Saturday, June 19We Break the News

Jacob Zuma can still rescue Libya – Says Museveni

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KAMPALA, Uganda

President Museveni is lucky in at least two ways.

One: We, Ugandans, are mostly idiots. The way he freely uses the word suggests that he is only being polite not to describe the mass of Ugandans as idiots; for there is overwhelming evidence that we are more empty-headed than the Western primates trying to teach him democracy. 

For instance, at this of all times, how could we decide (or accept) to enlarge Parliament and the local councils, instead of scaling back?

Luck number two: This degenerate gluttonous thing called NRM thinks that stagnation is stability. It cannot even imagine Uganda collapsing into a failed state. The way Zimbabwe failed. The way Libya failed. Or fail another way. So the NRM is very happy with Mr Museveni.

At a cost of Shs7 billion, Museveni’s seventh swearing-in ceremony almost exactly matched Robert Mugabe’s $2-million birthday parties before the end of his rule in Zimbabwe.

To pass time, resigned Ugandans sometimes try to internalise the damage inflicted on the taxpayer by relating government expenditure to the world around them.

For instance, seeing that the purchase of just one automobile (always a huge SUV) for a minister in Museveni’s government bleeds the taxpayer by Shs700 million, they have calculated: 

A seven-ton truckload of sugarcane delivered to a sugar factory in Uganda fetches about Shs100,000 for the cane grower. Therefore, it takes 7,000 (yes, seven thousand) TATA truckloads of cane to pay for one minister’s car, before fuelling and maintenance costs kick in. Museveni has about 80 ministers.

If you lined up 7,000 trucks nose-to-tail on the roadside, they would cover the entire distance between Kampala and Entebbe.

The cost of Museveni’s swearing-in would be 70,000 truckloads of cane. The line would stretch from Kampala to the border town of Busia and several miles into Kenya!

Remember, we are passing time, instead of playing ludo.

Museveni is more serious. Instead of doing a minimalist oath (thanks to Covid-19) and, say, building basic hostel rooms for 700 nurses, he arranged a function where he could lambast his erstwhile Western friends for doing things like helping to overthrow his pan-Africanist comrade, Muammar Gaddafi. 

However, bitterly disappointed that Gaddafi abandoned Tripoli without a fight, Museveni also used his speech at the function to give his position on holding power.

In his heyday, Gaddafi said that revolutionaries (like Museveni) do not retire. By implication, Museveni now said that revolutionaries who had become dinosaurs (like Gaddafi) should destroy whole cities before surrendering power.

Well, all is not lost. Surely, pan-Africanism and saving Libya cannot end with Gaddafi.

If Museveni’s idea of ganging up with the then South African president, Jacob Zuma, to destroy Gaddafi’s Western enemies did not materialise, the two men can make good.

After Gaddafi, Libya is still chaotic, and there are non-African countries backing rival groups. This situation needs correction.

Fortunately, the current power struggle apparently does not involve jet-fighters or state-of-the-art missiles; the sort of weaponry that Museveni complained made the Gaddafi war unfair to Africans. Ask Bobi Wine about unfair battles. 

So, Museveni does not have to waste time dreaming about persuading the enemies to lower their military technology to suit his favourite type of combat, which is ‘man-to-man’. 

Fortunately, again, Jacob Zuma is now free. His only distraction is this corruption stuff in the courts. Freedom fighters should not be distracted by court processes. 

So, Zuma is available for duty any time his Kampala buddy calls. Then we can have something authentic instead of watching Hollywood fictions.

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