WHAT a happy, smiling, contented lot we Ugandans are at the moment; as usual, but infinitely more so since 1109 hours on Wednesday.
One Man's Week By John Nagenda
For Museveni, let joy abound. His people have said thank you to him in the most effective manner possible
WHAT a happy, smiling, contented lot we Ugandans are at the moment; as usual, but infinitely more so since 1109 hours on Wednesday. If you have been away in far-flung parts, or have been in a deep coma, you might not know that that was the precise moment Haji Kasujja, Chairman of the Electoral Commission, started presenting the results of the presidential race. As very many of us had predicted, candidate Museveni swept the board. As some were brave enough to say, the margin was over 65%; indeed your columnist, roaring like a lion, offered bets of $500 a go to any taker who thought that Museveni would get less than 65% of the vote. People are wiser than you might think. I had no takers! Put yourself in the very cramped shoes of the following: A.Awori (1.4%), F.Bwengye (0.3%) C.Karuhanga (0.1%) K.Mayanja (1%). That totals a mind numbing 2.8%. Let's cross ourselves as we walk in silence past this place of pain! Although the always whining Dr Besigye has contested the figures, his 27.8% was, in the circumstances, very creditable, judged on the fact that he was 100% short of anything approaching charm, zing, and credibility. Some people never know when they are well off. He will keep bleating like a sheep with a bellyful of worms, until the whole of Uganda is sick of his very name. Even some members of his campaign, let alone his colleagues in defeat, have advised the retired soldier (medical) to shut up in dignity, as befits an officer and gentleman. (Don't laugh!) For Museveni, let joy abound. His people have said thank you to him in the most effective manner possible. It is one thing to know that you have your people behind you; quite another to see that belief fulfilled. Museveni can be quite the bluff soldier, not given to great show of emotion. But inside there beats the heart of a family man, in this case Uganda being the family. More than once moisture has been discerned in his eye; he will forgive me for reporting him. About those who benefit from him and then turn their backs when their stomachs are temporarily full, he feels genuine pain and a sense of bewilderment. They know themselves, and we know them. That is why I jumped at the chance to tick off the ladies and gentlemen (wide use of the terms!) of the international press who had gathered at State House for a victory press conference. In their reporting they had laid into Museveni and his Movement government as if there were no tomorrow. Some clearly thought they had made Museveni by writing him up; now they would bring him down. Nobody would mind if they used proven facts to do the deed. I said they seemed three or two-day wonders who came to our country with little background, and that they broke journalistic codes by lazily accepting lies without bothering to do research. I also suggested that their thirst for sensationalism made them often to hope for "blood on the streets" stories, especially where Africa was concerned. It took 15 minutes and I kept Florida for pudding. I said no American should lecture to us on elections. And in any case no Ugandan had taken the time to go to Florida and offer the kind of tripe some of our guests were dishing up. I ended with a resounding, "God bless Uganda." Boy I had a ball.
I don't want to sound over-dramatic on this next bit, but I may fail. At around 0445 hours, Friday morning, machete-wielding thugs broke into our house in Bunga. Were they belatedly answering the notorious call of Messrs Lukyamuzi MP, supported by ex-convict Nasser Sebaggala, that Ugandans should arm themselves with cutting weapons the better to kill foreigners who attempted to vote in the presidential elections? There are those who think I don't look convincingly Ugandan enough, putting me in Rwanda. But to my mind Mr Lukyamuzi beats me hands down in that department; and even with Al Haji Sebaggala Burundi readily springs to mind. Perhaps in future these two, and others of their ilk, will be more careful about the words they use to inflame their followers, many of whom have blank spaces between ear and ear. Anyway we heard some doors banging, and unbelievably they were from inside the house. By a miracle the bedroom door, just as the thugs reached it, agreed to be locked, not usually the case. A little before, I had yelled to the police guard, Robert Kisira, "Come and kill the bastards!" As he left the place in which he was "resting", they were waiting for him and cut him about the head. He fell bleeding profusely; they took his gun and came with it into the house. Kisira is okay and at home already. In their panic the thugs took a TV, a mosquito net, keys, and a blouse. The mosquito net was recovered on an abandoned bicycle. I hope we get the buggers. I must put in a good word for all the police officers involved in the case. They have been a credit to the force. I know the police at Nsambya barracks voted 90% for a certain Besigye, but you can't get everything right. One other thing; I hope the thugs pay us a return visit. We shall remove them from the face of the earth.
Elections: Hurray! It's As I Thought!