Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Why #Uganda's #Museveni claims to have more love for #Nyerere than #Tanzanians

First published by Change of Guards Blog on July 9, 2014
For some years now Museveni has persistently advocated for the recognition of former Tanzania president Late Julius Nyerere into sainthood.  His latest public statement over the matter was during the recent Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations at Namugongo in Kampala. During the occassion he promised to travel to Rome and meet the Pope over the matter. He made the statement in the presence of Late Nyerere's widow who was one of the top celebrants.
A few days later, the same widow was in Kigali Rwanda to attend the RPF liberation day where Museveni was one of the main celebrants. Alongside the victory celebrations, was the Northern Corridor Integration Project (NCIP).  This project is a Museveni orchestrated plan to isolate Tanzania from the East African Integration.  Museveni feels that Tanzania's opposition to the fast tracking of the integration process is failing his plans to become the EAC's first President but more so, securing a regional military alliance that will guarantee his life presidency project.
No doubt, relations between Tanzania and Rwanda are not the best. Therefore, the presence of Nyerere's widow in Kigali was a Musaveni scheme to bypass the government of Tanzania and reach to some individuals and gain political capital by riding on Late Nyerere's strong legacy.
When Iddi Amin took over power in 1971, the following day the little known and insignificant Yoweri Museveni voluntarily crossed to Tanzania where he started a self- imposed exile.  Museveni had just finished his university education from Tanzania. At the time Tanzania was hosting the deposed President Obote and his top former government officials and army officers who had fled with him.
Tanzania under Nyerere had refused to recognise the Iddi Amin take over and was bent on militarily supporting its overthrow and reinstatement of Milton Obote to the presidency.  Museveni sought to use this opportunity to make his childhood presidential ambitions a reality.  He embarked on undermining the main opposition group under Milton Obote by convincing Nyerere that Obote was unpopular in the central and western regions of Uganda.
Museveni provided personal interest-driven intelligence about Iddi Amin's strength that led to the catastrophic foiled invasion by Ugandan exiles from Tanzania.  Within a few hours of the invasion, hundreds of the invaders were killed and or captured while others including Museveni fled back to Tanzania. The undertaking was an embarrassment for the Tanzania backers, a disaster for the invading Ugandans but a blessing for Museveni whose name came to the limelight.  It took another seven years before another successful invasion could be launched from Tanzania that saw Iddi Amin being overthrown.
In the meantime, Museveni got the approval of Nyerere to run an organisation (FRONASA) parallel to the main group of exiles under deposed President Milton Obote.  Museveni managed to recruit a few boys from western Uganda who were trained alongside the Mozambique FRELIMO fighters.  This marked his long-term project of dislodging the northerners from dominating the army.
He also embarked on undermining the other groups opposed to Iddi Amin more especially the Obote group.  This led to the death and detention of many Ugandans inside Uganda through deliberate leaking of information.  In Tanzania, on several occasions he would be arrested and detained by security officers who were managing the Anti Amin project but each time Nyerere would intervene and secure his release.
Despite all that, FRONASA almost remained on paper until in 1978 after the invading Tanzanians had crossed the border that Museveni embarked on a full-scale swelling of his ranks by recruiting from the Rwandese refugee camps and his home area. The Tanzanian army did nothing to dissuade him from propagating a faction within the post-Amin national army (UNLA).  Instead they helped him to train it. Museveni had been allowed free access to clandestine operations around the border areas of Kagera region which operations provoked Iddi Amin into invading Tanzania and sparked off his down fall.
Earlier on during the Moshi conference, Nyerere had helped Museveni to become the Vice Chairman of the powerful Military Commission after he rejected the choice of Grace Ibingira to that position.  It is this position that saw Museveni rise to the position of the post-Amin Minister of Defence.  It is this position of Minister of Defence that he used to undermine the stability of all the Post Amin governments to his advantage.
When Museveni was launching his senseless bush war, he desperately but successfully appealed to Nyerere to withdraw his army so that the infant UNLA could remain vulnerable to his manipulations.  He would disparately make these appeals partly from the late Sam Njuba's law chambers through a one Joseph Butiku who was a close family member of Nyerere.  To speed up the withdraw of the Tanzania army, he attacked and killed a number of Tanzanian soldiers in Luwero.
It is this abandonment of Obote and the UNLA by the Tanzanian army that enabled Museveni's NRA to survive during its infancy. It is for the same reason that Obote did not seek asylum from Tanzania during the 2nd exile.  Therefore, Museveni owes much of his success to achieving his childhood dream of becoming the president of Uganda to Tanzania'a Nyerere.  However, the current Tanzania government is fully aware of Museveni's machination in the ongoing efforts to isolate it from the EAC integration.

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