, since 1986, we who were so full of promise, we who the nation had waited for that our economy might take off, why are we still down here, not up there where we know we should be? 

Museveni asked, ‘Since 1986, what have you been doing?’ As that question filtered through the disappointment of the SONA, only gratitude remains. I thank Museveni for being the president that has cemented why we need term limits reinstated.

Thank you, Mr. President.  

smugmountain@gmail.com

The writer is a tayaad muzzukulu

Comments

+1 #11 Charles Dicken Oruk 2022-06-26 11:02
Today, more than 40 years of lies, political hatred and tribal hatred, Uganda is still in the same or even worst situation than the early 1980s,
Museveni, after taking the tribal and political hatred towards northerners by political elites from Buganda to his (Museveni) advantage.

He today, without fear, tell the Baganda that, he did not fight for them, he fought for his on interest and belief. He only tried to help those Obote haters.
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+1 #12 Charles Dicken Oruk 2022-06-26 11:05
Today, dictator Museveni is not afraid to tell Baganda that he will crash them and true to his words, he did that many times.

Today, dictator Museveni has turned the highly productive Buganda region (Coffee) production into a region of poverty, boda bodas, and militarism.
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+2 #13 mass 2022-06-26 22:47
Charles Dicken Oruk on the Baganda being Obote haters: Please note that the Baganda were the Obote Lovers who gave him 21 uncontested seats that made him prime minister. In doing this, they abandoned Ben Kiwanuka a fellow Muganda.

The Baganda turned against Obote because he became a dictator who abrogated our independence constitution and captured power through the barrel of the gun in 1966!

The Baganda were right to turn against Obote then and also in 1981 when he stole the DP electoral victory. So the Baganda have a demonstrated pattern of embracing leaders who exhibit hope, and hating them when they become dictatorial! By the way they are also non-tribalistic in their choices of political leaders.
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0 #14 Remase 2022-06-27 21:26
Mass, Oruk is right when he says that Baganda hated Obote. They did because Obote raided Olubiri and over toppled Mutesa who had become the president after after when we got independent in 1962. The truth is, Buganda should not have got involved in partisan politics.

The fact of the matter is, Obote was an astute politician. As a matter of fact, each and every president of Uganda, except Prof. YK Lule, is Obote product, including M7. Then Buganda Kingdom made a mistake then and have made the same now.

This time it's with grace consequences. Mengo, led by Katikiro Mayiga, is in bed with M7 with clear knowleg that M7 is intent on making Buganda irrelevant and completely wiped out!
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+1 #15 Remase 2022-06-27 21:43
Mayiga is the only Buganda Katikiro M7 has given his SFC protection, because Mayiga is on a mission to sell out Buganda to M7.

That's why Mayiga congrats M7 for rigging elections, then pronounced M7 as the best president Uganda has ever had. Furthermore, Mayiga makes well measured and/or calculated statements like, 'Abo abatulugunya abantu bagala kuvumaganya gov't ya M7 (Those who are terrorising the people of Uganda, intend to soil M7's govt)." Ekye yinuza enume, kiva mu mabere! M7 derives his balls from Menga, Mayiga in particular!
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+1 #16 Kasozi 2022-06-28 12:33
Hahaha, what a joke. You are enemies of your own kind, how can you go down to this extent?

Are you saying that you are thanking him for committing a genocide against your own people? Stealing and destroying the Country, gaciya.
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