Bill Clinton Says Gen. Museveni's Been 'Too Long' In Power And Also Lied About The Anti-Gay Bill
Former president Clinton
Bill Clinton told a former Ugandan cabinet minister that President Yoweri Museveni has been in power too long and also that he lied to him about the recently signed anti-Gay law whose most severe penalty includes life in prison for homosexuals.
Clinton said Gen. Museveni had told him that he wasn't going to sign the law. He ended up signing it on February 24. And in a follow up conversation, after the bill was signed into law, Gen. Museveni also told Clinton that the anti-Gay law wouldn't be enforced. The ex-cabinet minister says she told Clinton that gays are being attacked and even killed by mobs as a result of Museveni's actions.
Clinton, the former U.S. president was keynote speaker March 10 at the Opportunity Africa conference arranged by Senator Chris Coons, when he recounted his conversations with Museveni to former Ugandan cabinet minister Zoe Bakoko Bakoru.
Ms. Bakoru, former minister of labor, gender and social services, is exiled in the U.S. after exposing alleged embezzlement of millions of dollars from Uganda's social security fund by members of the First Family and others. Ms. Bakoru says she provided a dossier on the corruption cases to U.S. authorities when she applied for asylum here.
Ms. Bakoru also attended the Opportunity Africa conference, an annual event organized by Senator Coons; she says she engaged Clinton in a conversation about Uganda on the sidelines.
Clinton "told me in the discussion that President Museveni had assured him that he was not going to sign the law. And when he did, he actually said it would not be implemented" Bakoru said, recapping her conversation with Clinton, during the March 10 gathering.
"And so I told him 'have you seen the report where some gays are being burnt on the streets?' And he was like 'ow!'"
"He was very shocked. He was like 'I can't believe this,'" Bakoru said, of Clinton, when interviewed on SaharaTV. Bakoru says Clinton then said, of Museveni: "I don't recognize the guy myself, whom I knew many years ago."
She says Clinton said "the guy has been there for close to 30 years," referring to Gen. Museveni.
Museveni, in addition to Rwanda's Gen. Paul Kagame and the late Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia were the rulers Clinton once referred to as a "new breed" of presidents in Africa, before their stars quickly dimmed as each presided over ruthless regimes.
Bakoru says she told Clinton that Museveni "has nothing to run on. He has no ticket to run on in 2016. He has to become a hero of the people." So Gen. Museveni was demonizing homosexuals to increase his popular appeal with the grassroots, Bakoru says she told Clinton.
Clinton didn't respond to questions for comment sent via e-mail message to his foundation's offices. He was once one of Gen. Museveni's biggest cheerleaders.
Bakoru in the SaharaTV interview also says the power struggle between Museveni and his prime minister Amama Mbabazi, who is also Secretary General of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) shows that the president doesn't intend to yield office. She says Museveni may have crossed the line and any transition in Uganda likely wouldn't permit him to remain in the country.
She also called for a post-Museveni investigation into the questionable reported car crash death, on May 16, 2004, of the late Attorney General, Francis Ayume, who had opposed Museveni's lifting of presidential term limits.
She says the opposition parties will hold a National Convention to plot Uganda's transition and that they should all boycott the 2016 vote unless there were reforms to electoral laws, including the appointment of an independent Election Commission.
Bakoru says if Gen. Museveni continued defying the will of the people for change, he could end up being swept from office in the Arab Spring-type uprising that toppled Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and others.