When the Sudanese people went up in protests against their own government in a rare solidarity with the country’s military that led to the ousting of their president, Omar al-Bashir, I thought Ugandans must be asking themselves, “why cant we do it too?” Why can’t they have their long-serving president, Yoweri Museveni step down as well?
Museveni has been Uganda’s president since 1986, before most of us were born, and he still insist on continuing. Thirty-three-year presidency is quite a long time, especially when you put in consideration the fact that he’s done very little for that country in terms of development and freedom of the people in the course of that period. The North, North-Western part of that country has been left behind in development with barely no infrastructure in place, and in fact if not for the discovery of oil, Panyimur and Nwoya people would still be lagging behind, sidelined by their own government. Museveni used the LRA leader, Joseph Kony who harbored his militias in Lira as an excuse to shun that region.
To be frank, Museveni shouldn’t be allowed to stay one more day in presidency. He’s done more harm than good for the Ugandan people for the three decades he has been in power.
Most African presidents who have ruled for that long have very little to show for their many terms in office in their respective countries. They’ve only concentrated in amassing more and more wealth for themselves while creating employment opportunities only for their families and cronies while neglecting the masses. Massive corruption scandals in their cabinets is the order of the day. Very little or no freedom at all for the people. Known for totalitarianism, ruling by fear like the late Idi Amin.
These presidents are the very reason the continent lags behind in development even with its vast mineral deposits and other natural resources. They have stolen billions and stashed it overseas while their countries struggle economically. They keep borrowing loans they have no idea of how they are going to pay back. In Kenya, I’m told even my unborn child has a loan on its head. Funny they’re the same people who keep quoting Singapore’s economy, how they want their countries to be the next Singapore, while doing very little to ensure that dream becomes a reality.
My country, Kenya, is no exemption and probably a better example with former President Moi’s Kenya. The man ruled the country for twenty-four years, and today people in Baringo, his own backyard, are dying of hunger alongside our poor brothers in Turkana. One is left to wonder what business did he have calling himself president for that long if he couldn’t even make his own home region food secure and empowered.