Had it been Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine, or any other opposition politician to kick off his wealth creation campaign around the country and around this time, droves of heavily armed police officers and equally weightily armed soldiers would have been already deployed.
Intention? To stop what would be referred to by the authorities as a premature election campaign. That is exactly what happened when John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, who had been instrumental in designing the Public Organizations Meetings Act (POMA), by the way, kicked off his own presidential campaign in 2016.
Not only was Amama stopped from carrying out what he was disguising as his consultative meetings. But the President Museveni’s once blue-eyed super minister was also shabbily handled by the security services who had once treated him as a deity being. Despite Amama begging the electoral commission to offer him protection, being an intending presidential candidate, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, the boss of the electoral agency, just told him to stop the consultative meetings and or else suffer locally.
Thanks to being the sitting president, Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa is above the inconveniencing POMA and any other law. This stance, while any other persons can be stopped and arrested on the basis of holding any meeting presumed by the armed forces to be political. On the contrary, Gen Museveni doesn’t have to suffer and be treated to such embarrassment and inconveniences.
In line with that protection exclusively granted to him by any other concerned office in Uganda, the president has kicked off his re-election campaign three years well ahead of 2026. Just that he will be calling this campaign as his wealth creation campaign which is going to take him around the whole country. The president kicked off the latest wealth creation campaign in Acholiland, in the northern part of the country.
To avoid being accused of launching a premature election campaign, he has not only called what he is up to as a wealth creation campaign. He has also rejected to be drawn by the people in Omoro district, into endorsing his sole candidature three years ahead of the 2026 general elections. “There is a time for everything,” the president has disguisedly told the enthusiastic Omoro LC V chairman, Peter Okello.
This, as Okello lured him into signing a prepared and pre-arranged beautiful poster bearing his photo (Museveni’s) to endorse his sole candidature bid. The president counsels that other than pestering him to endorse his sole candidature, Okello and his group and other such overzealous Ugandans should concentrate on sensitizing the people on how to create wealth for their own households and for the country.
He likens talking about the sole candidature before the right time to taking the dishes to the dining table before the food supposed to be served could be prepared and cooked. Yet the president didn’t say so when his vice national chairman for NRM, Alhaji Moses Kigongo just recently stepped out one day and endorsed him as the ruling party’s sole candidate for 2026. Neither was Gen Museveni heard protesting when Maj Jessica Alupo, his Vice President, Robinah Nabbanja, his Prime Minister and Gen Severino Kahinda Otafiire, his Internal Affairs Minister, among others, woke up one day and declared him a sole NRM candidate for 2026.
To call Okello to order when he has done exactly what the others had done, would seem as if it is a contradiction as well as a gimmick intended to disguise Gen Museveni’s latest election early campaign as being a wealth creation campaign. Well, this is not the very first time for the president to use what he has been referring to as a wealth creation campaign to prematurely go around the country while marketing his own election campaign and while using his armed forces to lock out others.
Faced with a potent rival in his pioneer Internal Minister, Dr Paulo Kawanga Ssemogerere, Gen Museveni kicked off what he would baptize as the Entandikwa (seed capital). That happened well ahead of the 1996 general election. That campaign would take the president in all corners of the country while marketing his candidature and giving out cash which was being referred to as seed capital.
What was true is, that money was actually intended to appease the voters ahead of the election. In order to prepare them into appreciating the president during the time of casting their votes. That is true because, whereas Ugandans got what was being touted as the seed capital to purportedly use to uplift their lot, they instead chewed the money and some used it to marry for themselves additional wives.
Revealingly, the president, who had issued out the public funds, didn’t bother to use the law to arrest and prosecute the recipients of the public funds who ended up blowing it on brew, marrying more women and such many useless things. Hundreds of such funds disguised as seed capital has since been sanctioned by the President to purportedly help Ugandans to create wealth.
But all that has ended up being put to worthless things as the first one to be issued out by the president in 1996. But in interest of time, we shall dwell on only the Emyooga funds, plus the Parish Model Development funds. Emyooga funds were ordered to be issued out by the President towards and during the last election. The intention of these funds can be figured out. That is, by using the time at which the president ordered the cash to be issued out and, by looking critically at the circumstances that were prevailing at that time.
