First published by Change of Guards Blog on August 3, 2015
Last week Uganda's military dictator Museveni picked nomination forms for renewing his 30 years hold on power. He has used all dictatorial means to block whoever intended to contest against him in the party's primaries. He launched the sole candidature scheme in February 2014 and has been promoting it through intimidation, harassment, bribery and blackmail. This followed public outcry over wrongly perceived intention to be succeeded by his son in the so called Muhoozi Project - which actually did not exist but the rumor was generated for diversionary purposes.
Fresh on the long list of victims of his political greed is his long-time comrade Amama Mbabazi. Until recently, Mbabazi had stood as the only historical member whose association with Museveni was still intact after many others were knocked off at different stages of Museveni's life Presidency. When it was suspected that Mbabazi had intended to seek the highest office in the country, Museveni dropped him from the positions of Prime Minister and party Secretary Generalship.
Mbabazi’s efforts to consult with the electorate were frustrated by the regime security machinery who arrested him and continue to harass and arrest his supporters. He has now withdrawn from contesting on the party ticket but insists that he will remain a party member and will contest as an independent candidate.
Unfortunately, Mbabazi who is yet to come to the reality of Museveni's dictatorial tendencies is preoccupied with legalities. By the time, he realises that dictators follow no law, he will be politically '6 feet deep'. He knows more than anybody else how dangerous and ruthless Museveni can be when it comes to retaining his hold on power. Unless Mbabazi stops being shy from the reality of Museveni's dictatorship and resolve to destroy Uganda thus adjust his approach to the ugly situation, he is in for a big surprise of his life.
He will be framed on criminal charges and sent to jail the same way Dr. Besigye was treated. The current regime false pretense to tackle corruption is a smoke screen to frame Mbabazi while at the same time hoodwinking Ugandans that Museveni is serious with fighting corruption. With both the regime cadre law enforcement agencies and Judicial officers, Museveni has all that it takes to finish off his political opponents.
The regime is very mindful of the fact that the masses are craving for change for which Dr. Besigye is riding on his popular nationwide mobilization tour and call for change through civil disobedience. Parallel to neutralising Mbabazi, the regime has the uphill task of ensuring that Dr. Besigye does not come up as the main opposition party flag bearer. Once Dr. Besigye is rigged out, he and many of those towing his line of civil disobedience will be arrested and charged with inciting violence/terrorism. Gen Ssejusa who is currently towing the Dr. Besigye school of thought will also be dealt with in the same way.
The regime will undermine the cohesion and strength of the much-cherished opposition alliance (TDA) through fomenting of further division in the traditional political parties (DP and UPC). Museveni has of recent been courting the northern region and it is not by coincidence that the architects of the split in DP and UPC are Norbert Mao and Jimmy Akena respectively who hail from northern region. Norbert Mao has in the past been a stumbling block in opposition alliance to Museveni's advantage and is set to do it again. His being very crafty and ambitious coupled by his closeness to the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanya makes him well placed to be used by Museveni.
Between now and end of November 2015 the regime will focus on the above mentioned behind the curtains of political schemes while at the same time building capacity for the security forces and the power of cash as that is the main weapon for the final March 2016 showdown. The timing is dictated by the impending Papal visit at the end of November 2016 which Museveni intends to exploit to boost his international image. The same period will also witness improved cosmetic security, political freedom and tolerance by the regime. The ongoing security swoops under cover of the Papal visit targeting unemployed urban youth will be intensified in order to deplete urban centers with the youth who may take part in civil disobedience.
Those youths will be subdued through arrests and detentions while others will either flee to rural areas or forced to become less active through bribery. The current acts of unexplained killings especially in and around Kampala are designed to provide a justification for a security crack down - the Operation Wembly way. The military training and arming of millions of a ruling party youth under cover of Crime Preventers is also in this regard. There is going to be no more killing of Muslim clerics because the objective of getting Jamil Mukulu extradited has been achieved but more so because the Muslims came out strongly and threatened to take on the regime for its systematic persecution of Muslims.
There is a high possibility that after the Pope's visit a stage-managed terror attack will take place in order to win back the attention of the West and more especially President Obama and the USA. It happened in 2010 when the West had put Museveni in the spotlight over his intentions to seek another term and he had been shy to declare his intention. A twin terror attack in Kampala left over 70 dead and immediately President Obama made a telephone call to Museveni reassuring him of USA's support in fighting terrorists. Indeed, in that confusion Museveni simply embarked on campaigns without even declaring that he was to seek another term.
That is why during that attack, no foreign national from the Western countries was targeted. Most of the suspects in that attack were reportedly arrested and they easily confessed. However, it has taken five years until recently for the suspects who confessed to be tried. The trial coincided with the murder of Muslim clerics and the lead Prosecutor Joan Kagezi. Indeed, the on going trial proceedings are revealing a lot of anomalies by the security and law enforcement agencies. Whatever the case, Museveni will have to design a special response to President Obama's recent direct attack on his life presidency scheme.
Once the Papal visit is over and the world has turned its eyes off Uganda, hell will break out. The TDA will have not taken shape and some political parties will have opted out of the electoral process leaving Mao's DP and Akena's UPC in the race. The elections will be conducted in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Gen Aronda the Minister of Internal Affairs will play a pivotal role in the electoral process to ensure Museveni's high score assisted by the Commission's Secretary Sam Rwakoojo. Moreover, already Gen Aronda has been at the helm of preparing the voters register from the fraudulent National ID project. He will also coordinate the stifling of the media before, during and after the election in conjunction with the Media Center, Uganda Communication Commission (UCC), the Election Security Task Force under Gen Muhoozi's SFG and the regime Police in liaison with the Information Minister Gen Jim Muhoozi.
