A Note at Year 2017’s End

By Theogene Karenzi

As curtains get folded and this year peeps its last, the region where I come from has witnessed some intriguing incidences. To mention the least:

1) Rwanda and Uganda have sealed a common notion with purpose – to get life presidents.

2) In Congo DR, where seats a president with the lowest IQ Africa has had this far, the state house harbours someone whose mandate is long overdue but indecision rules.

3) In Burundi, president Pierre Nkurunziza is set to turn the country into nkuru mbi (bad news). There is a movement there to get the constitution doctored with for the once sane Nkurunziza to become another hydra-headed dictator.

3) In Tanzania, it is in air that the tight and spartan president Magufuli is slowly turning out to be too much for the country. People are lamenting of encroachment of signs of dictatorship and ‘rapidly implemented yet poorly planned changes’.

4) Kenya, oh, Kenya is continuing its downward spiral motion. Nation statehood is graduating into Gikuyu superiority and right to rule. The problem with Kenya, as I see it, is the fact that Gikuyu people cannot discover themselves! Their psyche particularly view of statehood, power and human relationships in a nation leave much to be desired.

The last one (see: the fourth) brings me back to Rwanda and Uganda. The year 2017 has seen a critical path moment that might likely shape our future henceforth. In Kenya it is the Gikuyu but in Uganda-Rwanda (now read: Ugarwa) the Hima thing is becoming a problem. I will tell you how.

At the close of the year 2017, we note that relationship in the Ugarwa has really thawed. None can stand an argument any more to deny the fact that many are unwell between the two state houses. Although we don’t see words flying across or insults hurled, we all know that Kagame is currently not in so much as good terms with his counterpart in Kampala.

The relationship in Ugarwa is not cordial. Rwanda’s operatives have been caught and incarcerated. There are rumours around that some have even got tortured to reveal secrets (networks) or maybe, got killed for their wherebouts are unknown. A number of Uganda’s intelligence officers, police officers and undercovers have as well been snatched – call this last, a PURGING.

For a great part, it is difficult to name exactly why there has suddenly sprung bad blood in the Ugarwa. Of course not untill you sit down and think in details what times, global, regional and local contexts are now holding. It is when you come to see why Museveni must move quickly before it is too late.

Museveni’s friendship with Kagame has been too bound together that none could ever say they could part ways! That would seem impossible! I remember one day in this forum an Elodie Shami shouted a Didas Gasana for a comment that inclined to mean that Museveni could stand against Kagame. We always thought like that. But look, times have changed.

At 70+ years old, Museveni is now worried of his legacy than the niceties of a war time friendship. The bondness and friendship based on “we are Bahima” is no longer of value. Today, Museveni can clearly see that if he ever leaves power and Kagame is still a president, present conditions would make it incumbent that Ugarwa become Kagame’s playing field. Kagame would enjoy the inhibited power to interfere with affairs in Uganda, Congo and given the nature and psyche of the man, Museveni has a reason to believe that he would be leaving a restless Uganda.

It is for this reason that one has now to come to term with reality. Realities on ground are now accusing Museveni for his past. A past of Hima based relationship with the RPF that saw a lot of Rwandan Tutsis hold offices in Uganda. He is now worried that given the number of Police officers, Military officers, Intelligence officers etc who are Rwandan in Uganda his leaving will mean leaving the state of Uganda in the hands of Kagame’s RPF. And he knows that can only mean violences and possibly eventual wars.

It comes to logic of any sane man that you can’t leave your legacy in shambles. After many years of friendship with Rwanda and Kagame Museveni has come to realise that his legacy will be all but gone if he ever leaves Uganda the way it is today. Kagame is so unpredictable and merciless to be left with so much a power regionally influential.

Lucky as it maybe, Museveni has had a chance to learn a lesson. He has seen how the underhanded maneuvers of the RPF to create the M23 years ago and the consequences of integrating Rwandan Himas in the Congo’s army (FARDC) is now being used by Rwanda to enter and carry out all sorts of violences in the East of DR Congo. If the cause of all those unending mayhem is presence of Hima elements there in the East of DR Congo, what if the same mistake is done in Uganda? Uganda will cease to exist unless it becomes Ugarwa. Museveni now knows he will be leaving chaos and no legacy for every Ugandan kid will curse his life and times – he will be named a foreigner. Not too good to leave your progeny in that state uh!

This far, Museveni knows Kagame is a liability to his legacy. Here, like always, comes the dilemma of tribalism! Museveni has to suffer its humiliation either by moving against it or stay put and wait the cries of Ugandans by the time they will be cursing his graves.