Particularly last year was a heavy year for the President as he had to commission a number of factories, power dams, roads, bridges, modern taxi parks, ultra-modern parking lots including one at parliament, modern markets, farms, etc. In a single week of October, the man is reported to have commissioned projects worth over $500m (Shs 1.3trilion)! He chest-thumped about his government’s strategy of attracting and supporting foreign investments which has seen the growth in local revenue and employment.
The most spectacular part of Museveni’s visits was when he turned up in a remote village of Pakwach as Chief Viewer of the Hybrid Solar Eclipse (a once in a lifetime occurrence) which attracted over 10,000 visitors including world astronomers and magicians. Again it was said that “it was the NRM that brought the eclipse to Packwach”, and when the NRM spin docs where taken head-on about this claim,they changed tactic to: “at least the NRM government had created perfect conditions for Ugandans and the world to watch the eclipse”.
As the year wound up, the Ssabalwanyihad traversed the entire country, and laid a firm foundation for his nth kisanjain 2016. The Opposition had done the better part fighting each other and rendering their parties useless. There is no time Uganda’s opposition has been confused and disunited than now; no deliberate efforts in mobilising grassroots support and expanding their structures beyond Kampala. The common argument, which to a large extent is true, is that the NRM State machinery has made it impossible for the opposition to mobilise support, hold rallies, hold party meetings, fundraise, etc, as the State would often descend on them with the most lethal brutality. I can’t agree more that Museveni, in his quest to rule till he drops dead, will employ the most desperate and crude methods of checking his enemies; most of the time employing Machiavelli principles. Even the insiders who have had to disagree with him have been greeted with fierce force, as the case of runaway General Sejusa would attest; while
others have been expelled from the NRM party…the rebel MPs.
Those who couldn’t stay in the cold of a cash-strapped opposition have had to do a u-turnand seek the “father’s forgiveness”…if Maj Rubaramira Ruranga’sdefection is anything to go by. Rubaramira is the man who earned himself a hot slap by a one Cadre Dick Bugingo, a former commandant of the Military Police. He slapped the old Major so hard that he shuttered his (Rubaramira’s) eye glasses. How times change! I couldn’t believe my ears hearing the Major’s argument for defection to the effect that joining Museveni was the best way he could stand to fight and defeat HIV/AIDS.
With the Opposition in disarray and lost on the most potent weapon against Museveni and his NRM, it is safer to declare that the Ssabalwanyiis bouncing back with overwhelming margins; not less than 90% of the vote. In the previous election, Museveni scored not less than 64%; with limited violence but using cash to swing impoverished voters in his favour. Reports indicate that the Treasury was raided to a tune of Shs 3 trillion to buy votes. It was billed as the most expensive election in the history of Uganda’s multiparty politics. The effects of Museveni’s cash campaigns are still felt even to-date.
The Opposition’s fiercest face Kizza Besigye Kifefehas declared his disinterest in contesting the top most job, which he has lost thrice to his erstwhile nemesis- the son of Esiteri. With Besigye out of the picture, the opposition remains without a formidable candidate to challenge the all-time Ssabalwanyi, Museveni. There is a bait on General Gregory Mugisha Muntu, but he is not as fierce and widely-sold as the Retired Colonel. Nandala Mafabi is a non-starter as there is general belief that no civilian can take on a full military general in an election. Gen Sejusa is also out of range as Ugandans, most of whom he tortured and killed,can’t forgive his atrocities. So Museveni sails through unchallenged in 2016 with lots of cash amidst no opposition. Happy New 2014!