In the same archive where first son-in-law prays to God to help journalist Andrew Mwenda “acquire maturity”, Odrek Rwabwogo passes senior journalist, Timothy Kalyegira, as a “failure”.
Kalyegira is a writer, journalist, researcher and political commentator.
The 2006 New Vision article in which Rwabwogo defends the first family from Mwenda’s attacks, is still trending on social media.
Worth noting in the article, is the part where the NRM vice chairperson Western Uganda aspirant descends on one of Uganda’s finest and most respected political analysts, Kalyegira.
“One of your colleagues, Mr. Timothy Kalyegira even signed up for a training consultancy at our company,” Rwabwogo writes explaining how the Kampala Express boss, “for six months, wasn’t able to produce a work-plan let alone show any results” in their company.
“When we terminated his services, I realised why your paper attracts your kind of writers.”
Rwabwogo says the duo (Mwenda and Kalyegira) are “unemployable and can only sell politics”.
“Selling politics, I guess requires a special skill because it is the only area where ‘experts’ don’t justify or quantify results.”
He adds: “You have therefore perfected the art of spewing venom and you see nothing good in your country and you think this is the way all of us should see our world.”
In an equally charged article in The Independent Magazine titled: “The dynamics behind Museveni’s family rule” published Wednesady March 18 2009, Kalyegira set out to disapprove Rwabwogo.
Quoting a prior week’s cover story “Family rule in Uganda: How Museveni’s ‘clan’ runs government”, which sold 7,000 copies even in Ankole and Toro in western Uganda, Kalyegira proved to Rwabwogo that President Yoweri Museveni’s family was being resented by Ugandans.
This is part of the rest of the article:
Before this, the appointment of the First Lady and MP for Ruhama, Janet Museveni, as minister in charge of Karamoja affairs, set off interest well beyond Uganda’s borders and in Kenya and Tanzania.
An article published in the Sunday Monitor on August 30, 2006 by the then Daily Monitor Political Editor Andrew Mwenda titled “Is the First Family fleecing Uganda?” provoked an angry and emotional outburst from President Museveni’s son-in-law Odrek Mugisha Rwabwogo.
This image is starting to become permanent that Uganda has now been turned into a one-man, one-family rule, something extremely sensitive to the Ugandan First Family.
The defensiveness and sensitivity to the way they are viewed by the public was first captured in this December 8, 2005 lead story by the Weekly Observer that reported on the upheaval within the Museveni family when Mrs. Museveni announced that she would seek a parliamentary seat in the 2006 general election.
The story summed up the tensions within the Museveni family over the First Lady’s growing political role and ambitions, the implicitly admitted fact that she is a real political force in the country, and the difficult maneouvres that President Museveni must undertake to keep his family and party united while at the same time quenching Janet Museveni’s quest for a more visible public role, and all the while trying to deflect the growing national resentment at the privileges the First Family enjoys while Ugandans go without the most basic of medical care and public utilities.
One of the key weaknesses in last week’s cover story in The Independent was its attempt to understand Museveni politically rather than personally.
A number of analysts and commentators like Dr Joe Oloka Onyango, Jaberi Bidandi Ssali, and Charles Onyango-Obbo, asked for their views as part of the reporting for last week’s cover story, offered a systemic, structural set of circumstances and influences to explain why Museveni has turned Uganda into a personal fiefdom.
Thus they missed out on the obvious, personal story behind Museveni’s retreat to an essentially 18th century feudal governing style.
There is a side to Museveni’s personality and mannerisms that, even if he were the head of state of France or Italy, he would rule in a peculiar, somewhat primitive style. It is unique to him irrespective of Uganda’s wider politics or African cultural dynamics.
Yoweri Museveni has not become like this because of overstaying in power. He was this way all along, even as a student at Mbarara High School and Ntare School in the 1960s.
While appearing to be a leftist, Marxist student radical, both his deep resentment for and admiration of the Ankole royal family were the real motivation at work in his young mind.
One only need read the classic novel Wuthering Heights by the 19th century English novelist Emily Bront« to understand the tormented soul of the Museveni-like character Heathcliff and his resentment toward the genteel and privileged Earnshaw family that adopts and raises him, to grasp where Museveni is coming from in relation to such prominent Ankole families as the royal family as well as the prominent Katanywa and the Byanyima families of Ankole, as well as Museveni’s fascination with the current Toro royal family.
After the fall of Mbarara and Fort Portal during the 1979 Uganda-Tanzania war Museveni, who was the Supreme Commissar of the FRONASA fighting force, made a point of taking up temporary residence in the palaces of the former kings of Ankole and Toro.
And so, Museveni embraced the Marxist cause, not because he believed in egalitarian society, but because he resented his lowly origins and in the privileged royal families of western Uganda he saw what he craved to be but could not.
Then there is a specific factor behind this family rule that is a recent development. One of the reasons that Museveni in the last two years has retreated into an ever narrower circle of personal rule is because of a serious crisis within his household.
It is widely known, or at least rumoured, that there are two women who wield considerable influence on Museveni; the First Lady Janet Museveni and his Principal Private Secretary Amelia Kyambadde.
A power rivalry between these two women has led to a major shake-up within the staff at State House, with each of these two women trying to appoint to positions of influence personnel loyal to them, according to several sources familiar with the workings at State House.
Thus, there has been a real fear that amid this heightened intrigue at State House, Museveni could well be poisoned. This is the reason, among others, that his daughter Natasha Museveni Karugire was appointed to be in-charge of the household affairs and day-to-day management of the president’s official and private residential quarters.
Then too, following the death under still suspicious circumstances of the late permanent secretary of Defence and a long-time Museveni prot, Brig. Noble Mayombo in May 2007, there has been heightened security at State House.
The events of last week in the West African nation of Guinea-Bissau in which the army chief of staff was killed by a bomb, only for soldiers to assassinate President Joao Benardo Vieira the next day, bears out the fear that has gripped State House since Mayombo’s death.
This is a time of great personal insecurity among the First Family, who find themselves in an unhappy position “ trapped by power, controlling as well as being controlled by it.
The more the resentment at Museveni’s rule grows, the more he must dig in and centre power within his family as his only political base and place of personal safety.
But the more he does this, the deeper the resentment at him and his family grows, leading to a spiraling cycle of paranoia and with the result that the normal functioning of the Uganda government is grinding to a halt.
Source: The Independent Magazine