Up With Uhuru, Down With Museveni—How Nkrumah’s Positive Action Can Free Uganda

Gen. Museveni
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Not Yet Uhuru. Ugandan dictator Gen. Museveni is the country's new colonizer. 

[The View From Uganda]

Uganda was born on October 9th, 1962. 

Back then, there was hope that we could rise to our undoubted potential thereby prevailing beyond our inadequacies. But then colonel, later general, Idi Amin successfully staged a coup against President Milton Obote on January 25, 1971. 

Amin initially appointed possibly the best educated cabinet since Uganda’s independence. His cabinet ministers were drawn from the best and the brightest in the civil service, the legal profession and Makerere University. 

Henry Kyemba, who was appointed Minister of Health in Amin’s government, wrote in his book “State of Blood” that Amin “was a model of decorum and generosity.”

However, as history has shown, this was a false dawn. Amin had already started deadly retribution against soldiers from the northern part of Uganda suspecting that they remained loyal to Obote. 

In any case, independence was very much a sham, as it remains today. I say this because Uganda has been a satellite state of imperialist powers since 1894, when our country was declared a protectorate by the United Kingdom which, as a consequence, established administrative law across this territory. 

All told, Uganda is, at best, a zone of influence for foreign interests. And, at worst, it is a civil war waiting to happen. 

So is this “flag independence” worth celebrating? I think it is. That’s because once Ugandans accept that they are unfree, they automatically start the process of liberation. What I am saying is simple: if we know our condition then we can change it. For when Ugandans are aware of their bondage, they can struggle against it. 

As the late Albert Camus once said, “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

Thus, in order to be free, we must refuse to be tethered to the crude fallacies which shape the ruling junta National Resistance Movement (NRM) ideology and thereby lull us into a false sense of security. We must never be lured into the cozy notion that we are free when we certainly are not. 

It is thereby important to meditate upon the new Dr. Kizza Besigye-led pressure group, People's Front for Transition (PFT). Dr. Besigye was of course a perennial candidate against dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni and is widely believed to have won in 2016, 2011, and possibly 2006. Gen. Museveni simply refused to yield power just as he again had his hand-picked election commission declare that he won this year after being apparently defeated by Bobi Wine.