Gen. Museveni. Uganda’s land-grabber-in-chief in the familiar pose of tyrants.
There is no doubt about it, the freedom struggles against Gen. Yoweri Museveni’s cynical land-grab and life-presidency plans are key to the ultimate liberation of Uganda. Gen. Museveni is best advised to start preparing for an inevitable end to his over 3-decades long tyranny in Uganda.
Historical precedents in contemporary freedom struggles across the world, including in African countries, have shown that power-hungry dictators, in the final moments of their reign, are usually too obsessed and fanatical about their power grab and exploitative ways to notice the red-lines drawn by the people and the realities of an approaching end game.
In Uganda today, Museveni, who has ruled the East African nation with an iron grip, while attempting to transform the country into an exclusive family centered oligarchy, has gone into overdrive partaking in some of the worst eccentricities ever known to the citizens in the entire post-colonial era.
Massive land grabs, actualized through extreme violence and heartless killings of defiant local populations, have become the norm. This, at the same time as frenetic constitutional maneuverings to create conditions for a Museveni life-presidency and an indefinite family-based totalitarianism are gathering speed. He is now trying to remove the 75-year old age limit for presidents from the constitution.
In his own warped mind and his incredibly crazed irrational political pursuits, Museveni sees no reason whatsoever to stop and reflect on those moments of contemporary history that saw many a dictatorial regime terminated and brought down by the over-arching greed and raucous insatiability for too much power, too much self-gratification and too much vanity that soared beyond the narcissistic.
Does Museveni not realize that it is political gluttony and the maniacal absolutism of wanting to consolidate already entrenched tyranny and totalitarianism that brought down autocrats such as Romania’s Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989? The Romanian was accused of killing thousands of people during the revolution in his country and of “genocide by starvation” against the nation. Even as he was led to the firing squad he still inhabited his own universe. The prosecutor in the show trial declared to the dictator: “But the most hideous crime was suppressing the soul of the nation.”
Closer to home, African despotic rulers who relentlessly exploited, enslaved, repressed and dehumanized their fellow country folks, and went on to attempt to own whole countries as personal property – the likes of Liberia’s Charles Taylor –now serving a 50 years sentence for war crimes– Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo, and, more recently, the Gambian strongman Yahya Jammeh, were humiliatingly toppled in People’s revolutions when the citizens finally said “Enough is enough — it’s time to go.”
Even the all-powerful Libyan leader, Muamar Gadhafi, who has been widely correctly praised for the high levels of economic growth enjoyed by Libyan people under his rule, and also for his Pan-Africanist and anti-imperialist credentials, might still be alive today, had he not been so obsessed with building such an undemocratic and autocratic political dispensation. The system was going to crack and implode at some point in the future, even without the intervention of his arch-enemies from without.
It is almost incredible to think that Gen. Museveni, a man who went to the Ugandan jungles of Luwero, supposedly to fight for democracy, could sink that low as to rig his way through a series of sham elections, and is now hell-bent on the obscene raping of the country’s constitution, with intent to abolish the 75-year age limit that prevents any Ugandan from seeking to stand as a presidential candidate after clocking this advanced age. He is a congenital liar as this interview last year when he vowed he wouldn’t try to continue as president beyond age 75.
Museveni and his cronies and business allies have set their eyes on the peoples’ land across the country, determined to forcefully grab and own the very last life resource God provided to people, through the processes of hereditary ownership as well as direct self-empowerment. In Amuru for example, he has aligned himself with the domestic multi-national corporation Madhvani Group, a former beneficiary of a $60 million loan from the World Bank, now seeking to oust people from their land to build a sugar cane plantation.
Gen. Museveni is trying his best to make Ugandans landless, under the guise of the so-called “state-acquisition of land for development.” As most Ugandans know, behind every land-grab, there is a Museveni-grand agenda to own what does not belong to him and to share the loot with his family members and his shadowy and not-so-shadowy business associates.
For Museveni his Life-presidency and Land-grab machinations are the peoples’ red lines. Increasingly informed and ideologically empowered Ugandans won’t let him and his cronies cross this line.
Even his acolytes in the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) are now making a stand not to allow the dictator to lift the 75-year age limit. If he fails to heed his own party stalwarts nothing can save the tyrant.
Dr. Vincent Magombe, Secretary
Free Uganda Leadership Committee and Press Secretary