If Dr. Besigye will have been eliminated from the electoral process, the voter turn out will be very small and Museveni will be declared the winner. This will be after security forces will have been deployed at every corner of the country unlike in 2001 when concentration was in Kampala city. As usual, opposition will cry foul backed by the West which will stop at only discrediting the exercise and calling upon the regime to form a government of national unity. Instead Museveni will appoint either DP's Nobert Mao or Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanya as his Vice President.
The Prime Minister will come from the eastern region in the names of Mike Mukula. There will be some slight semblance of protests against the outcome of the elections but will be met with decisive brutality and persecution of opposition supporters more especially those of Mr. Mbabazi. In order to scare off those who may resort to take up arms, a real or stage managed attempt to form a political armed group will be made but either way it will be used to further purge political dissenters. Among the army representatives to parliament will be Museveni's son Gen Muhoozi who will have played a major role in identifying and facilitating the youth who will come to parliament on the party ticket. That way many old guards who are now dancing Museveni Pakalast will be surprised if they are undermined not to return to parliament.
As the new government will be settling down and consolidating its victory, the opposition pressure will lose momentum and civil society activities will be highly curtailed thus many will gradually join the oligarchy. Security services will be reorganised and restructured with many old guards either retired or depending on the situation relocated to other sectors. Towards 2021 almost all personnel in the security forces, public service personnel and parliamentarians will be loyal to Gen Muhoozi. Museveni will focus so much on East African Community political integration in the hope that he becomes its first President. That is why currently there is renewed vigor to sensitize Ugandans about the community.
Depending on how best he manages to manipulate the new President of Tanzania who will have been elected in October 2015, he already has the support of Kenya and Rwanda. He will work towards bringing on board South Sudan and Somalia in order to secure a military alliance under the guise of an economic block. The Nkurunziza regime in Burundi is likely to fall in the near future unless Nkurunziza kneels before Museveni and Kagame.
There will be a slight improvement in the health sector in terms of infrastructure and facilities in order to account for the oil but meaningful health care will be for the oligarchy in expensive private hospitals and abroad. The education sector will be further destroyed in order to breed ignorance which is a breeding ground for autocracy. Emphasis will be on vocational training which would not be a bad idea only that is brought in bad faith. Museveni's worry is that an enlightened and informed society is difficult to manipulate. That is why he is decampaigning the teaching of arts subjects and the English language while promoting the teaching of Kiswahili and Chinese languages.
He does not want the majority Ugandans to understand the dynamics of political and economic trends so that they don't make a comparison and criticism of his policies. To achieve this, he is already tampering with the education curriculum to suit his designs while emphasising political indoctrination through patriotism training in schools and among the youth.
Widespread ignorance will breed strong belief in myths about Museveni and reliance on superstition while at the same time driving a desperate and economically deprived population into unguided religious worshiping. Until recently when the government in Burundi slammed a stop of registering new religious denominations the figure had reached 680 different Christian religious groups in the country. Also, ignorance and hopelessness will breed a lot of attention on art like Music and entertainment just as was the way in Mobutu's Congo and Apartheid South Africa. National performance in sports will fall because of political interference as you saw the National netball team had to don party colors while heading to Australia. Selective quality education will be accorded to members of the oligarchy who can afford expensive schools in the country and abroad while the rest of the population swims in ignorance.
The economy will improve owing to oil flow and loans from China and Russia that will benefit only the oligarchy while poverty levels among Ugandans will worsen. A wealthy population gets quality education which brings about enlightenment thus quality education that arms citizens with knowledge about their rights - this is what Museveni fears. The gap between the poor and the rich will widen further thus the oligarchy will swim in wealth while the ignorant regime cadres will stop at singing praises of Pakalast as the majority of the population will just watch helplessly. With the oil cash, there will be increased involvement in the internal affairs of neighboring countries who don’t pay allegiance to Museveni and funding of fighting groups from the region. That way Uganda will find a lot of pride in hosting millions of refugees as is already the case now where it is hosting about 600,000 refugees.
Every aspect of public life will be militarised and members of the security forces will be sworn regime cadres who will be required to swear allegiance to the party and the founding Chairman (Museveni)'s ideology. In order to reinforce political indoctrination under the cover of promoting patriotism, compulsory national/military service will be promoted. Security services will be the biggest employer and most prestigious employment.
There is going to be created hereditary military families as fathers will be passing on the mantle to their sons and daughters and Museveni has already hinted on this when he ordered that children of army veterans should be afforded special slots in the recruitment into security services. Intelligence services will be restructured and accorded a priority as couples will spy on each other, students will spy on teachers, security guards will spy on their masters, drivers will spy on their masters, house girl/boys will spy on their masters, while neighbors will spy on each other.
Independent media houses will be history and there will be total control of information flow. Much of the local government and other government offices will be manned by military personnel and any semblance of political dissent will be brutally suffocated in its infancy. Gradually there will be some kind of false peace and stability that will last for decades in the same way it had been the case in Libya before it will explode out in a revolution. That revolution will be led by the grand children of Besigye, Lukwago, Ssejusa, Mao, etc. or the great grand children of Amama Mbabazi against Amos Museveni II - the 65 years old who will be the President of Uganda at the time and son of the late former President Gen Muhoozi Keinerugaba of the ruling Father of the Nation Yoweri Kaguta Museveni dynasty. That will be around 2070 which is over 50 years from now when Museveni's NRM will be dislodged from power. It is only then that the dates of Museveni's birth and death will be scrapped from the national holidays list.
There is no doubt Museveni will use the same means he has always used to come out of the forthcoming elections as the winner and will continue to rule Uganda. However, the current opposition leaders have the key to changing the trend of events only if they can switch to realistic approach to the task before them of leading oppressed Ugandans to reclaim their country lest history will judge them harshly.
INFORMATION IS POWER