By Abbey K. Semuwemba
3rd January 2011
3rd January 2011
The recent revelations in Assange’s WikiLeaks and Timothy Kalyegira’s analysis of how President Museveni is worried of being assassinated by Libya’s Gaddafi have brought me some sleepless nights. Political assassinations are not something we should encourage on our continent.
Museveni may be a bad leader for us now but assassinating him can plunge our country into endless violence and conflict like the one we saw after the assassination of Habyarimana in Rwanda. I don’t believe that Gaddafi wants Uganda to end up in that state.
I have no connections with Ugandan intelligence but I believe that President Museveni just panicked when he sought US help after he pushed Gaddafi too far. Like Gaddafi, I also dream of the idea of a United States of Africa (USA) that Gaddafi is trying to sell to other African leaders.
Gaddafi is not someone you would wish to mess with. He has shaken big nations like the USA before and they did not like it. So it’s not wise for Museveni to start pumping his testosterones against a character like Gaddafi. We need to find a common ground to deal with Libya.
Nevertheless, I think something interesting is boiling up. President Museveni’s end looks to be nearer; even though we don’t know how it will come. Because Museveni has been in power for so long, it has forced me to compare him to Habyarimana to see if there are any similarities. But I pray that Museveni’s end will not be like Habyarimana’s.
Just like Habyarimana, Museveni came to power through violence. While Museveni’s violence was justified because he had a convincing democratic plan [on paper] as well as the need to get rid of Obote’s dictatorship, Habyariman’s was not. He didn’t have any democratic plan for Rwanda. He merely rode on the wave of coups in Africa at the time.
Both Habyarimana and Museveni introduced something called the ‘Movement’ when they came into power. Everyone in their respective countries was required to be a member of this so called ‘Movement’. Museveni’s Movement is now a political party that enjoys State benefits.Habyarimana hated ‘Tutsis’ in the same way some people claim Museveni hates some tribes in the north. Habyarimana had only one Tutsi in his cabinet, one in the Foreign Service and Ambassador, and two deputies in the national assembly. The grapevine has it that he kept a picture of burning Tutsi huts in his Presidential Palace.
Habyarimana, just like Museveni, was a friend of the Bakyiga. It is actually claimed in some circles that Habyarimana was a Mukyiga; not a true Munyarwanda. The Bakyiga were Museveni’s allies during the Luwero war although some have now fallen out with him.
Habyarimana’s end came through an assassination and that is what is worrying me as a Ugandan. Could the same happen to Museveni? I believe the Hutus in Rwanda and the Tutsis in both Uganda and Rwanda masterminded the assassination of Habyarimana.
When the Rwanda Patriotic Front [RPF] was launched in Kampala, one of their main aims was to force the return of Tutsi to Rwanda whether Habyarimana wanted it or not. They were determined to do it “using all the necessary means”. When General Rwigyema joined RPF in 1988, 4000 Tutsis deserted Museveni’s NRA to join the fight against Habyarimana’s government.
Some Hutu radicals in Rwanda at the time were not happy with the Arusha Agreement of August 1993 that had provided for the establishment of a broad based transitional government that would include the Tustsi. The truth is that Habyarimana himself never believed in that agreement because he hated Tutsis. He only signed it to buy himself time to organise his ‘house’.
But most evidence points to the possibility that Hutu radicals were behind his assassination. For example, on 3rd April 1994, radio Mille Collines warned that ‘a little something’ was about to happen. Two days later, Habyarimana was killed. May be the radio was simply warning Habyarimana; who knows?
As a Ugandan, I hope that Museveni and ‘Brother’ Gaddafi find a way of sorting out their differences. It is certainly not good for Africa if these two guys continue on a collision course. Gadaffi is now an old man and a bit wiser.
He is not like the Gaddafi of the 1970s and 80s who used to ‘kick ass’ all the time. Personally, I don’t wish President Museveni to die like Habyarimana and that is why I urge him to improve Uganda’s foreign relations as soon as possible.
Otherwise, with Museveni’s current political belligerence, someone out there could do something to him in the safe knowledge that the finger of blame will be immediately pointed at Libya. Please log into www.ugandacorrespondent.com every Monday to read our top stories and anytime mid-week for our news updates.
The writer is Ugandan living in the United Kingdom