I was ready for anything when I confronted Museveni over his misrule – singer Mayinja
By Moses Ssejjoba
Popular musician, Ronald Mayinja, has spoken out following an incident at which he badly humiliated President Yoweri Museveni this past weekend by putting him on the spot over excesses that have characterised his 33-regime. Mayinja said he was ready for anything rather than miss the opportunity, when it presented itself, to speak truth to power.
This was during a music concert by one of Museveni’s avowed praise singers Catherine Kusasira, which the former uncharacteristically attended.
Uncharacteristic because Museveni, at 75 (his officially stated age) has not been known to attend concerts. It was more to do with what analysts say is a “charm-offensive” towards the youth, who are more than ever disenfranchised after years of his government’s misrule.
Of late, Museveni has been gracing late night concerts organized by opportunistic musicians that he bankrolls using state funds. Political watchers say the newly found “love” for the music industry, which Museveni has never been known to care for, is said to have been from fear inspired by the popularity of musician-cum-legislator Robert Kyagulanyi.
Through his People Power Movement, Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has become a rallying point for millions of Ugandans, mainly youth, against the reality of the excesses of the Museveni regime. But at the Kusasira, Mayinja saw an opportunity to pin Museveni through his popular song ‘Bizzeewo’ – loosely translated: we are back to Square One!
In the song Mayinja spells out in clear terms the suffering Ugandans are going through. At the concert he bluntly told Museveni that whatever atrocities he accused previous governments, his own 33-year regime has done worse! The musician confronted the ruler on the spate of suspect state-perpetrated murders.
Everyone knew Mayinja was talking of assassinations from the times of Andrew Kayiira, down the decades to today whereby insecurity is raging in Uganda. The singer was unrelenting. He also brought to the attention of the now furious Museveni the suffering that ordinary Wanainchi continue to endure – the crumbling economy, all-time low unemployment levels and grand corruption among other ills.
After gaining a semblance of composure, a disoriented Museveni took to the microphone and all he could do was remind revellers how he and his ilk went to the bush some 40 years ago to liberate Ugandans. It was the same old, “we-fought-to-liberate-Uganda song that people are so fed up with.
“Liberate us from what?” Some of the concertgoers shouted, obviously tired of the well-used bush narrative.
Museveni went on to blame the deaths on “murderers” then jumped onto the inefficient security services, parliament and the judiciary. The question was, who is charged with ensuring the security of Ugandans? It is Museveni, who everyone can see has failed, and whose security apparatuses are the main abductors, torturers, and killers of Ugandans. The record of CMI, ISO or SFC speaks for itself.
In his speech the ruler was evasive of these facts. He even went ahead to actually blame the voters as well! “Voters take the blame because they continue bringing the wrong people into elective positions,” Museveni claimed.
Still in blame mode he went on: “judicial institution have still failed to thoroughly investigate crime or do their work properly; that’s why criminals are released and return to commit the crimes, in consort with police!” Several analysts contacted for this article said that this is a confession for all intents and purposes.
“When you say past leaders killed people, you actually do not want to mean that the Head of State pulled the trigger,” said one of our analysts.
“In fact, going by confessions pinning security agencies of executing the people we have seen die day and night, this regime has done worse than its predecessors,” he added.
From the mass-killings that took place in Northern Uganda; to the spate of murders by machete-wielding thugs that came to earn the name ‘Bijyambiya’; to high level assassination of senior security and political leaders, all these have been traced back to the current regime.
“But what has the President done?” another analyst asked rather rhetorically before answering himself:
“He has actually promoted those at the helm of these death squads and only continued to militarise the police. Mayinja was right in more ways than one!”
Reacting to the incident this week, Mayinja said that he took the initiative with full knowledge of what could happen to him.
“But there has to come a time when someone has to confront him with the excesses of his regime. In any case, I am not any different from others that his regime has killed.”
He said; “despite the guns that surrounded me; I was not afraid because I was armed with the truth and the love for my country.”
It may seem that a lot more “Bobi Wines” may be coming out of the woodwork – to Museveni’s increasing worry.