Somebody Please Tell Mwenda To Represent Us Well Next Time!
I was once a strong Andrew Mwenda fan and I think, deep inside, i still have a soft spot for him, but he just keeps breaking my heart, man! He is such a collection of different personalities; it is no wonder that at times his confrontations end with a falling out.Now, I’m not gonna go into the rubbish of labeling him anything, as in like him being on both Museveni and Kagame’s payroll because I don’t have any strong evidence, but it it takes a rare kind of callowness, from a kid who obviously doesn’t understand what Ugandans want, to make that kind of argument he made, which the Aljazeera naively gave the beautiful title of ‘Africa to Obama: Mind your own business’.
Mwenda asked:’Why doesn’t Obama openly admonish leaders of Western Europe whenever he visits their countries?’
This is like asking why England was openly criticizing Hitler for torturing and killing Jews yet it was ironically the first country to evict them? Edward I confiscated all Jewish wealth and evicted them permanently in 1290. Not until 1655 was a Jew legally permitted to re-enter England. Actually,by 1500 all of Western Europe except northern Italy, parts of Germany, and the Papal possessions around Avignon, had been rid of Jews. The Jews started returning around 1650. But guess what? That didnt stop various leaders from ‘obamanising’ Hitler later on as Obama did recently in Ethiopia in regards to ‘failures’ of African leaders. It’s a matter of saying what’s right to the right audience regardless of the repercussions, and I think for most of the part, Obama got it right.
Like any sensible person in the Africa today, I’m skeptical about anybody claiming racial or ethnic victimhood.Yelling “we are poorer” and that’s why Obama can afford to outstrip our leaders, has turned into a mendacious racket. Africa isn’t poor as such, as it is gifted with a lot of natural resources, and any African could be anything they want to be if we had good leaders. Unfortunately, we have only got ‘rich’ leaders, rich with a lot of money and power, as Obama helped to point out but so useless to our people. Some of our leaders are even admittedly rich agriculturalists but shamelessly surrounded by majority substance farmers, and they seem to be OK with it.
Obama talked about a lot of issues that are vital to Africans especially the presidential term limits, and I didnt see them highlighted anywhere in Mwenda’s article.Basically, I think Mwenda selectively picked and chose which admonitions to highlight as a cover for his raw prejudices.
I think the days Obama spent in Africa qualified to be bad days in office for all those doing PR for African dictators especially after that famous Obama speech in Ethiopia. And I totally agree with Obama on term limits: the removal of the country’s term limits is like tap dancing on a landmine.
Normally, I’d consider it a boondoggle, but given the abuse by Uganda leaders since 1966, I think we need to start teaching constitutionalism as a subject from primary school to A’ Level. We shouldn’t leave it to the lawyers to know everything about our laws and also fight for us! In any case, lawyers tend to interpret laws in a way that suits them!
The rest of Mwenda’s article was about the USA, its problems at home and and its two faced hypocritical approach to issues, and i agree with him. I only wish he had used that space for something else rather than telling Obama what he already knew. And I think all this stems from the fact that failing regimes need somebody to blame, anybody, and African dictators have two favorite scapegoats: donors and colonialism. Even our Museveni routinely rants against the United States, though he knows there are many times they’ve pulled his cookies out of the fire.
Byebyo ebyange banange!