Home Main Stories Appointing an arsonist for a fire chief was Museveni’s stroke of genius

Appointing an arsonist for a fire chief was Museveni’s stroke of genius

By The New Times

Uganda’s State Minister for Regional Cooperation, Philimon Mateke.

Uganda’s political and military luminaries have, for some time, been articulating bellicose rhetoric directed against Rwanda and it is becoming increasingly clear that the most prominent and powerful among them can’t wait to see President Yoweri Museveni shoot his guns across the border into Rwanda.

The rhetoric got even more amplified when, in October 2019, President Yoweri Museveni’s son General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, issued yet another of his characteristically bombastic threats.

Reminiscent of another first son before him, Taban Amin of the mid and late 1970’s, he warned an unnamed enemy declaring that they “will have a very bad day”.

As if reading from Idi Amin’s own script, he went on to remind his enemy that he “will be crusted to dust”. The message did not remain encrypted for long.

It was left to Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) to do the decoding and in quick order the agency’s mouthpiece, Chimpreports announced to the world what everybody knew: Muhoozi’s threats were aimed at Rwanda as they “come against the backdrop of heightened tension between Uganda and Rwanda”.

All the posturing and chest thumbing by Muhoozi and others in Museveni’s orbit has been motivated by the need to cover up the Ugandan government’s support for terrorist organisations that are working to destabilise Rwanda, prominent among them, the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and Forces Democratiques De Liberation Du Rwanda (FDLR).

Luanda MoU

When he signed the Luanda Memorandum of Understanding in September 2019, with President Paul Kagame and Angolan President Joao Lourenco and his Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) counterpart Felix Tshisekedi, as mediators, in an effort to resolve the conflict between Rwanda and Uganda, President Museveni thought he was too clever and the arbiters wouldn’t be able to find the evidence of his government’s support and funding to the terrorist.

It didn’t take long for him to find out that he was gravely mistaken. It all began to boil over to the surface right after the Summit at Gatuna when, in an improvised rally at Kabale town on his way back to Entebbe, Museveni launched into a tirade denying that his government has been supporting the RNC and other terrorist groups targeting Rwanda.

Instead, he blamed it all on Rwanda. However, it quickly became clear to everyone who had been present at the Summit and had witnessed the signing for the Final Communique that in Kabale, Museveni was angrily venting after the Summit had pinned his government for supporting the RNC and other terrorists and had just tasked him bring it to an end for the border between Rwanda and Uganda to be “re-opened”. Clearly, as he left the summit venue, Museveni’s head was spinning.

Claims of annexation plan

That is how he ended up convening the most bizarre meeting at State House, Entebbe on February 24, 2020—attended by his security chiefs and some ministers, including Uganda’s minister for Regional Cooperation, Philimon Mateke, as well as two prominent RNC operatives in Kampala, Sula Nuwamanya and Prossy Boonabana, as reported by the CMI’s Chimpreports of March 7, 2020. It was at his forum that the rhetoric and scheming turned diabolical.

Even for a meeting called to lay strategies for further destabilisation of Rwanda and to work out a formula to defeat the resolutions of the Gatuna Summit, it quickly became evident that one of the participants, minister Mateke, was over playing his hand.

In a stunning move, even for the security chiefs, charged with coordinating anti-Rwanda operations, Uganda’s minister for Regional Cooperation, Philimon Mateke stepped forward to accuse President Kagame of planning to annex Uganda’s southern districts of Kabale and Kisoro.

According to Chimpreports, Mateke informed Museveni that “while touring areas bordering Uganda, Kagame threatened to use military means to annex Kabale and Kisoro”.Asked by Museveni to respond to Matake’s allegations against President Kagame, Uganda’s Director General of External Intelligence, Joseph Ochwet, categorically refuted the claims: “As far as I am concerned, there is no evidence not even a video showing Kagame made these remarks”.

Such an inflammatory and outrageous accusation can only be made up by a desperate man and Mateka is desperate. After the defeat of the terrorist groups whose attacks on Rwanda he had been assigned to coordinate, Mateka is quickly realising that targeting Rwanda through proxies, no matter the amount of support and funding Uganda is providing, isn’t working.

Yet, it is a project close to his heart and as a politician who considers the Genocide against the Tutsi as an unfinished business, he had happily taken up the task.

Dashed hopes

His hopes were further dashed after the February 21th Gatuna Summit resolved that Museveni should end his support for the terrorists. If for nothing else, what the meeting at Uganda’s state house revealed is Mateke’s determination to convince Museveni (or Museveni using Mateke!) that Rwanda is a present and immediate danger that needs to be urgently dealt with.

Laying claim to any part of someone else sovereign territory is declaration of war. By shamelessly peddling falsehoods, accusing President Kagame of seeking to forcibly take over parts of Uganda, Mateke knew exactly what he was doing: Somehow in his demented mind he has figured out that by whipping up emotive and sovereignty sentiments and falsifying allegations of possible annexation of Uganda territory, Museveni will launch an attack on Rwanda.

It’s a very striking irony that a minister of the government of Uganda charged with regional cooperation and diplomacy is working precisely to blow up the region.

It is clear that President Museveni, at least in Mateke case, purposely appointed an arsonist for a fire chief.

Mateke claims to have read history and at his age has lived through quite a bit of it. However, it is obvious that he hasn’t learnt anything.

Uganda and indeed the Great Lakes region has gone through waves of devastating wars.

It is, therefore, beyond comprehension that anyone, much less a minister in charge of regional diplomacy for his country, would be so reckless, as to work overtime to bring war to his own front yard.

Source: The New Times

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