Junior dictator and Uganda’s chief torturer Muhoozi cuts his birthday cake. Proud parents Janet Kataha and Senior dictator Museveni watch with pride. Photo: Twitter.
[View From Uganda]
The obscenely opulent birthday celebrations of junior dictator Muhoozi Kainerugaba, son of senior dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni, are clear signs that he is being positioned as a successor in Uganda’s imperial presidency.
But before we can draw any conclusions, let us look at the event proper.
The city was shut down for the party of the man who is alleged to have been behind the torture of PEN International Writer of Courage 2021 Kakwenza Rukirabashaija and scores of other Ugandans.
Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s car arrived at Kololo Independence Grounds, situated in Kampala, at 8:43AM on Saturday, April 23. That is when the festivities could finally kick-off.
Clad in army fatigue, Muhoozi, who is commander of Land Forces and Special Presidential Advisor to his father, exited from an army green Toyota land cruiser to the cheers of about 200 fans who had gathered for the party. His official car was followed by a Toyota pickup full of bodyguards.
Gen. Muhoozi was noticeably inebriated when he talked to Ugandans; he must have been seen double and thought there was twice the crowd since he was so drunk. This event, a shameless display of opulence as well as buying of Ugandans’ affections, was best captured later in the day. In the U.K. the public called for the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson when it was revealed he threw wild parties as the nation suffers the consequences of the pandemic. In Uganda the regime allows no such outcry.
Leone island boss and musician Jose Chameleone laster stepped onto the stage during Gen. Kainerugaba’s birthday celebrations at the Lugogo Cricket Oval late in the evening and was heckled by many in the audience. Chameleone then let fly at fans who criticized him for siding with the regime of Gen. Museveni.
“I’m here to sing because of my friend Toyota. You all remember he gave me a Range Rover. Some of you were not happy. But I don’t care. I am here to sing because of Muhoozi. I make my choices. Some of you want to make decisions for me. I won’t accept that,” he reportedly said.
“Why mix politics with music all time. I no longer care about what you say because I won’t contest again. That chapter ended,” he added. “Some people have been saying that I won’t sing in South Africa or any other places if I perform here at Muhoozi’s birthday, hmmm, no one can bully me. I will perform wherever I want,” he concluded.
Chameleone has come to personify the once popular personalities dictator Museveni has bribed in order to further delude the world that his regime is not as unpopular as it clearly is. Ugandans have been reduced to such beggars by the Museveni junta that a relatively rich man like Chameleone, real name Joseph Mayanja, must sell his soul for 30 pieces of silver.
However, he is not alone.
Catherine Kusasira, a once popular Ugandan musicians, says she has to beg music promoters to allow her to perform because they fear that she will bring chaos and the show will flop. This, she adds, is a result of her association with the National Resistance Movement (NRM). “It is not easy for promoters to book me. Pelting us with bottles in the past has affected our businesses,” she says.
“I’m at a level where I have to beg a promoter to book me or plead with fans to come to my show,” she further reveals.
This is how tired Ugandans are of this regime that even though Gen. Muhoozi’s party offered free drinks and food, most Ugandans turned their noses up and refused to be drawn. The ones who did show up ended up berating Chameleone on stage for being a turncoat, a quisling. In the context where Ugandans are languishing under the weight of escalating commodity prices as well as prices for petroleum products, this Muhoozi obscene party shows the obnoxious excesses and callousness of the Museveni junta. They are saying to Ugandans: “Let them eat cake.”
In view of the suffering, one recalls the December 4, 1977 coronation of Jean-Bédel Bokassa, as “emperor” of the Central African Republic, which typified the wastefulness and vanity of misleaders. Dictator Museveni and his son Muhoozi join that clique.
Things could get worse if Muhoozi’s blood-stained hands ever takes the steerings of Uganda’s ship of state.
Columnist Matogo can be reached via [email protected]
Editor’s note: People are invited to sign the petition to send Muhoozi to the International Criminal Court.