Posted by: Dr.Magombe Vincent
Uganda is going through interesting times and hope all pro-democracy actors are thinking seriously about the options open to us as we get closer to the crossroads. All segments, those who believe that change can be achieved through peaceful means and those who think that a mixture of means is the solution need to carry out a forensic assessment of objectives, capabilities, limitations, Museveni’s own options and those around him who exercise power, ostensibly on his behalf but in reality pursuing their own political agendas.
MUSEVENI’s DWINDLING CONTROL
For instance, how much control in real terms does Mr Museveni have over these individuals? As his system grows weaker and disjointed, how much does Mr Museveni actually control? Are we perhaps beginning to see Mr Museveni being consumed by the very monster he created, i.e, the rise of real power centres which he cannot control and is increasingly becoming powerless?
Because by Museveni destroying institutions, he destroyed the very mechanisms that would save him in his hour of need. Some of us warned him many times but he couldn’t take heed mainly because of his selfish designs to hold on to power no matter what. He didn’t envisage that there will come a time when he will have reduced energy and limited mental grasp of events by mere passage of time.
Perhaps should Ugandans start getting concerned and worried about the danger the country faces when we face total collapse of the formal state and power is held by clusters of self-serving power centres with diverse interests?
It is time for Ugandans to start seriously thinking about the real problem of whether Mr Museveni has the capacity, in real terms, to offer substantive reforms which would be deemed to undermine the interests of these power centres which have arisen out of the corruption, cronyism and family rule over time?
EXPOSURES BY ZOE BAKOKO BAKORU
The second point I wish to touch on is what came to light from a member of FREEDOM AND UNITY FRONT, Mrs Zoe Bakoko Bakoru.
The Former senior Minister has written and given extensive interviews on the current state in the country, especially in regard to corruption and abuse of institutions by Mr Museveni.
Her revelations are important because they come from an insider. Mrs Bakoru was serving in an area where the Museveni’s stealing clique has perfected the methods through which they swindle public funds.
What she says is only a tip of the iceberg and she has come up with information of a rather extensive network used to stash away stolen money to foreign banks.
She talks about the arm-twisting of public officials to put in place mechanisms through which State house deploys informal staff to coordinate these illegal activities in ministries and areas like the Bank of Uganda etc.
While government spin doctors may dismiss her revelations and try to point to her alleged personal involvement, the main point she makes is that officials in these positions are held captive, with a muzzle over their heads to comply or be framed.
There are many officials still serving the Museveni government who find themselves in this situation. What they need to know, however, is that the dictatorship will sacrifice them when they no longer serve its purpose. The examples are many to learn from. Even as we see what is currently happening to some of the very senior leaders in NRM.
In her coming exposure, she talks about the times she was warned of dire consequences if she didn’t cooperate and turn a blind eye. Things like when fictitious projects are floated to justify the access to these funds.
MUSEVENI’s ILLEGAL ACTIONS
The examples are many. Like when Mr Museveni called her and told her she will have to let a certain officer(names withheld for now as he is still serving in government) to access UGSHS 13 billion of workers money under classified expenditure categorisation where he claimed it would be used to build Army workshops. None of these workshops were ever built but more important perhaps is the point that the whole activity was illegal.
These illegal actions are very costly to the country. Currently we see the UPDF entangled in a one-sided way, in a civil conflict in South Sudan, where Ugandan soldiers have died in hundreds, millions of dollars spent and increasingly isolating Uganda and exposing Mr Museveni’s lack of foresight when he faces a serious problem with his exit strategy.
Therefore all Ugandans should start thinking about the change agenda in broader terms than merely concentrating on having someone to replace Mr Museveni in Kampala. The problems which confront us are huge and as leaders, we need to raise the bar on the issues that need to be discussed and reformed.
I thank you
Gen David Sejusa