Ssebo creates own facts as Swan song plays
3 weeks ago, 12:58
On Wednesday, President Yoweri Museveni went to Parliament to deliver a speech on "defeating challenges of insecurity" in Uganda following a spate of unresolved murders and a general state of insecurity in the country, especially in Kampala recently.
Once at the podium, Museveni turned to a favourite topic of his that those who know him well say is characteristic of him whenever he is under intense panic: the ancient history of the great lakes interlacustrine region.
This topic tends to restore some confidence and a psychological shot in the arm that gives off the impression that he is a man in charge, especially when the pressure he is facing in areas that tend to be his soft under belly.
In this case, Museveni had come to parliament to speak about peace and identity. Speaking about peace seems reasonable given the topic he had come to address parliament about; however, it is when he began to raise questions about his own identity that the Members of Parliament, and even those watching on their television sets at home, wondered what exactly had rattled Museveni.
"I'm not an immigrant from anywhere":
Museveni spoke for over two hours. Almost an hour of that time was spent lecturing the MPs about the people of the great lakes region in a tone that was rather patronizing. "What you call history I call current affairs. I know because I was there," he told the MPs, before bragging that he was "unearthing history" for them because "you know about everybody else except yourself."
If you know Museveni, then the self-indulging isn't new. However, what was most perplexing was how he kept repeating that he was not "an immigrant from nowhere." It is as if Museveni had been summoned by Parliament to bring his birth certificate.
And so, to "prove" that he was not a foreigner he turned to "Museveni's own facts." He seemed to locate his "heritage" to Mutara, a place he claimed "was part of Mpororo, Nkore, before colonialism."
Of course, anyone with some knowledge of history immediately sensed that Museveni had unwittingly committed an own goal.
For sure, the confrontation between "Museveni's Own facts" and the real facts was about to produce the opposite of whatever he had intended to achieve by invoking this story of a time past.
For those who don't know, Mutara has never been part of Uganda. Not before colonialism (Uganda had yet to come into existence). And certainly not after the formation of Uganda by colonialists.
Rwanda did exist prior to colonial rule. Indeed, no part of contemporary Rwanda has ever been part of any neighbouring country; on the contrary, during colonialism Rwanda lost territories to present day Uganda (parts of Kigezi, Ntungamo, Igara rya Ruhinda that was later named Nkore) and in North and South Kivu in the DRC.
The place that Museveni is referring to was – and still is – Mutara. However, prior to colonial rule, Mutara was referred to as "Umutara w'Indorwa" meaning that it was part of the area that was known as Ndorwa, in Rwanda. In fact, ...
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