This is a serialised interview.
JN- Mr President, thank you for accepting to avail your self for this interview. Let me also use this opportunity to congratulate you for having been re-elected president of Uganda, although I do not recognise your presidency.
Museveni- Thank you JN. By the way, I remember you as a boy during the 1980 campaigns and the liberation war. But what do you mean you do not recognise my presidency?
JN- There is compelling evidence that you rigged this election, Besigye received more votes than you.
Museveni- No, no, no…Besigye is misleading people and he will be arrested if he doesn’t stop. It is actually FDC that rigged in many polling stations around the country.
JN- Which polling stations?
Museveni- For example, in the north they rigged in Ginego, Jal, Macho Myamya, and Obale etc. In the east they rigged Ojame, Jadwong, Pee, Omuhongo, Siriginyi and Ejokuna. They almost rigged Ejakait polling station as well, but Kaihura prevented that in time. Here in central, they went ahead and rigged Mbaliga polling station, Banobasiru polling station, Ndimulimba, and Njochamasiro polling station. In fact we did not gather more than 20 votes at Serwajo’kwota polling station. In the West we were more vigilant so they only managed to rig Rwakitura polling station. As you can see, we’re the victims here, but alhamdulillah, we came out on top.
Museveni- Yes! Seya taught me that.
JN- But the electoral commission is partisan and pro NRM, how did they manage to do that?
Museveni- They were assisted by the conservatives in the UK to print fake ballot papers. We know this.
JN- Lets talk about your rap or crap song as some people call it. Whose idea was it, and how come you claim originality for a song that has been around for more than a century?
Museveni- Oh! actually it was Janet’s idea although I took all the credit. The idea was to educate our youth about product value addition. You see, this song had been exported from Ankore to other parts of Uganda in its raw form for many years. So we added value to it and you saw the results.
JN- How was that supposed to educate the youth about product value addition?
Museveni- I think it was another way of telling them that it is possible to sell sand in the Sahara.
JN- But Otafire publicly called it a “Mavi ya kuku” crap song.
Museveni- No, no, no…what Kahinda proposed in the NRM caucus was that we add those lyrics in the song, to make it national anthem material, but we disagreed on the modality.
JN- What was the disagreement about exactly?
Museveni- I did not attend that meeting my self, but Tamale Mirundi can clarify.
Tamale Mirundi- Mr. pulezidenti, samu membazi insisitedi we insert those words into the song vertically…ie. “Mavi ya kuku” but athazi were saying we do it horizontally….”kuku ya mavi” for example.
JN- Only that?
Museveni- He also felt the song had the potential to become our national anthem, so we forwarded the matter to different party organs for scrutiny.
JN-Why didn’t you record a full album?
Museveni- But it was a full album of one song. I intend to release ten more albums this year to complement the first one.
JN- Ten!!…how are you going to do that in one year?
Museveni- In the second album for example, we shall record the same song backwards. In the third album, I’ll recycle only one line……”kati karara, karara, kati karara x 89 times emphasising the “Rrrrrrrrrr”……..” and crap like that. Eddy Kenzo will assist us with all that.
JN- Mr president, people say you’ve failed to create jobs 25yrs down the road, what do you say about that?
Museveni- Those are lies spread by FDC. How can any body say we’ve not created jobs when companies like MTN, Uchumi, Nakumat, Airtel, Kiboko squad and Kalangala action plan are all recruiting NRM youth? Under the NRM government, we’ve discovered oil and paper ore which we did by adding DDT to paper and some other herbs from Ntungamo.
JN- What is paper ore used for?
Museveni- It is the main ingredient in the production of heart monitoring equipment for hospitals. Last year I directed that we use them our selves at Mulago hospital and that explains why heart related deaths have declined drastically form 2000 a year to only 1997.
JN- But it is said that all these business are owned by your family, disguised as private business owned by foreign investors. They exploit the poor who have become poorer since 1986.
Museveni- JN, I agree, but the bible says…. “Thou who haveth will be giveneth more, but ye who haveneth not, even the little thou owneth shall be takeneth awayeth from themeth”. That is why Haji Kigongo and Seya Ssebaggala are with me because they believe in the same doctrine. I hope that answers your question.
