AN OPEN LETTER TO MR.YOWERI K MUSEVENI,
THE PRESIDENT OF UGANDA AND CHAIRMAN OF NRM-
MR .PRESIDENT WHO ARE THE “ BAD BOYS”AND “REBELS?”.
I was befuddled and dazed by the statements attributed to you in the two dailies ,namely New Vision and daily Monitor ,all of Friday 11,2013.The statements are: “We shall sort the “bad boys”-Museven.” “They are bad boys (in Parliament.We shall sort them out like you separate the chuff from millet. Don’t get worried about them”, “There is no one who will win the war of fighting NRM.I am not worried about those fighting it and they cannot win that war”.
Then on 12th January 2013,during the evening news 10:00 o’clock on Bukedde TV, you indignantly rebuked some Bishops and Priests for talking about things they don’t understand since they are “amateurs” .You promised to counteract them. Also you have threatened to close down some Radio Stations or cancel some programmes ( some are already closed) from such Radio Stations. All the above is being done to muzzle and curtail the “freedom of speech and expression which includes freedom of press and other media” as it is enshrined in article 29 clause (1)(a) of 1995 Constitution. However, Mr. President, I feel this is a futile attempt because you cannot silence the voice of reason and conscience. Here we are being defended by Jesus himself who wants us to acclaim him by opposing evil and supporting good. “Some Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Master reprove your Disciples ,but he answered ,I tell you, if these keep silence, the stones will cry out”!(Luke:19:40) .So Mr. President , I advise you not to move incautiously lest you push a wrong button and burn your fingers.
Mr. President, I have a preliminary objection. The way you treat and deal with some of your fellow leaders, is regrettable and remorseful .Recently you referred to some MPs as “idiots” “fools” and “crooks”. Now you are referring to others as “ bad boys”. According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary , the word “idiot” means: “a very stupid person with very low intelligence who cannot think or behave normally”. Then the word “ boys” means “a male child or young male person” and the word younger means: “having lived or existed for only a short time ;not fully developed”.Mr. President ,are you convinced we have “idiots” and “bad boys” in our 9th Parliament? It is improper for His Excellency the President of Uganda, the Head of State, Head of Government and Commander -in –Chief of Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces and Fountain of Honor to use derogatory and denigratory language when referring to his fellow leaders. This is demeaning and mortifying. Your anti-dissenting attitude towards some of your fellow leaders ,and even institutions if not checked and halted, although it is a bit late , might turn you into a bigot which is very dangerous for you as a leader who should be tolerant and accommodative .The same attitude has elevated you to a level where you feel that you are above everybody and everything else and therefore you must be done. You are taking yourself as a Head Teacher of a Nursery School. This is very sad and unfortunate because the people you take to be“bad-boys” “rebels”and “amateurs” ,who you would have loved to see dancing to your tune blindly ,are fortunately ,mature and intelligent with independent minds and conscience given to them by God. You cannot buddle all members of Parliament into one wheelbarrow to be pushed around in any direction you wish. No single individual in Uganda can claim to have the monopoly of answers to Uganda’s problems .Mr. President, respect is earned and not demanded.
Mr. President ,although you never mentioned who those “bad boys” and“rebels” are, some of us can guess who you meant and they are:Hon.Niwagaba ,Hon.Baryomunsi,Hon.Sekikuubo,Hon.Nsereko, Hon.Lyomoki, Hon. Kyamadidi,Hon .Bitekyerezo,Hon. Magezi and others .These are some of the MPs with independent mind and who follow their conscience. These are called “bad boys” and “rebels” because they have refused to jump on the bandwagon and to be turned into voting machines in NRM caucuses and Parliament. These are the men of courage who have resisted all forms of intimidation and attempts to turn a party caucus into a National Parliament. They are “bad boys “and “rebels” because of their stand against the disheartening wholesale corruption by well placed politicians and their collaborators in Civil Service. These are the “bad boys” and “rebels” who have resolved to be on the side of the suffering Civil Servants like the teachers, police officers, doctors and nurses and others whose services are not appreciated by their employers. They are “bad boys” and “rebels” because they have shouted themselves horse in trying to wake up those in Government to improve social services for the ordinary people ,who are the tax payers. They are called “bad boys “and “rebels” because of resisting all attempts to create a monarchy State with an imperial Presidency. The “ bad boys” and “rebels ” have advocated for the rule of law and Constitutionalism. They are the sight for the blind and the voice of the voiceless .In short they are siding with the oppressed to free them from the tyranny of the oppressor .
But Mr. President, what is the cause of this fuss and bickering within the NRM and the government at this material time?
Mr. President, the truth is bitter but it must be told. When I met you on 19th November 2008, at State Lodge Nakasero, I told you that; “The longer you stay in power the more problems you create for Uganda, NRM and yourself” and “Any regime that perpetuates itself in power, it has ,with time, to lose its popularity and credibility”.
