Akon In Uganda: Why Musician Is Wrong to Sup With Killer Dictator Gen. Museveni

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Akon. Photo: Wikimedia Commons 

Since losing the January 14, 2021 election to challenger Robert Kyagulanyi, a.k.a. Bobi Wine, General Yoweri Museveni, Uganda's dictator of 35 years, has been on a desperate global public relations campaign, thus luring Akon to visit Uganda on April 2, 2021, supposedly to discuss "investment."

Akon, the Senegalese American entertainer, is lately known for his futuristic project "Akon City", envisioned as a modern Wakanda-like metropolis with efficient energy and state of the art technology, in Senegal.

To help whitewash his image, the dictator invited Akon and his Ethiopian - American wife, Rosina Negusei, through Abbey Walusimbi, the dictator’s agent in America. But good investors must conduct due diligence before committing their capital. So, here is some background information for Akon and potential partners pondering business with Kleptocrat Museveni to consider. 

First the politics.

Gen. Museveni was falsely declared the "winner" of the Jan. 14 vote by an election panel whose members are all appointed by Museveni himself. The U.S., which supports the dictator's regime with about $1 billion in annual financial and military support, declared the vote "fundamentally flawed." The EU, which provides hundreds of millions of Euros, condemned the sham election. The EU Parliament voted 632 to 15 to recommend sanctions against Museveni regime officials over the conduct of the election and the rigged outcome. There are demands for the U.S. to also target human rights abusers with sanctions, including Gen. Museveni himself.

Before the election and since, the dictator is on a killing spree. His Special Forces Command (SFC), which is commanded by his son Gen. Muhoozi Kaenerugaba, massacred more than 100 Ugandans on Nov. 18—though the regime admitted to 54 deaths – who were protesting the arrest of Museveni's main challenger, member of parliament Bobi Wine. On election eve, Museveni shut down the internet and then rigged the elections.

The presumptive winner of the election, Bobi Wine, who is also one of Africa's leading entertainers, remains under surveillance. Thousands of his supporters have been arrested, and to date more are still being abducted, tortured, or killed. General Museveni’s ongoing campaign of terror has been well covered in international media. The kidnapping and killing spree are designed to stave off resistance and an eventual popular uprising to end his autocracy in Uganda.

Due to the rigged election and the terror campaign, Viacom CBS canceled the February 2021 MTV Africa Music Awards which were slated be hosted by DJ Khaled in Kampala, Uganda. The cancellation was in response to a social media campaign by Ugandans and friends of Uganda urging Viacom to not whitewash the regime’s tyranny by honoring its campaign for hosting the awards.

This is not the first time that dictator Museveni has used an iconic entertainer for public relations. In 2018 he lured Kanye West and Kim Kardashian to Uganda. In a Black Star News column then, we informed Kanye West about Museveni's repugnant comments to the Atlantic Monthly magazine endorsing slavery: “I have never blamed the whites for colonizing Africa: I have never blamed these whites for taking slaves. If you are stupid, you should be taken a slave." Thankfully, Kanye West has not done business with the dictator.

Second, the corruption.

Gen. Museveni and his family are irretrievably corrupt and have enriched themselves through diverting public funds, as per two examples that follow:

In an interview, one of Gen. Museveni’s exiled former ministers Zoe Bakoru-Bakoko detailed how the Museveni family through his brother Gen. Salim Saleh stole $5 million every month from the country's National Social Security Fund, thus depriving workers of their hard-earned pension. 

And, in a 2018 U.S. federal court trial in New York, Chinese national named Chi Ping Patrick Ho was convicted of paying a $1 million bribe to Gen. Museveni and his in-law, Uganda’s foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa in a bid to secure oil and other business interests in Uganda for a Chinese company. The Chinese company was to funnel more money to Museveni's and Kutesa's families through a secret business partnership. 

Akon, 47, was 12 years old when Museveni shot himself to power in Uganda. Since then, the dictator has manipulated the constitution multiple times and violently suppressed all attempts to unseat him democratically through elections. Certainly, Akon would not wish such a kleptocratic tyrant upon his native Senegal where youth have been protesting Macky Sall's recent tilt toward authoritarian rule. The Senegalese also previously forced former president Abdoulaye Wade from power when he tried to tinker with the constitution to extend his rule. 

Ugandans -- like the Senegalese -- also abhor tyrants.

Akon, for your sake, do not be associated with murderous dictator Museveni.

Editor's Note: Petition calling for arms embargo against the Museveni regime.

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