THE INSIDE STORY
President Museveni continues to be in self-isolation, six days after he tested positive to COVID-19. The head of state however, continues to update us on his status saying he’s getting better even as the tests which were done on Day 5, showed he was still carrying the virus. Many people continue to shower him with ‘Get-well soon’ messages and we too; as Inspectors, wish the General from Rwakitura quick recovery! But what does Museveni’s continued disappearance from the scene as a result of covid mean for Uganda, Africa and most importantly the United States and Russia at large? In this intel, we reveal what is at stake!
THE LOCAL SCENE
A senior minister from Busigu sub-region reportedly angered the president. The minister, who was eventually sacked from cabinet, was tasked to hunt for a certain male granny who was a member of FRONASA. This man is said to be a resident in Manafwa district. Apparently, Museveni had kept hunting for his former pals of FRONASA and UPM and his instinct kept telling him that his friend was still alive but languishing in untold poverty. The president thus, according to inspectors directed the minister to look for this man three times but the minister kept promising to locate the man. When Museveni asked the third time after a long time, told the president that the man he was hunting for had actually passed on. Museveni wasn’t convinced and henceforth, asked a one Mutembuli popularly known as Masaaba and Bernard Mujaasi to hunt for his friend and asked them to bring him to state house once they located him. The duo did as assigned and located the man. Museveni invited them to state house and also summoned this ‘liar minister’ to the same meeting. The minister was summoned separately and was hidden in one of the waiting rooms. When the meeting began, he called the liar minister in.
“Hon. Minister [names withheld], is this a ghost? Tell me, is this a ghost? You said my friend had died, who is this? I am tired of irresponsible people around me” the president was quoted as furiously telling the minister before chasing the minister away.
He then turned to his pal and poured his heart out saying ‘oh, I am sorry. I am really sorry comrade. I have tried severely to locate you but your own people were telling me that you were already gone. You can see how people have bad hearts” Museveni according to inspectors told his FRONASA friend.
Inspectors said, the president was so bitter that; he never brought back this minister in his cabinet and he recently got information that the same minister was lobbying to be considered for appointment.
We’re informed that this kind of irresponsibility on the side of ministers is what is bothering the head of state that; as he spends more time in self-isolation, he’s actually using it to hunt for his trusted pals both in FRONASA and Uganda Patriotic Movement [UPM].
“The president thinks FRONASA and UPM had people of high integrity. He’s currently looking out for those who are still surviving and those who were in UPM. Don’t be surprised if he appoints more of these to the coming cabinet or members of their family. He thinks he can work well with these two groups than hand picking people from the street” said an inspector, adding that many ministers are likely to lose their seats to pave way for FRONASA and UPM [family] entrants in addition to a few members of Muhoozi group.
This development therefore, reportedly puts several ministers on tenterhooks as many of them were simply handpicked with no historical links to FRONASA or UPM and sadly, they betrayed Museveni’s generosity to them by engaging in scandals to embarrass him. Those rumored to be on vetting list include Charles Ayume, Lillian Aber [Muhoozi camp], Peter Magomu Mashate [UPM], Lillian Ikulumet among others.
In the past 10 days alone, Museveni was supposed to attend three important regional meetings. These included International Conference of Great Lakes Region [Angola], Common Market for East and Southern Africa [COMESA] –Zambia and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development [IGAD] taking place in Djibouti. However, in all these meetings, Museveni has not been able to attend but instead, deployed the Vice President Maj. Jessica Alupo to represent him. It should be recalled that Museveni carries the hat of Champion of African Integration within the AU arrangement and therefore, his absence on the scene is likely to affect the integration efforts. No wonder, he also says that even as he doesn’t fear sickness, he only misses the ideals of achieving African unity.
“What we need to know is the fact that he’s a regional player on integration and peace and security. Many countries come here for consultations and his advice is always taken serious. Therefore, if he is unreachable or indisposed, it leaves a wide gap” says an inspector. Currently, Museveni is being proposed to host and mediate the warring factions in Sudan. Recently [May 27 2023 at noon], Museveni hosted a virtual summit of AU Peace and Security Council member heads of state on the situation in Sudan.
“This therefore, shows why everyone must pray for his recovery because he is involved in many issues at continental level” says an inspector.
Former prime minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi; on the instruction of Gen. Museveni, has been trotting the globe. Inspectors said Mbabazi who heads the Global Africa Security Foundation based in Senegalese capital-Dakar, has reportedly been leading a team from Uganda to reach out to Moscow, Kiev and Western capitals including the US on Uganda’s position on the war in Ukraine. He; in other words is acting as Uganda’s chief negotiator on that matter. The African effort to end that war peacefully is led by South African President Cyril Rwamaphosa. Inspectors said, the African team led by Rwamaphosa is supposed to be in both Moscow and Kyivu to deliver the continent’s proposals to end the war. This meeting is due.
Besides this anticipated peace proposal meeting, there is the upcoming Russia-Africa business summit in Moscow. Uganda and president Museveni in particular, has always attended in person this meeting. With his continued sickness, inspectors expressed fear that the situation puts Museveni’s chances of personally attending this summit in balance. Depending on how his situation will be, he will have to travel or send the Vice President Maj. Jessica Alupo.
“Unfortunately, by him not attending, the West might think they succeeded in their desire to dissuade African presidents from allying with Russia. If he attends, they might again; think he’s for Russia, forgetting that Uganda has been part of this Summit all along! Therefore, his sickness is of great concern, not only to Uganda and Africa but also the wider international community. The earlier he recovers, the better to avoid [unnecessary] speculations” says an inspector.
The first Russia-Africa summit took place in 2019 in Sochi under the motto ‘For Peace, Security and Development’. A closing declaration was adopted at the end of the summit, outlining the approval of goals and objectives for future development of Russian-African cooperation across politics, security, economics, science and technology, culture and humanitarian aspects.
The second summit dubbed ‘Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum themed: ‘For Peace and Security Development’ is due next month from July 26-29 in St. Petersburg. However, two months ago, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov accused Washington of trying to wreck this impending summit as part of efforts to isolate Moscow.
“It is true the US and its vassals are doing everything possible to achieve Russia’s international isolation. In particular, they are trying to torpedo the planned second summit…to persuade our African friends not to take part” Lavrov said adding that ‘the chances of damaging the conference were diminishing. Fewer and fewer people are now willing to pull out all the stops for former colonial powers. Attempts to interfere with our cooperation with countries for the global south and East will therefore continue but success is far from guaranteed’
In response, Washington said in a statement that US wasn’t trying to limit African partnerships with countries but wanted to give African countries choices. Watch the space as the country continues to pray for Gen. Museveni’s quick recovery to give direction!