Mr. President, the origin of the current confusion, mistrust ,suspicion and wariness , is the overstay in power which is the result of tampering with the 1995 Constitution by removing Presidential term limit. There is no work on earth which does not make one get tired physically, psychologically and mentally and most especially when the age factor closes in. I am sure that during last year’s State of the Nation Address by you, you might have observed that majority of the occupants of front benches were either sleeping ,dozing or nodding. Why? Because they are tired and aged. What do you expect from someone who is tired and aged? Unfortunately and lamentably these are the people you rely on in planning for Uganda! Majority of them are suffering from retrogressive amnesia .Then the back benchers of who are NRM members, are hecklers and bootlickers just there to please the Master.
Mr. President, these Ministers are scared of telling you that they are an over spent force to do anything meaningful. So nature has come to their aid and is pleading with you on their behalf to retire them for the good of Uganda, NRM and you. Please have mercy on them and retire them . Anybody who is tired is an easy prey of irritation and righteous indignation. The natural, even scientific medicine for such a person is to rest or be tired.
Mr .President ,because of overstaying in power ,you have taken yourself as the Alpha and Omega of everybody and everything in NRM and in Uganda .To belong to NRM and be Ugandan is a favor from you . You are NRM and everything in it. For you NRM is superior to Uganda that is why NRM caucus and NRM as a party are above Parliament and Uganda respectively.
Mr. President ,a bit of history. After the 1980 elections in Uganda a certain patriot, by the names of Mr. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni ,resolved to go to the bush with a few of his comrades .Reason ,the elections were rigged. Their base was in Luwero triangle .The Government in power then referred to Mr. Museveni as a“rebel” but the Wanainchi saw him as a “liberator”.(Unfortunately some of those who used to call him a “rebel” are now in President Museveni’s Government as advisors).The government used to offer ultimatums to the “rebels” to surrender and leave Luwero otherwise they would be followed in the bush ,be massacred and left there. Fortunately Mr. Museveni, the “chief rebel” refused to be intimidated , and with the support of the people , he eventually worn the war .On 26th January 1986 ,Mr. Museveni the “rebel” was sworn in as the President and “liberator” of Uganda and we celebrated .The government used to comfort Ugandans with these words. “Ugandans be firm UPC government is strong and in control no one can defeat it” They forgot that Uganda was stronger than UPC(NRM now).
This reminds me of the saying by Jesus that: “For unbelievers ,it is rather a stone which builders rejected that became a cornerstone”( 1Peter 2:7 b)” Mr. President, suppose that Museveni had cowed down and given up his struggle for the liberation of Uganda, what would have happened? In fact Ugandans especially the “bad boys” and “rebels” should prepare a gift for President Museveni for his courage and determination in opposing and fighting wrong elements and policies of the then Government. I believe that if Mr. Museveni of that time is a member of the 9th Parliament he would, without any doubt, be among the “BAD BOYS” and “REBELS”.
Mr. President ,if you did not know this ,then know it from now .You and your Government ,have ably and generously armed the “bad boys” , “rebels”, “amateur religious leaders” and others like the opposition with enough ammunition to “shoot” you and NRM. You have successfully done this like the UPC Government did to Mr. Museveni before in 1986.As UPC cadres found it difficult to meet the people and explain to them what was happening, equally your cadres are feeling the same because in most cases they do not have answers to people’s enumerable and pressing problems. These ammunitions include ,but not limited to, unchecked wholesale corruption, appalling and abysmal health facilities across the country , growing unemployment, unfulfilled pledges and promises substandard infrastructure , protection of corrupt leaders, deficient educational infrastructure ,institutionalizing individuals and individualizing institutions , crumbling fortunes of agriculture, “uncoordinated troop Movement” .”( Like when Prof Kabwegyere said on WBS TV on 3rd January 2013 that: “Without corruption there can’t be development” In fact Mr. President many Ugandans are waiting for your reaction to his statement. Either he apologizies to you and Ugandans or you sack him from his ministerial post. Failure to do, either ,it will prove that your zero tolerance to corruption is just rhetoric),divide and rule nepotism, reasonable high levels of poverty and programmes that benefit a few like NAADS etc.
Mr. President ,to know that corruption has reached alarming levels, even children, below ten years are feeling its pinch . These are the people prophet Isaiah talked about when he said: “the eyes of the blind will be opened ,the ears of the deaf unsealed……… ..and the tongue of the dumb sing joy”(Isaiah 35:5).Such children are politically blind ,deaf and dumb, now listen to the lamentations of one of these children:
Corruption! Corruption! Corruption! A deadly disease More deadly than HIV/AIDS or Ebola Caused by selfish official in the offices of authority
Paying ghost pensioners
Paying ghost teachers
Corruption! Corruption! Corruption!
Making some people richer
While others are getting poorer
Cursed is that wealth
Look at children dying in health centres
Because there is not enough medicine
Let us unite and fight this social evil
Shame on you corrupt officers
Stop being corrupt and let us build our
For God and My Country”
Light primary school Soroti.
Mr. President ,I want you to pay heed to the warning of Jesus when he said that “Any kingdom which is divided against itself is heading for ruin and houses collapse against house”(Luke:11:17).
Mr. President ,Comfort your people, console them! What assurance, either in word or deed, can you give to Ugandans about their money that has been stolen since you came to power up to today? Should do we loose hope? I hope I have not qualified for to join the group of “bad boys”and”rebels.”
For God and my Country
FR GAETANO BATANYENDA