Matsanga hails Museveni

By Vision Reporter

Presidential aspirant David Nyekorach Matsanga has praised President Yoweri Museveni for opening up political space and nurturing democracy.

By Henry Mukasa

Presidential aspirant David Nyekorach Matsanga has praised President Yoweri Museveni for opening up political space and nurturing democracy.

“There is still no level ground in Ugandan politics but we must credit President Museveni for allowing some tenets of democracy and good governance,” he said in a statement to The New Vision.

Matsanga, the erstwhile spokesperson for the LRA rebels, said although the opposition still faced blackmail, harassment, intimidation and torture from state organs, he argued that “democracy evolves”.

“There will be no reverse gear against plural democracy in Uganda which we have fought for in the last 23 years in exile in London,” he added.           

Matsanga said last week he would first contest for the UPC presidency. His presidential campaign slogan, he added, would be: “Peace and national unity for a better Uganda tomorrow.”

Matsanga said fellow exiles persuaded him to return to Uganda and stand for the presidency, although he had vowed never to come back unless Museveni’s “dictatorship” had ended.

In the statement, however, Matsanga seems to have changed his opinion of the President. He said: “There are things I admire about President Museveni’s leadership like being against gay and lesbian beliefs.”

He went on: “The level of economic empowerment is higher although found in the hands of a few. This is good because he has created a middle class that will change Uganda without a gun or a coup.”

Matsanga also said political space and activity in Uganda had grown from a small base. He said all Ugandans should strengthen the achievements to ensure the country does not become a pariah state like Somalia.

Matsanga said his disagreements with Museveni were manageable. He explained that one such disagreement was the President’s “unilateral banning of parties in 1986”.

This changed with the re-introduction of multi-party politics. “It has been a step forward for UPC to have seats in Parliament in 2006 election,” he said

Matsanga said although UPC had been weakened by “infighting based on material assets”, it could rebuild itself and win elections with new ideas from him.

He again accused presidential aspirant Olara Otunnu of being part of the coup which ousted UPC from power in 1985.

“We must not repeat the mistakes of the past,” Matsanga pointed out.

Matsanga hails Museveni