Museveni's Damascene moment

HARARE - Wananchi, would have been amused by Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s rumblings this week following his attendance of that great Nelson Mandela memorial in Soweto last Tuesday.

To many, the announcement that he was now retiring in 2014 may have appeared to be of Damascene proportions, the ultimate realisation that he was a man of the past and needed to go.

A flash of heavenly lighting hit and intruded on his extrovert soul and suddenly he found a new path.

In this case he in fact found no path and faced with a cul-de-sac he announced he would retire.

Or to use his own language “there would be no rap.”

The statements attributed to him are the stuff of a great comedy.

“I am going home, I didn’t realise just how the world has changed till I went to South Africa.”

Museveni being Museveni had to rub it in.

“I have travelled a lot in Africa and abroad. I do not want to be like our neighbour with retired presidents so old they can no longer run a kilometer.”

The thing is this is no comedy but a farce of tragic proportions.

The heart of the African crises.

This is a man who is 69, has been in power for 27 years since January 1986.

This a man who has altered a very decent Constitution to remove term limits and allow himself the right to serve as he pleases.

This a man obsessed by the opposition, which he treats with contempt and disdain.

Dr Kizza Besigye, the main opposition leader is regularly assaulted and incarcerated without cause.

In Museveni’s mind, his party the NRM (National Resistance Movement) has a God-given right to rule.

Ugandans owe the NRM an eternal debt for fighting and ousting the arch dictator Idi Amin Dada and the corrupt and inept Milton Obote.

This is a man who has run the country under the same legal order of repression of the past.

Refining among other things the colonial Public Order Security Act into a Public Order Management Act.

Yet had Museveni known when to retire he would have retired as one of Africa’s greatest sons.

In the mid 90s, the West was hailing same as the leader of a new crop of transformational leaders.

But alas that legacy is gone.

The old Museveni is a tin pot dictator.

This certainly has something to do with the productive years he spent at Dar University mingling with the likes of Mamood Mamdan, Shifji,Walter Rodney and other greats of his time.

Uganda is a typical African state characterised by corruption, clientelism, patronage and patriarchy.

Even the news that he would retire did not cheer up the Ugandan Wananchi.

Many thought this was a belated April Fools joke.

He has no idea that the most assured way of eating into one’s own proud legacy is to over stay.

The thing is the dictator has no end game. Has no other plan except to hold on to power.

The dictator would never make a good chess player.

It is precisely because there is no end game that there is no orderly succession in Africa.

The tin pot can and does not allow discussion on succession.

The “S” word is a taboo subject, a treasonous term only whispered in corridors.

In the end when it is clear that the dictator because of age cannot hold on, it looks to its own busy loins for a successor.

Thus African politics becomes dynastic, not because the tin pot plans it. No.

Dynastic politics is the legacy of a failed leader who wants to hang on forever.

It is a knee jerk reaction to failed succession.

Of course the coterie of hangers-on and looters in the king’s court yard favour dynastic succession.

It does not rock the boat and guarantees perpetual looting and the absence of inquiries or investigations that normally come with a new president.

When you think of it, Mandela’s greatest legacy will have been to know the exit, to plan for it and to play the end game on his terms.

His burial at Qunu is a well planned move made many years ago, so too his decision to step down after one term.

Sadly not many see the wisdom of his righteous paths. Zikomo.

Comments (3)

Museveni is playing an extremely sick joke on everyone.. He should be told to his face it is not funny. Even the blind unborn know, he is LYING. He is going NOWHERE.. Like our president and his own nemesis one Tsvangirayi..these guys are here to stay! It is un Arican for them to think about leaving..just wait, it wont be long before you hear this tired line..."The people have insisted that I stay and as a servant of the people I find myself in an extremely difficult position where I can not refuse the DEMANDS of the people"..No use struggling to find what Museveni means by "the people". He means his shadow.

gutter poet - 16 December 2013

Tendai, his legacy is in tatters and the Ugandans are not celebrating because they know he lies but at least there is one thing I liked about him especially at the AU anniversary when he lambasted his fellow leaders asking them to look at themselves without just blaming the West and colonialism yet they are leaving abundant life whilst their fellow citizens are dying in poverty.

Maita Manyuka - 17 December 2013

Nguva yamwari hairambirwe ndokutoenda ikoko.Zvasarire kuno.............

JB - 17 December 2013

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