An insider’s view of an over-recycled president

Paul Biya

At Museveni’s swearing-in ceremony today, there will be many heads of state, including Paul Biya of Cameroon (or his representative) and His Excellency President Magufuli of the United Republic of Tanzania (God bless him and his country).

You might wonder why I have denied Biya the title ‘H. E.’. Well, he is not excellent at all: he is a thug. And it is my privilege as a writer to bestow titles as I see fit.

Now, these two Presidents (Biya and H. E. Magufuli) will wear two different faces as they witness how Museveni swears in as Commander-in-Chief of HIS Armed Forces, by the Bible (imagine how this once Holy Book has become a comedians’ prop).

Paul Biya will be pleased at a fellow recycled president of the No-Change fame (Forwards Never, Backwards Ever), while H. E. Magufuli (God bless him and Tanzania) will wear a bemused face as he wonders how Ugandans can ‘elect’ a man who has failed to do in ten years what he, H. E. Magufuli (God bless him and Tanzania), has done in just five months.

In addition, the Diplomatic corps will be there hiding their faces with shades, wondering what curse is afflicting Uganda.

Moreover, there will be crowds witnessing the event, now that the failure to see crowds celebrating the February ‘win’ raised eyebrows at how genuine the ‘victory’ was.

Some members of these crowds will be genuine admirers of the new president (note the small ‘p’) – people who have benefited from presidential feebies or who are too ignorant to understand what has happened to their country.

Others will be hired workers (rented to swell the crowd or hired to perform cultural dances or to ululate).

There will also be others who will be there to study the psychology and sociology of political recycling, that is to say, how overused political rubbish (corruption, medicine-less hospitals, politics of patronage, harassment of the opposition, etc.) is given a cosmetic good-as-new look.

It is my conjecture that H. E. Magufuli (God bless him and Tanzania) will align himself with this last section of the crowd.

And who can blame him?  He is fast making Africa proud and giving us hope as a continent that there are leaders in our countries who are capable of changing things around for the better of the citizens.

For with him present at Kololo today, I can get the courage to follow the proceedings on TV to study, with him, the psychology and sociology of political recycling.

Danson Kahyana [PhD], the author teaches in the Literature Department at Makerere University. He is a poet and writer of Children’s books. 

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