Ugandan Dictator Gen. Museveni Implicates Two Legislators in Suspicious Murders of Civilians

Gen. Museveni

Uganda’s military dictator of 35 years Gen. Museveni. Photo: Facebook.

The absurdist nature of Ugandan politics has reared its ugly head anew. This reminds us all that we are being led under dictator Yoweri Museveni’s regime, by a short route, to anarchy. 

Two opposition Members of Parliament (MPs), Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana, were arraigned in court this week and charged with four counts related to the ongoing killing-spree of civilians in greater Masaka region.

The Masaka Magistrates Court later on charged the two legislators with four counts, with three being of murder and one of attempted murder.

According to the prosecution, led by Richard Birivumbuka, Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana hosted a series of “planning meetings” at Kayanja Rest House and Happy Boys in Kampala, while cloaked with daggers drawn. It is at these two locations that the two legislators alleged “planned” the Masaka killings which have reached a toll of 28 persons dead, and counting.

Yet the only crime these legislators seem to have committed is trying to help their constituents and, in Ssegirinya’s case, looking a corrupt gift horse in the mouth. 

To be sure, when Gen. Museveni dangled a bribe and offered $91,000 (321 million shillings) to each of Uganda’s 529 Member of Parliament to buy a car, even while Ugandans are starving as a result of the lockdown or being evicted from their homes, MP Ssegirinya had a brilliant response. 

This is what he said: “I am definitely going to take that money but I am not going to buy a new car because I already have one. I am going to get that money and divide it proportionately to help my people. I am going to get 100 million shillings and help the families of our people who lost their loved ones during the struggle, like Rita Nabukenya, Yasin Kawuma, Dan Kyeyune and many others. I am also going to put 50 million into Muhammad Ssegirinya Orphanage to help underprivileged children, and then invest some money in development groups in Kawempe North, especially for the women, and then I will use the rest of the money to buy sanitary pads for young girls and also buy hospital beds for premature babies at Kawempe hospital.” 

This well-meaning plan was then distorted, by the state, to spell “terrorism.” That’s because when you oppose Gen. Museveni, you’re marked for trouble. You pay the price sooner if not later. People who have known Museveni for years will tell you about his true colors, no longer a mystery to Ugandans. 

Augustine Ruzindana, a former MP  for Ruhaama constituency and a stalwart of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party, started fighting Museveni in the early 1970s when Gen. Idi Amin ruled Uganda. 

After Museveni came to power, Ruzindana served as Uganda’s first Inspector General of Government. He has known Museveni since they were both schoolchildren. Ruzindana once said of Museveni: “He likes pomp. I think he likes power for the sake of it. He likes luxury now. He likes money.… I think that now it’s not that he dislikes people who disagree with him—he actually hates them.”

It is clear that the feelings Gen. Museveni has for the two legislators amounts to hate, as any dictator would have for those who choose to exercise their right to free association. Gen. Museveni said he “went to the bush” —a reference to the guerrilla war against Milton Obote’s government from 1980 to 1985— to bring about peace and the rule of law. The “peace” is predicated on Ugandans accepting his regime and his interpretation of the “rule of law.” 

If Ugandans do not accept Museveni’s rule, he unleashes his wrath, just as he did when he created hell in Luwero, where countless thousands died, during the bush war. The “peace” Museveni claims to have delivered to Uganda is merely the absence of war, not the presence of durable institutions to tame his own brutality. 

David Ouma Balikowa, the former managing editor of The Monitor newspaper, once asked, “How much longer must we thank Museveni for simply not killing us?”

Well, we have stopped thanking Museveni and now he feels free to simply kill us.

Columnist Matogo can be reached via [email protected]

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