Barbie’s Speech In Canada Was A Joke

By Abbey Kibirige semuwemba, UK

Yesterday, I was forwarded a YouTube link to Barbie Kyagulanyi’s speech at the Diaspora Convention in Canada a few days ago. There’s no doubt that the speech was so bad, and I think she should work on her public speaking if she intends to speak again in future. I, however, fault those that have insulted her due to this – insults aren’t necessary when someone makes a mistake – instead you just correct them.

I really sympathize with her predicament because public speaking isn’t easy. First time I spoke in public was when we gathered at a family meeting in Kololo at Sulaiman's Kiggundu’s house around early 2000. Everyone was required to make a speech- I was nervous and I kept looking at my former headmaster, Al-hajji Abbas Kawase, for validation.

I almost choked when Barbie said, ‘‘Museveni is a thief. Museveni started stealing in 1980.I will tell you how. He was the vice chairman of the …ha ha ha(she laughed).

And then she made it all up by continuing to say, ‘’ It’s as if you all don’t know Museveni…….. He is a thief because during Paulo Muwanga’s time, Muwanga was the commissioner of Defence. ……They run an election between Museveni and Ssemogere, and Ssemogere was winning the election and the electoral commission called Ssemogerere to congratulate him. Then Muwanga with the help of Museveni went and told the EC to stop whatever they were doing. Blah blah…….’’

First of all,Paulo Muwanga has never been a commissioner of Defence and Museveni wasn’t really anything in the 1980 elections apart from being a UPM/ FRONASA candidate. From what I read in Sam Njuba's book, THE BETRAYAL, Paulo Muwanga was occupying the president’s office and making executive decisions for the country after the removal of Godfrey Binaisa. The ‘’Presidential Commission’’, headed by Saulo Musoke, didn’t have powers at all.

"Military Commission" was the term used then, not Defence Commission (Barbie’s term). The late Sam Njuba further stated in his book that Museveni was powerless as vice chairman of the six-man Military Commission. So, how could a powerless man have stolen anything? Barbie was talking rubbish. There is more present crap to use against Museveni now than the past.

Njuba also stated that the British had identified Oyite Ojok as Obote’s successor in case the latter was rejected again. Apparently, they never envisaged Museveni taking power because he wasn’t popular anywhere in Uganda.

Museveni never worked with Paulo Muwanga to deny the DP of its ‘victory’ in the 1980 elections. Museveni was one of the presidential candidates in the 1980 elections. He wasn’t anywhere near the Electoral commission headed by Kirya, nor did he have any powers to influence anything. In any case, if he had the powers,he would have influenced his own rigging, not UPC’s.

Obote while in exile in Tanzania wrote to Paul Muwanga, who was then a cabinet minister under Binaisa’s government, to do everything possible to get UPC back to power even if it meant staging a coup. The letter is a public document which can be seen by anybody in various textbooks and is dated 06/02/1980. Muwanga ,Rwakasisi and others implemented this plan in July 1980 by getting rid of president Binaisa through a ‘coup d’état’.

Before the 1980 elections were held, Muwanga wrote to the UPC radicals to start laying grounds for the rigging of the 1980 general elections and they awarded him handsomely. Muwanga’s letter is also public property to those who want it( Read Francis Bwengye’s book).

The appointment of the Electoral Commission was also strongly part of the process of rigging the 1980 elections. First, the military commission was full of UPC people and there were the ones that appointed the Electoral Commission (EC)- just like the current EC is full of people loyal to NRMO and Museveni.

The few voices in the military commission who were anti-Obote like, Yoweri Museveni, could not change anything. Secondly, the chairman of the electoral Commission, Kosea S.M. Kikira, was appointed by Muwanga, and he was a strong UPC cadre.

UPC did a lot of things to rig the 1980 elections but the most embarrassing one was when Muwanga stopped the returning officers from announcing the election results and he directed he alone was to announce the results and declare the elected candidates. He took over full control of the EC when he realised that UPC was losing to DP. Obote refutes this in his memoirs published in the monitor newspaper before his death but that was expected from a full time politician like him. Muwanga then released the doctored results after 18 hours to the EC whom he asked to announce them on the radio Uganda.

Barbie Kyagulanyi ignorantly also said, ‘’when Museveni came to power in 1986, he made it his sole duty to go the leaders in western countries, specifically in USA, to knock on Ronald Regan’s office- he was there every year for three consecutive years, and he employed Regan’s son-in-law to help him cleanse them in America’’.

From the day Museveni came to power and subsequently won elections, his agenda has always been to control the narrative, because once you control the narrative you control the people.

Since this is a question of history, I don't think Museveni hired any PR agencies between 1986 and 2000. I don't know where Barbie Kyagulanyi was getting her information from. Reagan’s son wasn’t involved anywhere in Museveni’s PR exercises.

As far as I know, when Besigye was in exile in South Africa, he was giving Museveni a bloody nose. So, Museveni hired a London based PR firm, Hill & Knowlton, to help brush off his image internationally.

In 2012, the government paid an Irish firm, Glenevin Operational Risk and Security Consultancy, Shs 2.3bn to clean up its image. This was after the Walk- to work protests headed by Besigye.

In 2014, Mercury International-US was hired after the USA govt announced the first substantial sanctions against Uganda in response to its Anti-Homosexuality Act. After the 2021 elections, Museveni again hired Mercury International- UK Limited, to cleanse off the bad images of the 2020-21elections.

It’s obvious that Barbie hasn’t read much about Uganda politics, but I think her handlers should prepare speeches for her in future. She was lucky she was mainly talking among the ‘nkuba kyeyos’(diasporans) who don’t take such stuff seriously. She came across as another example of how people have been completely brainwashed by false propaganda, and loving Kyagulanyi blindly. What does seem fairly (and depressingly) common these days is the cognitive dissonance that leads to the view that it’s bad if opposition politicians lie, but in some way justified if your own side does.