Gen. Museveni--We The People Plan to Reclaim Our Power

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Heil to the chief -- Gen. Museveni

[Open Letter]

I salute you General Yoweri Museveni.

My name is Mugabe Robert. My late father, Mzee Amitayo Okeny Lugwero, named me after your fellow revolutionary leader, Mr. Robert Gabriel Mugabe. I was born at the time when Southern Rhodesia, current day Zimbabwe, was gaining its independence.

Robert Gabriel Mugabe, like you back then, presented the people of Zimbabwe with new hope and aspiration for a better future. His articulation of the liberation program and economic prosperity for Zimbabweans was nearly equal to none on the continent at that time. Indeed, for the first 10 years, he did very well for Zimbabwe, but later, like you, got consummated with the power retention idea.

General Museveni, on May 18th this year, I turned 37. I have spent 31 out the 37 years of my entire adult life on earth under your rule. I know no other president but you. You have short-changed us on the "fundamental change" that you promised had been delivered when you seized power. It was a "mere change of guards" after all.

You seem to have completely lost any sense of shame and have the least regard for integrity of word and action. But let me remind you that in January 1986, while swearing-in on the steps of the Ugandan parliament, you said that one of Africa’s main problems, is the long stay of leaders in power.

When you made that statement, gullible Ugandans believed you and thought that finally, the country had got a leader and a new era had dawned. In the Western world, you became a darling and, together with your peers, Paul Kagame, the late Meles Zenawi, Isias Aferweki, were branded, a "new breed" of African leaders.

Little did we know that you were actually duping the entire world. You had a completely different plan up your sleeves. You were involved in crafting a constitution that you didn’t believe in one bit even though the opinions and contributions of hundreds of thousands of Ugandans was solicited.

A few years down the road, before the most important articles in that constitution could be tested, you initiated a scheme to rape it. Armed with $2,000 for each Member of Parliament, you bribed nearly all of them to amend Article 105 (2) that would have barred you to contest for the country’s presidency again. Now there is no presidential term limit; a gaping hole in the constitution.

While you were orchestrating your plan to hang onto power, there was a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in the northern and northeastern parts of Uganda. Your government herded nearly two million Ugandans into camps; with squalid, inhuman conditions. The World Health Organization survey found over 1,000 "excess" deaths above normal mortality per week; people dying every day as a result of hunger and disease. If you multiply this every year, more than a half-million people must have perished over 10 years and well over one million over two decades.

Many others were being killed by your soldiers and those of Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

As your plan to hang on to power got further entrenched, your government was busy running down Ugandan schools that incidentally made you and your ilk the rulers of this country by providing you with superb education when you were growing up.

You replaced the Ugandan education system, with the Universal Primary Education (UPE), which sounded good on paper; but, because you were not prepared or willing to give young Ugandans quality education, it only ran down public education.

General Museveni, you did not stop there. Your government commoditized education and made it only affordable to rich Ugandans. I know for a fact that if the colonial government had constructed an education system similar to what we have today, you and your ilk would not be here in those positions of power. Your parents, including Mzee Kaguta, would not have afforded to give you the requisite education.

General Museveni, the biggest resource of any nation is its citizens. However, you and your government have given young Ugandans something akin to education, not education in its true sense. You have given young Ugandans an education that does not prepare them for the challenges of their times. I am sure you have heard several reports that say young Ugandans in upper primary cannot do basic literacy and arithmetic work of lower primary classes. This a big shame to your government.

General Museveni, while you were busy illegitimately prolonging your stay in power, the health sector was being run down. I remember, that you had to fly your expectant daughter to deliver her baby from in Germany with the $50 million Gulf Stream jet purchased with Ugandan tax payers and foreign aid money; funds that should have gone towards building our schools and hospitals. You swore that your children can never be attended to by Ugandan medics.

In fact, it is not just your children. Your ministers, permanent secretaries, under-secretaries, and even our Members of Parliament do not dare go to Ugandan hospitals. If they did, it would be for minor health problems such as colds, headaches, and coughs.

This is because Ugandan hospitals are not functional. Your government has broken down the entire health system. Ugandan hospitals have become mortuaries.

General Museveni, poverty, unemployment, corruption and all other governance vices have characterized your 31 years in power. Ugandans are so impoverished that in some case people eat wild leaves and insects to survive. Youth unemployment is nearly 85%. The country loses nearly $300 million to graft every year.

General Museveni, we now hear that you have hatched a plan to remove the 75 years old age limit clause from the Ugandan constitution so you can run again and be president for life. What this means is that you are prepared to throw Uganda into another spate of mayhem, destruction and bloodletting. We had hoped that that constitutional provision would finally stop you, but alas, we hoped against hope.

General Museveni, you are supposed to derive power from the Ugandan people to stay there. Now that you have chosen to circumvent that legitimate path, we, the people, will do all within our power to stop you.

Enough is enough.


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