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The 1986 Conmen: When You Travel By An Old Bus


The 1986 Conmen: When You Travel By An Old Bus

By Godwin Muwanguzi

Uganda has become indefensible, and I sympathise with sycophants like Andrew Mwenda, Tamale Mirundi, Balaam, Hassan Hudu, and many others who incessantly yet delusively justify the NRM’s mess: the foul corruption, mediocrity—a soothing song for every politician, destitution, joblessness, abductions, which as of now are a national anthem, security breaches, the people’s blood that flows on the streets and in dungeons like the Nile River, and the police brutality, which eventually has become ethical—it is a sophisticated job, but impudent bootlickers do it anyway.

It is irrefutable that our country has fallen apart, and even God cannot pull it together. The national cake, which would benefit all Ugandans, has been privatised and is being shared among a few patriots, who are only chauvinistic to their hungry stomachs, but not the exhausted country. Then, there is you, rascal, whose only hope is in the remnants; yet, to have them, you ought to sing and praise the glitterati or the first family while you lick their smelly shoes, saying: “Wawoo, your shoes fume with pungent perfume!”

Often, a question dangles in my head: are we the so-called impregnable nation that Mwami Museveni and friends liberated from the treacherous regimes—the same regimes they had accused of egotism, grimy politics, homicide, and political prejudice? At least every Ugandan has an answer: Mr Museveni and his comrades never intended to liberate Ugandans from whatever shackles bound them. It was just a Museveniology script built on lies and greed for power that until now continues to unfold; least to say, Uganda was that fatty cow that would assuage their insatiable appetites—now they eat it greedily and improvidently—the future will take care of itself.

For over three decades, we have learned the hard way that the President of this shredded country is a chameleon; he has mastered the trick of camouflaging, and we barely know his actual colour—today he is blue, tomorrow he is yellow, and the following day he is green. President Museveni has impudently forgotten why he angrily toppled the previous governments. Does he remember how he detested vote rigging or leaders who overstayed in power or criminality in its entirety, which now is the foundation of his reign?

As of today, we slump towards Canaan that the NRA liberators had promised our ignorant parents on the eve of their bloody victory—Mr Museveni long buried the idea of the rule of law beneath his avarice, and he now rules Uganda as though it were his home; the country drowns in the abyss of graft, and what he does is promote the crafty thieves to higher ranks while innocent civilians who gravely stand in their way languish in prisons.

Alas! As of today, Mr Museveni and his accomplices drive about the country with guns while we groan and gnash our teeth in pain because our brothers and sisters are abducted or killed for openly speaking against the injustice that flows in the country like streams of water.

Mr Museveni is a conman who presented himself as a beacon of hope, equity, and freedom on the day of his ferocious victory. At the same time, our parents chanted “Freedom! Freedom!” with their fists raised high enough—oh, poor Ugandans! Worse, he shamelessly swore in the face of the world, with a bible in his left hand, that he would put a knot on the calamities that ate up the country at the time. How cunning! And now he stammers whenever someone boldly reminds him about his ideal country, which vanished from his head when he installed himself in power.

Unquestionably, Uganda is at its worst than before; our hospitals are in a dire state; some government schools are worse than deserted homesteads; the education system is broken; Muslims’ lives are at stake—they are obvious suspects; agriculture has depreciated; nepotism is flowering; our roads within and without Kampala are now fish ponds; and whoever has got the extra eye to notice the discrepancy commits treason under the NRM regime. Mr Museveni only wants us to sing “hallelujah” and dance to his creepy song without questioning its aestheticism or authenticity; this has been his manipulative trickery for his entire life. 

Growing up, we could hear about the tale of a traveller who believed that once one made up one’s mind to travel by an old bus, one had to accept the comeuppance of their choices—the chalky seats, the putrid smoke from the old engine, the traders’ stinky onions and fish, the noise, among others—and it is now that I realize that Ugandans are travellers who, after three or more decades, are paying for their wrong decisions—entrusting the Museveni regime and patiently waiting on God to liberate them instead of standing in solidarity and cut loose of the Musevenism that malignantly consumes the country.

Mr Museveni and his abettors have trivialised Uganda; they have reduced us to barking dogs who can barely bite, and whoever stands up to put a knife on their mediocrity is silenced instantly. With violence as their only lethal weapon, Mwami Museveni and his accomplices have constrained us into believing that politics is the subject of a specific clique of individuals—extremists of the NRM ideology, which needless to say, has lost its taste; yet, according to Mr Museveni, it was for Obote’s political intolerance that he went to the bush—but how many political prisoners are ruthlessly serving in prisons for supporting different political parties?

The country bleeds, and sadly, the intellectuals who would challenge Mr Museveni’s indifference are at the forefront of praising him and prolonging his stay in power. These educated nitwits have ignored the fact that Museveni’s NRM suppresses Ugandans—gun violence soars every day; they abduct and try civilians in military courts for identifying with NUP; poverty is our new identity, and now Museveni and his allies no longer steal but loot on an industrial scale. And what the intellectuals do is conceal all these atrocities by licking and licking their masters’ stinky shoes as they denounce their intelligence and intuition.

The 1986 self-proclaimed freedom fighters are a cluster of conmen; they sit at their respective dinner tables and laugh at our stupidity, patience, and tolerance; they laugh at our brothers who think they are a part of the government and continue to defend it at the expense of the suppressed Ugandans. Mr Museveni is selfish and will always put you where you belong—you are nothing but a wannabe—and he will dispose of you once your assignment is done. Stand warned!

Godwin Muwanguzi

Novelist and Poet

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