For more than a couple of months, I have been receiving emails, social media comments and calls relating to what my friends and other people call “attack on the person of President Museveni” with some of them even issuing veiled threats, reason: that I write negatively about the president and that it puts Ugandans of Rwanda origin in a “dangerous” situation. They also accuse me of writing a lot on the activities of the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) in this country. For this reason, many of my friends and acquaintances accuse of being pro Kigali and anti Kampala.
I categorically deny these claims. I write about what I see, or have witnessed, that others may not be willing to talk about for one reason or another. When I write about the RNC, it is not as if I write things I haven’t experienced. At one time, a friend of mine came to see me; he came with a distant relative of mine. I was happy to see them because I hadn’t seen either of the two for a while. After exchanging some pleasantries over a meal, what followed astonished me.
These were not ordinary visitors. They were men on a mission: to recruit me into the RNC! I had heard and even seen RNC operatives working hand in hand with CMI to recruit people of Rwandan origin to join the RNC. I thought it was only a matter of time before they came for me. But I had never imagined that it would be people close to me who would come for me. They tried to convince me that I needed to join and that they would succeed because it was a project that was “sanctioned from above,” my friend said as my relative nodded in agreement. I thought them mad as I had always questioned the wisdom and strategic aims (of Museveni and the country) in supporting an armed attack on Rwanda.
So I was against the entire project not because I am pro Kigali but because I am pro Uganda. So I don’t mind drawing ire from those who disagree with me. I also drew similar ire from my recent post when I wrote about Museveni’s protest against himself in the so-called anti-corruption walk.
Ugandans of Rwandan origin were at the forefront in attacking me for that post. They claimed that I wanted to antagonize them against President Museveni, who many regard as their father, uncle or something of the sort. They think that when Museveni leaves power they will be in trouble and as such, they must maintain blind support for him regardless of what is happening in this country.
Those I ran into I didn’t miss an opportunity to remind them that Uganda has no second-class citizens; the constitution gives us equal rights. It is not a crime to exercise my citizen duties and responsibilities by speaking up against corruption and leading us into hostility with our neighbors.
Corruption in this country is not my invention but it is my worry, I have said many times. I did not even walk against it because I knew what the chief walker wanted to achieve: to get in the record books as the man who walked against himself. Many government officials and NRM cadres with whom we had discussions agreed with me on this record.
For those who accuse me of antagonizing them against Museveni, read a host of news media that published extensively on corruption in Uganda then you will understand the problem of the much hyped anti-corruption walk. You should be very much worried of what is happening to you as a result of corruption that you shouldn’t blindly support anyone.
Ugandans of Rwandan origin need to wake up. Instead of thinking that Museveni protects us and any other president would mistreat us, you should think about how has been mistreating us. For at least the last six years most Ugandans of Rwandan origin have had their IDs confiscated at the border on their way to Rwanda. This has been a very well coordinated action aimed at causing fear within us to stop us from associating with our friends and relatives in Rwanda. Authorities have also been encouraged to grab land belonging to Ugandans of Rwandan origin to make us believe that we don’t have rights, that we are second-class citizens, that whatever protection we have is because of Museveni. If Museveni was protecting us like he wants us to believe, why hasn’t he stopped this abuse of our rights even when we have told him about these problems?
At the border the immigration officials tell us they are acting on “orders from above.” The local authorities tell us the same when our land is confiscated. Some of our people think that the fear Museveni has placed in us is nothing compared to what will happen after him. I disagree.
Whereas fear is naturally inherent in every human being, exposing corruption and corrupt officials, as well other segregation acts that target specific ethnic groups of Ugandans is a duty and responsibility of every Ugandan.