GEN. MUSEVENI--OLD WINE IN A NEW SKIN?

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Gen. Museveni. Photo: Facebook.

GULU, Uganda—The Gospel of Saint Luke 5:36-39 tells us that “we should not patch old clothes with new ones” or that “we should not put old wine in new skin” because the chemical reaction will be disastrous and it will never be beneficial to the owner of the new clothes or new wine. 

What came to my mind as I followed the event of Wednesday, May 12, 2021, when Uganda’s autocrat of 35-year uninterrupted leadership, Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was swearing as a “freshly re-elected Head of State” of this great “Pearl of Africa”, are some facts: His added new name “Tibuhaburwa’; why The Archbishop of The Province of The Church of Uganda, Rev. Dr. Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu never gave a “New Bible” to Gen. Museveni or why The Chief Justice, Alfonse Chigamoi Owiny-Dollo, never gave Gen. Museveni a new copy of Uganda’s Supreme law-the Constitution? 

Other thoughts: The number of young Turks elected to the highest organ of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, the Central Executive Committee; the number of youths elected in the eleventh parliament; and, the list of the 11 Heads of State who attended.

I recorded his swearing-in: “I, Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni swear in the name of the Almighty God that I shall faithfully exercise the functions of The President of Uganda and I shall uphold, preserve, protect and defend The Constitution and observe the laws of Uganda and that I shall promote the welfare of the people of Uganda. So help me God”.

According to one Mrs. Grace Ojwiya, who speaks Runyangkole, Gen. Museveni’s native language, “Tibuhaburwa” means “something which is lost”. Remember Museveni’s arch enemy, founding father the late Dr. Apollo Milton Obote, never recognized General Museveni as a Ugandan citizen and regarded him as a Rwandese immigrant. 

Another foe, a former personal doctor to him in the bush, Colonel Dr. Kizza Besigye, who became a major opposition leader, called him a “foreigner” and he said in 2011 that the NRM is a Museveni enterprise. 

Biblically, someone who is “lost” can be a sinner or someone who is not following the “Word of God”. Socially, does it mean he is in the wrong place? According a Banyankole friend of mine, the name Museveni is derived from an ethnic group called “Baseveni” who were “foreigners” in Ankole in Western Uganda and that Museveni was born at that time. He did not know whether Museveni is one of the Baseveni or a Bahima. 

Only people from Western Uganda know the truth of their history, not a person from the north of the country like me or Mrs. Ojwiya. 

The second issue is the missing new copy of the Bible. Gen. Museveni held a copy of a Bible on his left hand—not his right hand. People who swear in courts of law always hold the copy of the Bible on the right hand. 

According to my primary school days in 1966, the English language textbook, Brighter English Grammar, he should have used the phrase “I will” not “I shall” as he will not be obliged nor bound by the phrase “I shall” since it is not a promise that he will follow through.

The history of abuses of our 1995 constitution is still fresh in our minds. The archbishop should have given a new copy of the Bible to Gen. Museveni so he could re-trace his journey of faith as someone who could be lost and is looking for a way out of it. 

I expected that the Chief Justice, Alfonse Chigamoi Owiny-Dollo, would give a copy of the 1995 Constitution to Gen. Museveni. That never happened and I have since then believed that he will not have any reason to observe the rule of law as usual. 

That means business as usual until eternity. Why should a “shield” and a “sword” be more important instruments of power than a Constitution? 

There are more youths who are now in the new NRM’s Central Executive Committee (CEC); which observers say is the kitchen where the national cake is shared.

Since Museveni came to power the Western region has been benefiting the most compared to other parts of the country—taking the lion’s share of the national cake.

We were informed by Uganda’s Minister of Presidency, Ms. Esther Mbayo, that 42 Heads of State from across the globe were invited to grace the swearing-in ceremony. Only 11 Heads of State from the African continent actually attended. No shows were leaders of the West including the U.S., U.K., and EU countries.

Russia and China sent delegations as did the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Siri-Lanka. Gen. Museveni, said; “In this generation of African leaders, we have to have a United States of Africa just like the United States of America was born. If we compare Latin America and the USA, after 246 years, what is the result of their independence? There is prosperity in the USA but misery in Latin America. This is real brotherhood you are showing. The situation in Africa does not give credit to Africa. It must be addressed and can be addressed. I hear people talk of accountability but who will account for this hemorrhages in some African countries like Libya?” 

He told his guests this parable, “No one tears a piece of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will not match the old one. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants new ones, for they say ‘The old is better’”.

Read this in the Gospel of St. Luke 5:36-39.(NIV). Already, some youths in the next Parliament being sworn in are expecting theirs will be a transitional Parliament. 

Will Museveni survive beyond 2026? Get it from the teaching of Jesus Christ as mentioned in St. Luke and quoted above.

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