JN- Seya was jailed some years back for money laundering in the USA and he is also on record for embezzling public funds here in Uganda. Is he your friend..
Museveni- Oh!!..no, no, no!…Seya is merely an NRM associate but not a friend of mine. But we have things in common, for example, we both don’t eat pork nor do we drink alcohol, I think that allows us to work well together.
JN- Do you trust him?
Museveni- Yes of course, because with him, maximum secrecy is ensured, unlike people like Mahogany.
JN- Mr president, what do you mean when you talk about “secrecy”?
Museveni- I conduct all my meetings with Seya in English, so there is no chance for leakage. You know the media here would be spreading rumours that I will never retire.
JN- Are you a life president?
Museveni- Ohhh! please!…Now that Besigye is no longer going to seek another mandate with in FDC, there is no threat to the country and the NRM. I’m going to retire ASAP.
JN- When Mr president?
Museveni- Not later than 2062, but if you people push me too hard, agakatonda muguru nyowe naza kubahereza ebifunguro bya state house such that I go to Rwakitura and look after my cows. (I swear to God I’m going to hand over the keys)
JN- Laugh….and laugh again….Mr president, do you expect to live that long?
Museveni- Please do not focus on one individual only “Museveni” when there is a long queue of other capable Ugandans waiting as well. For example, I’ve heard that this young man, Muhwezi is also interested. The other day I was at my daughter’s church, and there was a rumour going on that another Ugandan…I think it is Janet Kataha Museveni who might be considering sacrificing her self for the nation AGAIN. Although we’re opposed to the idea, we also acknowledge that we’re a family that sacrifices, and therefore, can not stop these Ugandans who want to serve their country. Retiring will not be a problem.
JN- In other words you’re going to stand again in 2016. Are you a life president?
Museveni- JN, let us cross the bridge when we get there. I think we should focus on industrialisation and the East African integration process.
JN- But Mr president, do you think Besigye is capable of leading this country?
Museveni- If he becomes president, this country will retrogress. We can not allow that to happen. For example, he has been telling people that he is going to drastically reduce corruption with in five years, how was he going to do that? It has taken us 25yrs to increase it to its current levels, so how does anybody decrease it with in five years??!!!
JN- You seem to imply that corruption is good for this country Mr president.
Museveni- If a cow that gives you milk doesn’t feed well, it will produce less milk. To get it to feed, you must entice it with salt. In Runyankore we call it “ekisura”. In other words, what you people call corruption, for us in the NRM we call ekisura that greases people’s hands such that they do a good job.
JN- Is Besigye wrong to say he wants to eradicate corruption then?
Museveni- Besigye always wants to accomplish things fast. I think you’re aware that he deserted the liberation struggle, but to our surprise, we found him in Kampala with the first group of liberators drinking tea near the old Slow boat restaurant. He actually commanded that battalion, so you can say that he wanted to become president way back in 1986.
JN- So you do not trust him?
Museveni- How can you trust a man who promises a Sunami but then you end up with a La-Nina phenomenon?. How can you trust him when he wanted to give the Banyoganda a district states?
JN- Are you saying Bunyoganda doesn’t qualify for a district status?
Museveni- You can’t do that now, because the minimum requirement in terms of population to qualify for a district status is 25 people, habiting at least an acre of kabaka’s land. The Banyoganda number only 20 according to the last population census. To give them that status now will lead to the Cholangis in the north to agitate for theirs as well. As you might be aware, that action will require us to chop off some parts of Acholiland and Langoland to create a district for the Cholangi people.
JN- Back to corruption, so you do not want corruption to end, is that what you’re saying?
Museveni- Oh! nooo…, the NRM governement has got the will to end corruption, but of courses at a very, very slow pace to enable people to adjust properly.
JN- What do you mean Mr president?
Museveni- What I mean is that, with corruption in place, that is how the NRM succeeds, and not how it fails. For example, how else would I have managed to remove these restrictive term limits?
JN- Are you admitting that you have failed on corruption?
Museveni- Of course not. It is not how you start but how you end that matters. In 2062 corruption will be a thing of the past.
In my next series, I will interview the president on oil in Bunyoro and the economy in general. Stay tuned.