As our country begins a cautious re-opening from a two months lockdown imposed to curtail the spread of Covid-19, let us reflect on the journey, the pandemic found us travelling.
We were in the middle of preparations for the general elections scheduled for January 2021.
Nominations for the village youths, women, elderly and people with disabilities committees didn’t take place in April because of the lockdown.
There was another unofficial reason; Mr. Museveni’s ruling NRM had not staged its primary elections to select candidates for these special interest groups’ elections. Most likely the Electoral Commission was about to announce a postponement, of course faking a reason.
These elections that come and go are very important. Because they officially offer us an opportunity to remind the country of the urgent need to terminate Mr. Museveni’s family rule, and the dire consequences if we didn’t.
At the next elections in January, Mr. Museveni will be officially 77 years old. I am saying officially because he has himself expressed doubt as to when he was born.
About four years ago, he revealed that his children had assigned him a birthday. The 15th day of September 1944, is what is inscribed on his National Identity Card, as his birthday. Maybe that is what his children gave him.
At the next elections, he will be 77 and will also have ruled our motherland for 35 years. If he rigs elections and the population allow him to stay on, he will be 82 at the next general elections in 2026.
Covid-19 came at the time of heightened political activities. The People Power leader Robert Kyagulanyi had effectively been prevented from accessing the population for consultation as stipulated by the Presidential Elections Act.
Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde who wants to be president, had also been prevented from consulting and even charged with treason and sent to Luzira prison.
For us in FDC, the Monday media briefing was the only activity that Museveni allowed us to engage in. Even smaller meetings in people’s gardens and homes had been disrupted.
Police announced that political meetings in people’s homes had been banned. Teargas, kiboko and live bullets had been unleashed at several public rallies.
That is the environment under which we were being asked by the Electoral Commission to prepare ourselves for the elections.
Covid-19 did not stop people from accessing their businesses only, it also stopped Police from firing teargas at Museveni’s opponents.
The dictator will be thankful to the Almighty forever who brought Covid at the time he most needed to ban assemblies. Of course freedom of worship has also suffered the same fate.
And I highly suspect; restrictions on assemblies will be the last measure to be lifted. The dictator doesn’t want campaigns. The Electoral Commission is about to announce a new form of campaigning – using radios, television, social media and posters.
Those whose duty it is will keep announcing new infections at least until presidential and parliamentary nominations sometime in October. A social distancing sort of elections, will then be announced and both the military and Police deployed to ensure it happens. We will then be accused and stopped from risking people’s lives.
And because of the limited government operations, all the money collected from the population and borrowed will now be used to bribe and compromise the vulnerable electorate.
Already in the budget which Mr. Museveni will be reading next week, Shs 3.2 trillion has been allocated to classified expenditure. Ordinarily, classified money is spent by defence and partly Police.
There is Shs 68 billion allocated as classified under State House which as you all know has become Mr. Museveni permanent place of abode. And under his residence, he has another item for donations totaling to Shs 200 billion, etc etc.
I am giving you all this information for you to know the roadblocks in the way to liberating ourselves.
Remember what I told you sometime back. If you have forgotten, let me remind you. On one of his foreign trips shortly after capturing power, Museveni was seen off at Entebbe Airport by senior military officers including Brig. Steven Kashaka, late Brig. Taban Geoffrey Kyabihende and Maj. Gen. James Kazini.
He told these officers that “for us to safeguard the revolution. We need three things. First, we need friendly foreign governments.” And here, he mentioned Tanzania, South Africa, Britain and the US. He then advised “recruitment of our homeboys who have completed senior six into the army.” He said if they dominated command, nobody will remove them from power. And finally, he said, “We need money. Do you think these people making noise in town do so because they love Uganda? They want money.”
He later appointed Kashaka as chief of personnel and administration so he could recruit the homeboys. You have seen how he is using money to compromise the opposition.
And our people continue languishing in poverty. You need to read the 2014 housing and population census report again. The majority of the population (52%) were by 2014 still using Tadooba (local paraffin candle) as the main source of lighting and just 20 percent were using electricity. In rural areas, tadooba users were 60%. And 71% of the population was still using firewood for cooking.
Does it surprise you that just after one week of the lockdown, more than a million people in Kampala were unable to feed themselves?
This article is simply to remind you of where Covid-19 found us and what we will need to do to rescue ourselves.