Friday, April 29, 2011

Uganda's Museveni ... in the ways of Syria and Libya

Okay... so Museveni is not satisfied with the additional 5 year term to his 25 years as President of Uganda. He continues to be intimidated by Dr. Kizza Besigye, the opposition leader who lost the presidential elections early this year, who is also becoming very popular and is certainly stealing Museveni's thunder.

Yesterday's riots in Kampala were sparked off by the manner in which Dr. Besigye was arrested during the April "walk-to-work" protest against high prices organized by several opposition parties over rising fuel and food prices. President Museveni has called these protests illegal. Although this is a solidarity protest by opposition parties, the government has chosen to target Dr. Besigye accusing him of inciting violence. The security forces, in the presences of media and the public approached Dr. Bisegye's car and broke one of the windows and pepper sprayed him in the eyes as he fought with the plain clothed police. They then frog-marched him out of the car to detention. This is the fourth detention this month for his participation in the "walk-to-work" protests.

Opposition Leader, Dr. Kizza Besigye
The arrogance of government officials is clearly seen in this statement by the Minister of Information, Mr. Kabakumba Matsiko, "I would like to reassure the world that the government is in charge, and we are going to improve the security situation. We're not going to encourage worthless demonstrations which don't have clear and genuine objectives to continue."

The trouble started in Kisseka market with news about the violent arrest of the popular opposition leader along with rumors that he might have died. "They arrested him like a chicken thief. We cannot allow such things to continue. Museveni must go," said, one of the protesters.

President Yoweri Museveni
Clearly Museveni is not the popular and favored leader the election results led us to believe. Ugandans are fed up with the his dictatorial manner of leadership. Museveni who began his presidency 20 years ago as a favorite of the West has turned into "functional tyrant" like Mubarak. Power has corrupted this man to the point that he is now steadily taking the pathways of Gaddafi (a close friend) and Assad of Syria.

In a previous blog I questioned the longevity of this new 5 year term for Museveni. Voices are already calling for him to step down. If the opposition can unite as one voice they can harness the power of the people to bring down Museveni's government. How long will the opposition stay splintered allowing Museveni to play them like pawns on his chess board? Maybe it is time for the people to lead and pave the way for a fair and democratic government in Uganda.

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