It seems it’s true what they say that there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics. Most people and countries have their price and will sell out even their own mother if the price is right. They act in way they find to be the best for their own country or themselves. It’s certainly in one’s self-interest that this is not an acceptable definition of friendship or patriotism. Nobody feels good about being betrayed by someone you imagined to be a friend. Trust me, I know the feeling!
Regarding this aspect of international relations, former British PM, Lord Palmerston said: “……….Therefore I say that it is a narrow policy to suppose that this country or that is to be marked out as the eternal ally or the perpetual enemy of England. We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”
This is often paraphrased as: “Nations have no permanent friends and no permanent enemies, only permanent interests.” For instance, a capitalist bloc that included the British, the US and France were allies of the communist Soviet Russia in World War II. But, they divided themselves into two rival blocs capitalist bloc and socialist bloc in the cold war period. To be honest, communism as defined by Karl Max is better for all human souls on earth but because of human greed, it couldn’t survive. All these wars by the big nations, including the two world wars, are more about business investment than anything else. On the surface, it looked like the 2nd world war was sparked by Hitler’s invasion of Poland but that is bullshit meant to galvanize every Tom and Dick to feel a bit nationalistic. Actually where the UK economy is heading, we may find ourselves with another war soon at our hands because wars are basically about money in the developed world. Anyway, that is for another day……but let me explore the concept of no permanent friends or enemies in politics a bit further.
Between, say, 1989 and 1995 USA was to Russia what Jesus is to Christians: the Messiah. Many Russian scientists shared Russia’s top military inventions thinking that it was like, say, for a Canadian to share his country’s secrets with USA: friend to friend. After what happened to Yugoslavia and UN in 1999, average Russians stopped regarding USA as a responsible and respectable member of the international community, and in 1999-2000 Putin came to power. The only unexpected thing was that he wasn’t nearly as autocratic and out-of-control as we expected/feared the new President would be.
The fact is that all hell is breaking loose in Uganda. It’s just happening very slowly. President Museveni’s former friends are starting to drill the hole into the side of the fish tank and a lot of conspiracy theories are now flying around. For all to break loose, we just need someone who wants the room to be wet and that someone seems to be Gen.Tinyefunza at the moment. One thing for sure is that he seems to be working with some other big fish still in the tank or possibly even some already outside the tank, going by his interviews on BBC and Straight Talk.
Already tyrannous laws are being passed frequently and there have been a lot of changes in the cabinet, intelligence units and UPDF, and that is leading us on the full road to tyranny. The constitution is being played with as we have seen with the appointment of Gen.Aronda Nyakayima as minister of internal Affairs before he has resigned from the army. And if we continue to break our own laws as some MPs in the Appointment Committee have done with this Aronda thingy, the door will be so wide open that you could see it from 10 miles away.
How did Hitler do it? He banned the private ownership of arms. He locked up/killed whoever disagreed with him. Basically, he took the people’s rights away from them. Stalin, Mussolini and others did similar things before their end. Mussolini was reportedly killed by a mob akin to the way Brother Muamah Gaddafi died. Someone allegedly shot Mussolini in the head.
Like I said, I’m still finding it difficult to trust or like Gen.Tinyefunza aka Ssejusa because of his past involvement in crimes against humanity. When he was asked recently on Straight Talk Africa about the 2006 invasion of courts, his defence was to coin the term: ‘occupational hazard’. In other words, he was following orders like his colleagues now still in the govt. Omuntu oyinza okulya enagisi(faeces) just because president Museveni has told you to do so?[ would anyone eat faces just because you have been told to do so by president Museveni?]. It’s unfortunate that the moderator, Shaka Ssali, never gave Tinyefunza enough time to explain all these hanging questions because of time. That is why I have nicknamed him: Mr.’Time is not our best ally’ with his continuous use of the same words in all his shows and leaving viewers salivating for more.
What confused me in all these interviews is the moment where he [Ssejusa aka Tinyefunza] said something like:”……. we tried to remove him using the political front and it did not work……….. but we shall remove him, anyway’. What did he mean, exactly…………. because if my memory serves me right, Tinyefunza was never in elective politics, so, who was he working with to remove Museveni politically?
Anyway, when two people, unrelated by history, stop a friendship – that’s natural. However, betraying your traditional friend or benefactor/protector is a very near-sighted act that may bring some extra benefits in the short run but will come back and bite you in the long run. Between the two, it’s difficult for us to know who exactly betrayed the other till when we get all the facts on the table.
For the life of me I cannot imagine a single scenario in which Tinyefunza becomes the president of Uganda and gets accepted by Ugandans even if he helps to remove president Museveni. He stepped on a lot of toes while in government and I don’t think anybody is rushing to forgive him yet.
However, I can easily see a scenario in which he helps Ugandans get rid of the tyranny in Kampala and then he allows us to choose our own leaders. More than that, if and when Museveni leaves, it is hard to imagine how Uganda could be run without the guiding hands of Besigye and FDC.
Museveni himself is too big to have protectors but he has friends and has himself committed betrayal to Ugandans that had higher expectations of him in 1986.Most Ugandans are probably like most people here Britain – they listen to or read the news, put it somewhere deep in their scull for future reference if ever needed, and continue discussing football, new cars and big houses on the roads.People fear Museveni in Uganda, people fear his family or those close to him. So, how dare you speak against them if you want to have a peaceful life in the country! A lot of people aren’t even aware that General Ssejusa is no longer a ‘friend’ of Museveni because the media is tightly controlled in Uganda.
When I recently visited Uganda, I saw a few discussions about foreign policies and politics when I spent time with some few people there but you could sense an element of fear and ‘giving up’ amongst the many. Political views, almost like sex, are considered too personal to ask about or to discuss any more in public unless if one is a supporter of Museveni and NRM. Everyone is paranoid and fears that you may be part of the intelligence system in the country. Some even think that you may be spying on them on behalf of the president which is absolutely not true. So, I kind of left the country without involving myself in any political discussions or saying hello to some ‘political friends’ because nobody trusts anybody anymore.
Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba