When he toppled the government in 1986 using Baganda, thanks to entrenching his rebels, as they were referred to then, in Luweero triangle, he promised them heaven after the hell experienced in Luweero massacres. To hoodwink them, buy time and loyalty, he restored their kingdom along with those of Toro and Bunyoro. When it came to Ankole kingdom, Museveni had some reservations. He did not like to become a subject of a traditional king whilst he’s himself an emperor. Since then, nobody knows exactly what made Museveni shelve his own king, if kingdom were a good thing and an “in-thing” Ugandans deserved.
Recent revolts in Kampala that left scores dead and hundreds behind bars act as an early wake up call for Museveni to contemplate vacating presidency in lieu of staying put in his phantasmagoric world. Ugandans are now tired of Museveni and are ready to take on him.
For decades, Museveni has dubiously been everywhere and everything in Uganda: in the seating rooms, bed rooms, even in the pubs. He tampered with the constitution to remain in power by producing and reproducing a host of pretexts all based on naked lies. Right now, Ugandans are tired of misrule and nepotism. This explains why youths in Kampala took to the streets after King (Kabaka) Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II was barred from visiting his subjects in Kayuga.
Though the cause of revolts may be lightly associated with this denial of the right of the king, the truth is, it is but a pretext. Ugandans are using this to take on their tyrant, who as time goes, keeps on changing into many things: from a freedom fighter to a dictator, not to mention his adopted name of “Kaguta” that signifies toughness. Is Museveni still tough really amidst corruption, nepotism, nihilism, humiliation and what not with regards to misrule and abuse of power? Time will truly tell.
By reinstating the king of Buganda, Museveni wrongly goofed believing he’d get away with it. How could he whilst he barred the same from vying for and political post? This is a constitutional right for every citizen of a free country! Did Mutebi accept this token knowing that time would come for him to strike back and get back his constitutional right? Is this what the youths that wrecked havoc in Kampala wanted him to pursue?
Museveni wrongly thinks he can outsmart Ugandans. How, if at all, he turned Uganda into a one party state, heading for a kingdom of emperor Museveni I, a banana republic of course? How could he whilst he is ruining Uganda using his dynasty? Will he neutralize this new awakening as he did with Kiiza Besigye?
Ugandans are not stupid and sheepish as people wrongly perceive. They know their dictator has ruined their country and reputation abroad. Refer to the Congo invasion whereby many innocent people were killed and their property was robbed. The majority in Rwanda will nary forgive him for siring his replica in a new draconic ruler whose struggles to grab power culminated in genocide and the destruction of this tiny nation.
As for Kenyans, Museveni’s attempts to annex Migingo Island do not augur well with them. If anything, in East Africa, he has a good relationship with Tanzania that cloned and exported him to Uganda, after Tanzania had a score to settle with Idi Amin after Milton Obote proved to be a failure.
Aristotle had it that the worst form of inequality, is to try to make unequal things equal. For long, Museveni has posed as a messiah for Ugandans thanks to coming to power under the post-Amin euphoria-cum-phobia. Though Amin was kicked out by Julius Nyerere, Museveni still poses as the one who did it. He has used this to score many credits unworthily. No messiah has ever used excessive force or dubious means to attain his goals, emancipation as it is for Museveni. Basically, any meaningful and true emancipation largely depends on those it aims at emancipating. Ugandans are stating categorically that they don’t need Museveni’s emancipation. Instead, they need to be emancipated from Museveni and his cabal of looters.
Though Mutebi has never put it straight that he aims at political power, shall people want and stand behind him, will he turn them down? He is a true Ugandan: educated, loved, and all in all, capable of unifying them especially at this very hour of need. One does not need a PhD in political science to tell that Ugandans are tired of a one man show. They need a new leader of their choice not that of the gun. They need and deserve a democratic elected leader. They are tired of a ruler superimposing himself on them. The two decades Museveni has been in power are more than enough. That’s why, in reality, things are likely to take a new turn.
Let us face it. Which is better; to have an emperor or a king? To me, Museveni I and Mutebi II are at par. The difference (and a good thing) is, Mutebi has never ruined and mismanaged Uganda. The former became a king by the means of his blood whilst latter by means of his gun. In this showdown, who will triumph between emperor Museveni and King Mutebi?
Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He writes regularly for “The African Executive” and also has a blog entitled “Free Thinking Unabii”. He is a regular contributor to AfroSpear.