By President Yoweri Museveni
Some irresponsible people have, apparently, been using social media to spread falsehoods
About two or so weeks ago, I made a voice recorded message that I caused to be transmitted to the listeners over the social media network known as WhatsApp that some irresponsible people have, apparently, been using to spread falsehoods. That time, the message was in Runyankore-Rukiga (part of the Runyakitara or what I proposed to call Kinyanja – North, as opposed to the Kinyanja of Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique), because the irresponsible people had used that dialect to propagate their falsehoods. I call these dialects Kinyaja – North because they are mutually intelligible dialects in the Great Lakes area. Those that are mutually intelligible are used by a population I estimate to be about 60 million people if not more. On that occasion, I used the words: Abasiru, Abashema and Abazigu (stupid, uninformed and enemies) to describe the authors of that sectarian and criminal altercation.
Although I had strong suspicion that the authors, were criminal opportunists who were using sectarianism to try and profit politically, I reacted as if the actors were uninformed villagers that needed education about the powerful, ancient interlacustrine (the people of the Lakes – Amayaanja: Nalubaale, Mwitanzigye, Masyooro, Kioga, Rutshuru-Butuumbi) peoples who had advanced agriculture (crops and livestock), fishing, industry (metal work, ceramics, leather-working, wood-work, textiles, etc), had symbiotic societies but were badly governed by the, sometimes, parasitic and tyrannical chiefs who were responsible for our colonisation by failing to unite us so as to face the colonial forces.
About a week ago, the intelligence service brought me a forged letter that I was supposed to have written to the late Gaddaffi on the 25th of January, 2010. In that forged letter, I was supposed to be informing Gaddaffi about my political intentions and plans in Uganda, denigrating some of my comrades in the struggle and showing a sectarian attitude towards one of our Ugandan communities, the Bakiga i.e. the same Bakiga of the other sectarian recording. Fortunately, this time, the intelligence services and the vigilant NRM people were able to discover who the authors might be and who the propagators were. Indeed, the Police already have some suspects. I would like to inform the listeners and those who follow the goings on, on the social media that that letter is a forgery.
It is a forgery because I never wrote such a letter. In fact, the whole context could not have existed. At that time, my relationship with the late Gaddaffi was very sour because I had opposed his plans of an All-Africa Government, preferring to work for the East African Federation as far as political integration was concerned and only for economic integration as far as the whole of Africa is concerned. Besides, the whole talk of German doctors and my health is a fiction. Fortunately, in the whole 70 years of my life, God has given me excellent health save for occasional malaria attacks, coughs or mild allergic reactions in the nose. Even today, there are hardly any physical exertions that I cannot undertake except squatting which I find a bit uncomfortable these days.
We, the freedom fighters, who mobilised all the Ugandan communities that we came across, to create the powerful NRA and, later NRM, cannot, even in the state of somnambulism, disapprove of any of our communities because they all helped us to build that strength and we also helped them to get out of the bad times of effuga bi (bad governance). In December 1978/January 1979, I recruited 200, mainly Bakiga boys, while based at Nyamiyaga Primary School in Tanzania for the anti-Amin struggle. When we crossed into Uganda, on the 11th of February 1979, I recruited a lot of Banyankore boys and girls until the fall of Amin on the 11th of April, 1979. In order to train the 200 at Nyamiyaga, I utilised the skills of the boys from Kaberamaido whom we had trained in Mozambique.
Some of those Banyankore and Bakiga boys of 1978/79, who qualified, went for leadership training at Jinja and Monduli in Tanzania. Many of them are the ones that helped me to start and prosecute the resistance in the Luwero Triangle, starting on the 6th of February, 1981 (Tarehe Sita). They are the ones that helped me to train a large number of Baganda boys and girls in the Luwero Triangle (i.e. to prosecute the war). Later on, when we had the opportunity, we recruited fighters from the whole country on the quota-basis. That is how we built the powerful UPDF. We do not look at people’s tribes, religion or sex when we are determining whether they are good or bad. We look at their capabilities. We look at their ideology. We look at their loyalty. Sometimes, we look at their discipline – but the other three take precedence.
The three, to repeat, are: capability, ideology and loyalty. Tribe, religion or sex do not feature in our Minzani (yard- stick, evaluation) of determining who is useful and who is not.
When you hear somebody, claiming to be a leader, talking about tribes, religion, sex (Gender) as yardsticks of determining people’s usefulness, you should know that he/she is a failure and a danger to Africa. He/she is a parasite. He/she is an opportunist.
I described the first group as “Abasiru”, “Abashema” and “Abazigu” (stupid, uninformed and enemies). I now describe this group as Abatemu, Abanyaanda and Abazigu (criminals, opportunists, and enemies). Although, I will not have time to answer much of the nonsense on social media, when it comes to trying to divide the Ugandans and the Africans in general, I will confront those enemies both verbally and, if necessary, physically. It says, in the Book of Matthew 7:16 that “You will know them by their fruits”. You will know the orientation of all those actors by what they say and do.
Besides, it is only people who have never been involved in armed combat that have the luxury of talking about tribes, religions and sex of people in a derogatory way. In combat, your own very life depends on the actions of your neighbour regardless of his tribe or religion or sex. How can you afford to be sectarian? In Mbale, on the 22nd of January, 1973, I was saved by a Mugisu boy who gave me information that enabled me to take another route. Treat with contempt those who talk about tribes, religion and gender as a way of judging who is good and who is bad.
If the letter is forgery, how did what appears to be my signature get to the document? Certainly, not through me. I have been told by Police that there are techniques of forging signatures or transferring signatures from one document to another one. The Police will get to the bottom of it.
Retired Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is the President of the Republic of Uganda