Monthly Archives: November 2010

Museveni: why I can’t go now. Me: why you should go now!

By Stephen Twinoburyo

In the article on the following link, Museveni asks where we want him to go and gives reasons that I don’t find convincing as to why he should not go now, if ever. He says his going should be planned (I don’t know by whom. Maybe his opponents), and says he is afraid that his successors may not have what it takes to govern the country. He goes on to say that “me who brought peace” is being told to go home by opposition such that “the ones did nothing come into government”. In short, he is the only solution for Uganda. He says he’s been to frontlines and when the time to go comes, “we shall look at the young people who have been behind us”. For more, go to:

This kind of talk should indeed be worrying to Ugandans. One can sense a leader who now sees the state and himself as one.

In fact the moment Museveni prolongedly over-praised himself as having a vision for Uganda and being the only one with that vision and the only one in the country with the ability to carry it forward, it was a clear indication that there was no vision.

Indeed after 25 years, nobody but him knows what that vision is. He is still trying to convince us that that vision is still in the making. What a load of ….!!!

I think Museveni knows that he cannot deliver anything new to the country. He is not stupid. He very well knows that he is adding nil to the country. I think he is only staying in power as a means of survival.

I also think what is keeping him in power is fear. I can assure you Museveni will never leave willingly. If anybody is waiting for that time, they had better get other things to think about.

The worst thing Museveni could ever have done to stay in power was to change the constitution. At that time he still had credibility and an international image.  He still had attributes most leaders would die to keep.

Many people respected him and he was regarded very highly on the continent. That he chose to sacrifice all that at that, go against sensible advise, sacrifice the gains Uganda had made thus far and reportedly go to the extent of bribing parliamentarians to change the constitution, there is nothing else that he would want to protect now. He is not going to wake up one morning and say he has felt for Uganda and will then step down. He is not going to wake up one morning feeling embarrassed that he has gone back on all his promises. He is not going to wake up and feel that his family and cronies have amassed obscene wealth at the expense of roads, hospitals, quality education, good public service e.t.c. If anyone is waiting for that, they had better lie on their backs, watch the sky and wait to see two stars embracing each other. There is a better chance in the stars.

He no longer cares whatever happens. And of course he has hangers-on that can only survive as long as he is in power. Such hangers-on will not allow him to go.

Like a friend pointed out to me, Museveni knows how to deal with Ugandans. He is well aware that many are corrupt and he can buy them as he pleases. He is also riding on the history of bad leadership the country faced previously and he is borrowing leaves from that. He is well aware that many Ugandans don’t actually know what good governance is. He has deliberately kept the bar so low that many Ugandans, including many educated ones, can never miss good governance – they simply don’t know it. He has kept previous bad leadership as his benchmark. He has never compared himself against good systems.

He also knows that the majority of Ugandans are inherently cowards since we’ve never been able to put up a decent fight for decent living and good governance. We’ve never been able to sustainably demand that our governments do better.

With him assured of all that, he can go and tell the Itesot, and indeed the nation, whatever he thinks. I don’t know whether he expects us to believe it or he just wants to rub it in. Or maybe to threaten us. One thing that gives me comfort is that Museveni is not the first ‘strongman’ in history – even in Uganda itself. In fact the British were the first pretenders to ‘strength’.

As a matter of course, there needs to be a thorough review of Museveni’s persistent claim that he brought peace. Museveni has had a lot to do with the insecurity that has gripped Uganda over the past 3 or more decades.

How can he say he brought security where he had created insecurity? Yes there was bad governance, but with insecurity, he had much to do with it. Of course there was an improvement over past governments in some sectors but he should not use that claim randomly.

For instance there was no insecurity in Eastern or northern Uganda – and not even in the west until he pitched up there. He says he pacified the region. There was no war in DRC until he went there, and he had bequeathed that country instability for decades to come.

So Mr. President, I know there are some good things you’ve done for the country but in my view you should go now. The reasons below, which are not in any way exhaustive, convince me that I am right:

  • After 25 years you are not sure of what you have achieved
  • After 25 years you have never explained what your vision is and as thus you are the only one who knows it. If there are any people around you who understand it, then they are keeping it a secret.
  • After 25 years, the roads in your capital city are impassable. I dare not talk about those beyond the capital.
  • After 25 years there is no state infrastructure that can be talked of. There is instead unstructured private infrastructure that hardly improves the quality of life.
  • After 25 years, nothing can be shown from the state enterprises that you sold.
  • After 25 years, there is no institution that can stand on its own without your involvement. This is even shown by your assertion “They are telling me who brought peace to go home..”. You have become all institutions in Uganda: So to say you liberated me, what did you liberate me from Mr. President? As far as I am concerned, your government has added nil to me.
  • Within 25 years the institution that seems to have grown strongest under your eye is corruption.


He made many promises on this day, 26 January 1986.

  • In 1986 you criticized previous leaders saying that when you entered state house, you found beds that were shampooed. You said you were going to get your bed from Katwe. You now change presidential planes willy-nilly.
  • In 1986 you wondered how Ugandans in the 20th century could suffer from jiggers. A quarter a century later, under your guidance, jiggers are flourishing at your doorstep.
  • In 1986 you wondered how Uganda could not even produce a safety pin. A quarter a century later, under your sterling leadership, we are yet to see industrial development
  • In 1986, as a youngster I saw you stand at the steps of parliament and claim you would not rule for more than five years. We clapped happily. 25 years later you are asking us where we want you to go. Why should I trust you Mr. President? Mr. President, why would I want you to spend another year?
  • In the same address in 1986, you criticized the former government for having reduced the police to nothing. 25 years later, apart from sporadically coming out in force to beat your opponents, the police is still in a story state.
  • Mr President, in the same speech you criticized previous leaders for flying abroad for medical treatment. 25 years later, under your watch, we have no running state hospital. Patients are asked to buy their injection syringes and pregnant women are asked to come with their own surgical gloves before delivery at Uganda’s leading state hospital, Mulago. On the other hand, I frequently bump into your soldiers  and privileged government officials that have come for medical treatment in Pretoria and Johannesburg at government expense.
  • Under your leadership Mr. President, some Ugandans have surely advanced as individuals but the national spirit has died.
  • In your early days Mr. President, you decried the brain drain that was caused by Amin’s persecution of professionals. The current brain drain due to loss of hope in the country is phenomenal.

So Mr. President, why would I not want you to go now?


Posted by on November 29, 2010 in Stephen Twinoburyo's blogs