The king is weary after 35 years of scheming, lying, and eliminating opponents.
First they came for Dr. Kizza Besigye, who was the leading opposition leader and presumptive winner of the 2016, 2011 and other previous elections and I did not speak out—because I was not a member of his Forum of Democratic Change (FDC) party.
Then they came for Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi, a.k.a Bobi Wine, and I did not speak out— because I was not a member of the National Unity Platform (NUP) party he leads.
Then they came for Kawempe North Member of Parliament Muhammad Ssegirinya and Makindye West Member of Parliament Allan Ssewanyana, both on bogus murder charges, and I did not speak out—because I was not a dissident.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Here I echo Martin Niemöller the German theologian who made the famous quote about Germans not defending communists, trade unionists, and Jews—and he concluded “Then they cam for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Members of Parliament Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana are both opposition leaders. Gen. Yoweri Museveni’s dictatorship claim they are linked to a series of gruesome murders of elderly people by machete in Masaka.
Also being linked to the murders are former spymaster Col. Kaka Bagyenda, who has claimed he’s being framed. The ex-director general of the Internal Security Organization (ISO) is a naïve man if he thinks that protesting his innocence will save him. He should have heeded Niemöller’s warning. He also ignored the warning: “if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas”. Instead Kaka was a loyal Museveni apparatchik as the dictator eliminated Ugandans over decades.
Now the regime wants Kaka’s neck.
The Museveni regime more and more resembles the late Gen. Idi Amin’s and even it’s loyalists aren’t immune. The revolution is devouring its children.
As things stand, Gen. Museveni’s regime is a snake pit of fear and paranoia, dominated by misinformation and disinformation that leaves nobody safe. In Amin’s regime, the State Research Bureau (SRB) justified the assassination and murders of those suspected of opposing the dictator by claiming foreign powers were trying to topple Amin.
Amin’s odd-ball British advisor, Robert Astles once wrote a letter to Gen. Amin which read: “Your excellency. We have evidence through documentation and interrogation that foreign companies are working against the Ugandan economy. We also have evidence that the C.I.A. is working against you. We would like to give our intelligence verbally. Your obedient servant, Bob Astles.”
We have heard Gen. Museveni on numerous occasions accuse unnamed foreign countries of seeking to influence Uganda’s politics by funneling assistance to the opposition, including Bobi Wine’s NUP, through non-governmental organizations. “It is important that external players refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries,” the dictator has said.
It appears that the ghost of Bob Astles is alive and advising Gen. Museveni as the workings of this fading regime increasingly resembles Shakespearean drama by its tragic nature. In “Macbeth”, Banquo’s ghost appeared at a banquet as an indicator of Macbeth’s conscience returning to plague his thoughts after all the evil he’d committed. Similar forces are speaking inside Museveni’s brain. How else to explain the sudden dropping of charges against leading lawyer Nicholas Opiyo, who’d been arrested and charged with money-laundering and terrorism.
Dictator Museveni has also focused his paranoia on the Baganda, the country’s largest ethnic group. Even though it’s widely believed he lost the Jan. 14 election allover the country Museveni has created the false narrative that he only lost big in Buganda. It’s true that in Buganda, with journalists and more observers around polling stations Museveni couldn’t rig the vote—as was widely reported as having occurred in other regions—and official results showed Museveni losing in Buganda.
Buganda was the initial base of support and operations for Museveni’s war against then President Apollo Milton Obote. Museveni stoked ethnic hatred towards Milton Obote’s regime by demonizing people from the northern part of the country, from where Obote hailed. Now Museveni has flipped the script and he’s now demonizing Baganda even as his security forces target their youth for arrests, torture, and murders.
The demonization dictator Hitler unleashed against the Jews later came back to haunt him and ultimately send him to his grave. As the war turned against Hitler, it emerged that Jews served as soldiers in the Soviet military. Some were also the engineers who designed and built pivotal Soviet weapons, including the T-34 tank.
Gen. Museveni is a student of history and politics. He knows that the hatred that he sowed, beginning from his 1972 invasion of Uganda, until the present day will one day finally end his regime.
Columnist Matogo can be reached via [email protected]