Coming as they did during the campaign time, can help to easily give away the intention behind the issuance of the Emyooga funds. First of all, the President was being faced with a potent candidate in Bobi Wine. Bobi was really bad news for the president. Not only because he was a celebrity musician and a young man with a big appeal among the youth. But also, because he was a fresh candidate not affected yet by the problem to do with the past baggage of politics.
Bobi Wine is based in Magere in Kasangati. He is very popular there. Before Bobi could show up as a presidential candidate, Kasangati had produced yet another dangerous candidate. That one was Dr Kizza Warren Besigye. Besigye had not only given Museveni a hard time in fairly large parts of the country. He had also turned Kasangati into a desert of votes for Museveni. Can it surprise anyone anyway that the president chose to kick off the Emyooga funds distribution in Kasangati. Not only that. Kasangati got one of the biggest shares unparalleled by any part of the country.
Apart from residing in Kasangati, Bobi happens to operate business in the ghettos of Kamwokya. That aside, he was born, raised and grew up in Kamwokya. He also went to school in Kololo SS, a stone`s throw from Kamwokya. From the ghetto of Kamwokya, Bobi would go on to also build his name and popularity by engaging in the game of boxing and music. He not only stopped at wishing himself well. He also ahead to wish others youths well by skilling them in boxing and music.
It therefore goes without evening saying it that Bobi is worshipped as a deity being in Kamwokya and in the ghettos across the country. Does it therefore still surprise anyone that the Emyooga funds targeted the ghettoes mostly? Or that the president has since created his version of a ghetto president! Well, he is well known to deserve repeating his name and particulars here.
As it has happened to all the so-called seed capital issued out during and amidst the election campaign, the Emyooga also didn’t survive being squandered by majority of the people who had received it to use it create wealth. Yet a big balance of what was supposed to be dished out to Ugandans, as per an investigation carried out by the MPs, ended up being enjoyed by those entrusted to issue it out.
What action was taken this time around to recover the money? Nothing. Those who ate the money said they believed it to be an advance token of thank you for voting the president. Those who had been entrusted to dish out the funds but ate them, majority were politically well connected to be arrested and prosecuted. It was too, impossible to direct them to refund what they had diverted.
Just like that, a good part of what had baptized as the Emyooga funds, ended up being squandered. And, I repeat. Nothing was done as usual to bring anyone to book. Just as we speak, there is some really handsome cash belonging to the taxpayer waiting to be eaten. And trust me, nothing will be done to those who will end up eating that money.
That cash is known as the Parish Model Development funds. It’s yet again another round of capital bonanza waiting to go down the sewer. I read somewhere that much of that cash is still being held on accounts in banks where it was dispatched to be issued out to Ugandans waiting to use it to purportedly create wealth. That is quite understandable. Yes, sure. The time is not yet for the next presidential election.
That money will come. Just be sure and quote me on this one. That cash will be unleashed around 2026 still as capital to be dished out to Ugandans. But as I have noted here in these pages, no amount of money given out during the campaigns previously, had ever produced enough tangible worth to write home about. Will recipients use the intended money wisely this time round? I honestly think they won’t. Well, time will tell. With that I sign out and call it a day. Thanks for reading and kindly keep reading.
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
- BusinessSeptember 9, 2023Expose of What Often Splits Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi and President Yoweri Museveni Tibuhaburwa in Light of the Ongoing Bataka Standoff
- BusinessAugust 29, 2023Battle4Generals: Otafiire Floors Powerful Muhwezi in First Round of Minds Fight as Museveni Calls Off Bout over Control of Lucrative Digital Number Plates Deal
- BusinessAugust 29, 2023At the Crossroads Again: Kabaka Reads Defiance, Betrayal in Bataka-Museveni Meeting as the Latter Seeks to Use the Clan Heads Ahead of 2026 Polls
- BusinessAugust 23, 2023Dubious Victory: Bizman Ntaganda`s Plot to Fool UNRA, Dfcu in Busega Govt Swamp Deal Leaks as Judge Controversially Let Him off with even a UGX24B Gift