Mercury LLC President Kirill Goncharenko– blind to the facts?
Even if Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) could pay for it, U.S. pr firm Mercury LLC wouldn’t work for him; yet the company has no problem pocketing $600,000 of Ugandan taxpayers’ money to clean up the image of homophobic dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni.
Millions of Africans, in Uganda, in Rwanda, and in Congo have died as a result of Gen. Museveni’s militaristic dictatorship. The figures for all those killed by Kony’s marauding militia members don’t come anywhere close to the number of victims of Museveni’s militarism.
Not even Gen. Museveni can persuasively dispute this or the U.S. administration that continues to support him solely because he provided troops for war-torn Somalia, which Washington fears could fall to al-Qaeda ally, the al-Shabab forces. The U.S. acts as if the army is the dictator’s private force; as if a post-Museveni government would not continue the effort to restore peace in Somalia.
Gen. Museveni unleashed war on Uganda in 1980 and seized power in 1986; he hasn’t stopped firing since then. In 1990, he sponsored an invasion of neighboring Rwanda; the war of aggression escalated in 1994 into genocidal killings when the plan carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi was shot from the sky killing the leaders.
Since 1997, Uganda’s army has invaded Congo numerous times. The invading army, together with allied militias have committed massacres, mass rapes, and plundered Congo’s resources. The multiple wars that sprung from the invasions has claimed millions of Congolese lives; estimates range from five million to seven million.
In 2005, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in Congo’s favor, finding that Uganda had committed war crimes and ordered it to pay $6 billion to $10 billion in reparations.
Congo’s government referred the same complaint against Uganda to the International Criminal Court (ICC ) which launched its own investigation. Possibly fearing ICC indictment, The Wall Street Journal reported on June 8, 2006, that Gen. Museveni asked then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to block the probe.
Beyond the militarism, Transparency International has ranked the Museveni regime the most corrupt in East Africa. In 2012 the U.K. cut off all foreign assistance because of corruption and embezzlement.
While women and children die due to lack of medicines in Uganda’s hospitals, Gen. Museveni maintains his opulent lifestyle at taxpayers’ expense.
In 2011, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reported that he had diverted $50 million in foreign aid to purchase a Gulf Stream jet for his private use.
The dictator is a master of divide-and-rule, using inflammatory language when it suits his political objectives. Most recently, as he gears to win votes in Uganda’s 2016 election, he launched a campaign to demonize Uganda’s LGBT communities. When he signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act February 2014, he told CNN that Gays were “disgusting.”
His long resume of spewing hate stretches over several decades.
A Ugandan publication, The Shariat, quoted him once saying, “Hitler was a smart guy, but I think he went a bit too far by wanting to conquer the world.”
Separately, in an interview published in The Atlantic Magazine’s September, 1994, issue, he said, “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.”
Wasn’t Mercury LLC’s president, Kirill Goncharenko, aware of Gen. Museveni’s resume before his firm inked the $600,000 deal?
Well, if he wasn’t, now he’s aware.
No amount of sugarcoating can disguise the Museveni regime’s ugly record.
Mercury must do the right thing: Cancel the PR contract with Gen. Museveni.
The $600,000 can benefit the women and children who die in Uganda’s hospitals and clinics due to lack of medicines.
Petition drive demanding return of $600,000 for Uganda’s hospitals