About me.

Andrew M. Mwenda is the founding Managing Editor of The Independent, Uganda’s premier current affairs newsmagazine. One of Foreign Policy magazine 's top 100 Global Thinkers, TED Speaker and Foreign aid Critic

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Museveni and Besigye, birds of a feather that fly apart

During this festive season visits to my fb page hit a record high. Two subjects were of great interest; one raised by me, that to discuss the future of Uganda, we need to discuss the leadership of the opposition in Uganda especially the role of Dr. Kizza Besigye.

The FDC responded saying that the most important issue for national debate on the future of our country is my sexuality; whether I sleep with boys or girls or both. I had called this section of fanatics mentally retarded. Their position on the future of our country has caused me to change my mind. I think they are the Albert Einsteins of our continent.

Given my over sized ego, I would want to think my sexuality is the biggest national issue for Uganda and all debate should focus on me. I would like it to dominate our radio and television talk shows and the headlines of our newspapers.

But my stupidity tells me that my sexuality, though very important for the future of Uganda, is not (or should not be) more important than the internal organization and leadership of the opposition. Therefore I will continue my discussion of the crisis inside the opposition, specifically the largest opposition party, FDC, and especially its everlasting leader, Besigye.

I hold Besigye is great esteem because of his courage, his principles and all the sacrifices he has made in pursuit of what he believes to be the good of Uganda. And I am a friend of his. But like all such great men, i have over the years come to realize that self righteousness has gotten into Besigye’s head so much so that he does not see an alternative to him. Besigye has become Museveni.

Besigye is a carbon copy of Museveni only that he lacks Museveni’s finesse. Museveni believes he is the only one who can transform Uganda. Besigye believes he is the only Ugandan who can defeat Museveni. Museveni believes that he should not leave power until Uganda has transformed from an agricultural into an industrial nation.

Besigye believes he should keep running for president until Museveni falls and he (Besigye) establishes a democracy. One has his fingers around the nation’s throat, chocking it; the other has his tight grip over the opposition, strangling its internal institutional growth.

The supporters of Museveni are willing to keep their leader until he dies in office just like the supporters of Besigye are willing to keep him in the race until he wins or dies. The supporters of each camp have led me to believe that our leaders only reflect who we (their followers) are and are and want. This has helped me develop better perspective of Museveni, a factor that calmed me down and made me more accommodating of his leadership.

Museveni and Besigye are not alien men. They are a reflection of who we are and how we want our leaders to behave. The difference between the two sides is that Museveni’s supporters are in power and want him to keep it till death, Besigye’s supporters are in opposition and want their man to remain their leader until he dies or wins.

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