The current crackdown on opposition leaders and the media in Uganda is obvious as crystal that the east central African nation is slowly and absolutely sinking into anarchy.
Led by Yoweri Museveni, as soon as hailed as a freedom fighter and liberator, the President, who has dominated Uganda since 1986, is popping into an autocratic chief, bent on silencing the opposition and civic society activists in his unbridled quest to retain energy.
Uganda is one nation that President Emmerson Mnangagwa has befriended since he assumed the highest publish within the wake of a November 2017 coup. Museveni was within the nation to formally open the Zimbabwe Worldwide Commerce Truthful in Bulawayo in April.
In a gesture of an excellent flip deserves one other, Mnangagwa was the one head of State and authorities who graced Uganda’s 57th independence anniversary celebrations held a fortnight in the past.
Mnangagwa was accorded the very best honour in Uganda of the Most Glorious Order of the Pearl of Africa, The Grand Grasp, in “recognition of his contribution to the liberation of Zimbabwe and different southern African nations”.
Museveni spoke glowingly of Mnangagwa, who he described as a “visionary, pragmatist, pan-Africanist, peacemaker and unifier”, who’s dedicated to enhancing the standard of lifetime of the folks of Zimbabwe. The chase for slender pursuits and intolerance to divergent views — particularly from the opposition activists and civil society organisation — have tainted Museveni’s picture within the eyes of each Ugandans and the worldwide neighborhood.
Occasions unfolding in Uganda for the previous many years are a transparent proof that absolute energy corrupt completely. Uganda is an effective instance of how some leaders harm their very own folks out of concern of being chucked out of State Home.
In July, Mnangagwa was criticised for spending scarce assets in attending Rwanda’s 25th commemorations to mark the tip of genocide at a time Zimbabwe was actually burning. Mnangagwa was attempting to emulate his Rwandese counterpart Paul Kagame’s financial growth mannequin, which blends authoritarian practices and home-grown options with worldwide greatest practices.
Final month, opposition leaders in Rwanda raised a purple flag over their security, following one other homicide of a outstanding opposition activist, although the federal government denied any wrongdoing. Rights activists imagine the killings, abductions, torture and disappearance of opposition activists had been politically-motivated and warned that many extra would die underneath the regime which is described as a dictatorship.
Mnangagwa was in Belarus the place he opened a consulate in Minsk in January. President Alexander Lukashenko has been ruling Belarus with an iron fist since 1994.
The nation has confronted sanctions owing to its poor human rights file. Belarus is likely one of the least democratic nations in Europe, and is Europe’s solely nation that also has the demise penalty on its statutes. Minsk has been beneficiant to Zimbabwe because it provided Zupco buses to ease transport woes.
Mnangagwa is a secret admirer of Museveni, Lukashenko and Kagame. These three leaders have putting similarities — all of them rule their nations with an iron fist. At one time, Lukashenko boasted that it was “higher to be a dictator than homosexual” when responding to criticism over the nation’s poor human rights file.
After November 2017, regardless of being held in excessive regard inside the worldwide neighborhood, the place he had goodwill, Mnangagwa will nonetheless go down the annals of historical past as a liberator who betrayed his folks and a frontrunner who knew what wanted to be executed, however selected to look the opposite approach.
At present, uncertainty looms with regard to the place Zimbabwe is heading. The nation is heading nowhere quick. Rampant corruption in nearly all authorities establishments continues unabated. The Auditor-Common Mildred Chiri’s experiences are testimony to this.
Extra typically, police and the navy officers, armed to the tooth, are unleashed on peaceable demonstrators, who’re exercising their constitutional proper to register their anger on how the nation is being administered.
Tear smoke canisters and water cannons have been imported in giant portions, whereas consumables and medicines are out of inventory in native hospitals.
Roads are dilapidated, hospitals have solely turn out to be worse and even the HIV/Aids successes have stalled.
To think about the nation has run out of life-saving anti-retrovial medicine barely two weeks after Zimbabwe “pledged” US$1 million to the International Fund is confounding.
In Uganda, the dozen arrests of a famend musician and opposition activists, Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly generally known as Bobi Wine, on the instigation of the nation’s chief government is a pointer to how far Museveni will go to consolidate his grip on energy.
Bobi Wine was final yr arrested after Museveni’s motorcade was “attacked” by unknown folks.
The federal government critic was later arraigned earlier than a navy court docket and charged for unlawful possession of arms, a cost which was condemned by the worldwide neighborhood as politically-motivated.
When Bobi Wine got here to Zimbabwe in Could this yr, he was detained and interrogated by State safety brokers on the Robert Gabriel Mugabe Worldwide Airport.
Boby Wine had been invited to preside as visitor of honour at Nelson Chamisa-led MDC congress in Gweru on Could 26. That such repressive regimes worldwide are interconnected is an open secret.
These traits are additionally present in Mnanagwa, who has been working in direction of entrenching his rule through the use of legislative and constitutional amendments.
In an interview with State media not too long ago, Mnangagwa’s Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi revealed that the Govt was toying round with the thought of amending the Structure in order that the President shouldn’t be compelled to pick out a working mate. The working mate clause was launched within the 2013 Structure, however was suspended for 10 years. Nonetheless, the clause will take impact within the 2023 elections.
“One other modification has to do with eradicating the working mate clause,” Ziyambi mentioned.
Mnangagwa appears afraid of upsetting the applecart in Zanu PF by appointing a working mate, who would naturally take over from him in case of incapacitation, resignation or demise with out essentially going by means of the occasion choice processes. Mnangagwa is trying past 2023, no marvel he advised he world that 2030 ndenge ndichipo (2030 I’ll nonetheless be round).
Mnangagwa’s conscience could have died, however he is aware of that democracy, equality, good governance and Zimbabwe is open for enterprise mantra he preached now look considerably awkward.
The Zanu PF authorities ought to shake off the previous self and search new associates, who can affect Zimbabwe to undertake worldwide greatest practices by way of governance in order that Zimbabwe will be readmitted again into the household of countries.
Mnangagwa squandered the goodwill he had in November 2017, due to his energy retention shenanigans. Absolutely, Mnangagwa shouldn’t be solely Museveni, Kagame and Lukashenko’s greatest pal, however their good pupil.