By Kirya Bruno
President Museveni has been very busy lately doing his own PR. And so on Saturday, September 15, most of us Ugandans had to endure yet another lecture from him during his press conference; it was about the state of (in) security in the country. Museveni says that he is not panicked by this insecurity and his own PR stunts are intended to project to us that he is someone who has things under control. However, this unprecedented frequency of media intervention on the same subject is often proof that he actually doesn’t.
Most PR people will tell you that the most effective way to project confidence is to admit to your share of responsibility in the crisis as a means of gaining the trust and confidence of your stakeholders, which is needed to win enough benefit of doubt in order to survive to fight another day. However, this is the real challenge that Museveni faces.
Accordingly to people deeply knowledgeable of Museveni, this is someone who has never taken responsibility for the consequences of his actions; but who, on the contrary, is great at crediting himself with success from the actions of others.
And so, finding himself lately with nothing good to take credit for and with much harm to our society for which he is largely responsibility, he must be thankful that there is a “neighbour” to whom he can shift the blame and disparagingly refer to as “jiggers.” Before, it were “swine” – Museveni’s epithet for his predecessors – that were responsible for Uganda’s problems.
There was a time when most of us actually fell for this habitual tactic of his shifting of responsibility to the so-called swine, which explains why we never called him out to respect his predecessors. However, those days are gone. Today, we take nothing Museveni says on its face value. In fact, we now assume that he is lying about almost everything till we are provided with objective evidence to the contrary.
Which is why nobody believed that it is neighbours who are responsible for our out-of-control murder of prominent Ugandans and our rampant, general insecurity.
If anyone, including the president, is going to make such serious accusations, then he ought to give us some evidence. Yesterday, the source of our problems was allegedly swine; today, it is jiggers. Clearly, all this is intended to divert us from focusing on the problem –or, to borrow Museveni’s own term, the real jigger – in order to devise the tight solution once and for all. In other words, we have said it time and again that enough is enough; we must extract the jigger from Uganda’s body politic. Abantu bakoowu! Kiki ekilala ekitawulilizika?
The people in the streets are far from being “hooligans,” as those paid to defend our corrupt leadership like to put it. These are people who are ready to “antiseptically remove the jigger” and to have an opportunity to “fumigate” their country from the fleas that end up as jiggers that then suck the blood of their bodies.
Already people have been killed while demanding the right to a country free of jiggers. This is why we cannot allow Museveni to use his usual deflecting tactics in order to divert our attention by condescendingly telling us that the problems we are facing originate from elsewhere rather than him.
If Museveni doesn’t know how to take responsibility for the consequences of his actions, after 32 years of undivided power, then it is high time he learns, because we would at least feel like he is serious about solving these problems. In fact, no person who was watching television honestly believes that Museveni has a solution to any of the problems the majority of us who wish to fumigate our country face.
Indeed, the reason we have lost faith in him is precisely because we long ago reached the only conclusion that can be drawn from the deteriorating state of affairs in almost every facet of our country: Nothing can change as long as Museveni is still the President of the Republic of Uganda. Can it get much worse? You better believe it.
Does anybody still doubt that Museveni is willing and ready to kill innocent Ugandans for the sake of power? Now everyone he suspects of being a political opponent must be killed like a rat. At least when rats are killed, no one dances and mocks them in death. Imagine the audacity to rush to the crime scene just to be able to verify that someone you ordered to be killed is in fact dead and that the killing cannot be traced to the killers you sent, all of which is tantamount to compromising the crime scene and tampering with evidence.
Ordinary people are now beaten like cows – things that even the colonialists never did to our ancestors – and Museveni’s Minister of Security Gen. Tumwine has the guts to defend the beatings, to even sing in mockery to the suffering of Ugandans.
AIGP Andrew Kaweesi and MP Ibrahim Abiriga are forgotten. Afande Kirumira and Yasin Kawuma kati bagenzi. Yet, Museveni is determined to go after Robert Kyagulanyi Bobi Wine’s blood.
This heavy-handedness only proves that he is seriously panicked, mostly due to his realisation that we can no longer be fooled or diverted from the fact that the jigger is known to us and, most importantly, that it’s ripe for extraction.
Museveni is panicking because deep down he knows that after 32 long years, we finally have an answer for him. This is a fact that he cannot shoot and kill.
This article was originally published by “The watchman” blog