Australia-based Ugandan physician-cum-politician Dr Aggrey Kiyingi has been closely monitoring the goings-on in this part of the world, most especially in his country Uganda.
The outspoken consultant cardiologist, who has previously attempted to run against long-serving President Kaguta Museveni, had an interview with The New Times in which he enumerates the ills that have characterised his political opponent’s 33-year rule.
In the interview, Kiyingi outlines a few reasons why, in his view, Museveni is a disgrace, not only for Uganda, but for Africa as well.
You came out to challenge the (life) presidency of Yoweri Museveni when, in 2014, when you announced intention to run against him in the general election of 2016. What happened?
You can’t believe what happened. Museveni just went berserk! He unleashed his state on me. They began accusing me of murdering Muslim Sheiks. They called me a member of ADF (rebel group), with no proof.
They even issued an Interpol Red Notice for me. They sent a whole government delegation to Australia, saying they were looking for a wanted terrorist (me!). That is how Museveni works to entrench his dictatorship for life.
Interpol told the delegation to produce some proof, but they could not. So Interpol told them to go hang! The organisation was telling them it could not work on unproven rumours; it wanted proof. When I said I was coming to Uganda Museveni ordered his military to shoot down the plane that I would be in!
That actually happened?
You don’t know what kind of person Museveni is! I am sincerely telling you he ordered his army to shoot down whatever plane I was in if it entered Ugandan air space! (Editor’s note: Kiyingi did not go to Uganda during that period).
Should Ugandans just resign to the status quo?
People cannot just sit around and resign themselves to this unjust dictatorship. But I agree there are no orderly means of removing Museveni, even though there are provisions in the constitution of Uganda.
You can’t vote Museveni out of power, even if you will mobilise 99 per cent of the people. He will rig, and steal votes and buy off voters, failure of which he will resort to violence.
The constitution of Uganda, which Museveni himself signed empowers the parliament to impeach the president if the conditions require it. For sure the conditions to impeach Museveni are more than ripe. But that’s also out because we know the parliament of Uganda is toothless.
If Museveni wants some bill passed, he calls the MPs and gives them five million (US) dollars overnight, in Rwakitura (his country home). They will pass the bill the next day. This is not a parliament that can impeach Museveni.
The third alternative – that also is in the constitution – is the provision that if everything else fails, people are to use whatever means possible left. That is public protests, or standing up to be counted and say loudly and publicly: “we are against Museveni. Uganda is against Museveni!” The constitution gives me the authority, and the right to stand up against this man.”
Are you going to stand for the Presidency again?
Museveni has been Uganda’s leader for 33 years. What is the wider implication of “Musevenism” not only to Uganda, but also to the region?
Let’s look at Kenya. Museveni wanted to take Migingo Island from Kenya, and a war almost started. During elections in Kenya, Museveni actually was part of the post-election violence. He sent in his military, which killed civilians.
Moving on to South Sudan, if Museveni was not in the picture the people of South Sudan would have settled their differences a long time ago. Fewer people would be dying. Instead, because of Museveni, the country is more broken now.
With DR Congo, oh my god! Museveni has raped the country. He has killed many, and treated people worse than animals. He supports different militias to cause havoc, why? Because it gives him an open ticket to commit crimes in the country. Even the international community knows this.
When DR Congo took Uganda to the International Court; the court ruled that Uganda pay up US$10 billion, due to Museveni’s looting in DR Congo. In Somalia, the man’s troops are committing heinous atrocities, including rape and looting. For Rwanda, the daily provocations of Museveni against that country are clear to everyone. A war can even start due to his provocations. Museveni is an absolute disgrace for Africa!
His meddling actually looks worse in Rwanda than all the other places you’ve mentioned…
We know what has caused the bad blood between Uganda and Rwanda. Everything is because of Museveni’s arrogance. He does not see that, even if it were a case of a son and father – even if that is how he thinks of Rwanda – he has to realise that at one point a son grows up and will go and lead their own lives.
If I grow up and move out of my father’s house and marry, my own father cannot follow me in my house to give me orders from there. Museveni has refused to accept that Rwanda is a grown man running his own affairs. He is stuck in this uniquely arrogant mindset, and fails to recognise this fact.
The Ugandan leader likes to blame outsiders, or “neighbouring countries” for crimes that happen in the country. It smells fishy, because no one is ever charged, brought to book, or convicted for crimes, even the most high profile assassinations, since the early days when the likes of Kayiira were killed. What do you make of this?
Orders to kill people are Museveni’s. There is no other explanation. It is clear that he masterminds these things, and then blames other people. He blames Dr Kiyingi for the Sheikh murders.
He blames “neighbouring countries”, even before any investigation. He blames everyone else, and uses Uganda’s corrupt press for his blame games. He is an expert at evading responsibility.
Museveni was recently displayed as an “exhibit” in a trial involving an international bribery scandal. How have things come to this?
Museveni has beaten Ugandans so much; they can’t talk up to demand accountability. All institutions are controlled by him. The military, the police, the judiciary, the parliament, everything. There is no one left to stand up for the right thing any more.
The impunity; the corruption at the levels you are talking about all are a result of how far the man has chocked accountability in Uganda. It is a real travesty. Things reached a point whereby a small family clique has taken over the entire country, stealing everything. Mark you I am not talking about the whole of “southwestern” Uganda, but a small family clique that’s incredibly corrupt.
This is totally wrong, and it has to end. Ugandans have to end this.
SOURCE: The New Times