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Politics

Museveni’s opportunism exposed in his latest social media charade

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President Museveni.

By Moses Ssejjoba

In a desperate attempt to excite young Ugandans by appearing to be “cool”, power hungry president Yoweri Museveni on Monday had his minders organize for him an “interactive” social media session with Ugandans.

Desperate and opportunistic because we know Museveni’s own views about social media, which he did not think twice to recant by choosing to use the very platforms he disparaged just a few months ago. He made his views about social media clear in May last year when he introduced a draconian tax on social media, dubiously called OTT.

In his own words, Museveni called social media “olugambo” which he said must be severely discouraged through the prohibitive tax that went into force in July last year. However, the desperation that led to this change of heart on the same to have this highly choreographed session will make a story for another day.

It however speaks to the opportunism and how lacking in principles Museveni is, which will form the core of today’s article.

For example, during the social media interaction on Monday, one user asked him when, in the spirit of an MoU that he signed with his Rwandan counterpart last week, he would be denouncing the terrorists that he has been sponsoring to kill people in the neighbouring country.

The user also asked him a rather direct question of when he would be releasing the hundreds of innocent Rwandans imprisoned by the same institutions he has used to brutalize Ugandans – CMI and ISO to set the pace for the normalization of relations he signed up for.

Now this is when opportunistic Museveni came out of his shell.

He evaded by answering that he had discussed the matter with Rwanda’s President Kagame and that he would “not discuss inter-state matters in the press, including on social media.”

There goes the President, whom on the same issue of Rwanda, just earlier this year, leaked a letter he had addressed to his counterpart in the press even before the letter got to its supposed recipient.

The well-publicized letter that was published in New Vision a day before it reached Kigali, Museveni mumbled on how he had “by accident” met the same Rwandan dissidents and how they had sought his help to overthrow a legitimate government.

Now one wonders why he chooses to become evasive when asked a direct question on the well-documented suffering of these foreigners who are rotting away in his gulags?

Why the reticence now? This is partly answered at the beginning of the article; Museveni, as we have come to know him and his brutal regime in the past 33 years, is one that knows no principle.

Never mind that Ugandans on border communities and mainstream business operators who depend on trade with our neighbors are suffering because their businesses are folding.

Locally produced merchandise is rotting away because of the lost Rwandan market, but the only remark that Museveni could come up with was the excuse of not discussing “inter-state matters in the press”?

For context, I will direct you to the latest figures on our economy by none other than Museveni’s own central bank, which showed a gaping hole created by the sour relations with our neighbors.

Here was an opportunity that he had to try and assuage Ugandans – especially those suffering at the hands of the blockade by Rwanda – how things were on course to normalize as he had committed in the Angolan capital Luanda where the agreement was signed but alas….

By all indications, including admission by his own leaders, the issue with our neighbors rests squarely on Museveni’s shoulders, yet he seems to have no interest in putting resolving it.

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