A few weeks ago when she hosted him, CNN International Anchor Christiana Amanpour assured the ranting NUP Presidential Candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu that she would at some point host President Museveni too and put the hard questions to him at an appropriate time. She lived up to her word last night when she featured and interviewed the Ugandan veteran leader on her show.
Eloquent as ever, Gen Museveni gave satisfactory answers to most of the tough questions the British-born Iranian journalist put to him. Speaking from the Nakasero State Lodge, Gen Museveni spoke with characteristic clarity. He freely defended his record regarding the 54 Ugandans who were shot dead during the “free Kyagulanyi” riots of last November. He was also bombarded with questions regarding his life presidency project, contradicting his earlier observation prescribing Uganda’s problem to be one of leaders who overstay in power and homosexuality too. Gen Museveni also repeatedly referenced on his vast experience as both a political and military leader spanning more than 5 decades of active participation.
READY TO GO
When asked about whether he was ready to bow out in case Bobi Wine Kyagulanyi Sentamu scores higher number of votes than his, Gen Museveni instantly answered he was ready to go home and do his personal private things once anyone defeats him in a free and fair elections as prescribed in the Constitution. Having been pre-recorded, the CNN interview aired moments after the President had addressed the nation in a live televised address during which he complained of some opposition elements trying to connive with rogue-minded EC officials to distort the election outcome and steal his vote. Gen Museveni, who Amanpour at some point likened to President Donald Trump regarding what she called his incitement of public anger against homosexuals, was categorical; he is only prepared to concede defeat once the process has been credible, free and fair.
He said if they aren’t happy and grateful for his sacrifice aimed at making Uganda a better place, the people of Uganda will be free to retire him in the Thursday polling in which case he said he would gladly retire to his home “because I have one.” Regarding the 54 Ugandans who were killed by his security forces during the free Kyagulanyi protests, Gen Museveni protested when Amanpour insisted on judging him based on what UN said and reported about the conduct of security forces during those riots. He said he is an adult who knows what is best for his country, hates being lectured and advised the UN to concentrate on other parts of the world which are genuinely more troubled spots and leave the business of Uganda to Ugandans because they know what is best for them. “Uganda is in safe hands and I advise the UN to concentrate on the real troubled parts of the world and leave Uganda alone,” Museveni asserted.
Amanpour quoted what IGP Okoth Ochola said last week vowing to assault more journalists and played some of the violent images to contest the enthusiasm with which Gen Museveni was defending his security forces while putting the blame on the Kyagulanyi protestors whose provocative conduct he said had justified the killings. She then paused wondering whether Gen Museveni thinks that being President of Uganda makes him one above the international law and therefore beyond the reach of the UN system through which he can be compelled to account. Far from it, Gen Museveni said he isn’t above the law and assured her he was ready to cooperate with whatever investigations mechanism the UN or even the ICC (which Kyagulanyi recently petitioned) come up with in order to establish the undisputable truth regarding what exactly happened.
The President (who also said he hates being lectured by western journalists, diplomats or leaders) accused the West of double standards wondering why they condemn and castigate the pro-Trump insurrectionists who raided the US Capitol Hill recently and while at the same time fraternizing with pro-Kyagulanyi rioters whose actions aren’t any different from the politically-motivated violence witnessed on Capitol Hill last week. He demanded that similar standards be used when construing and judging rioters and insurrectionists regardless of where such acts are staged to take place. He said he was okay with the internationally-supervised inquiry into the 18-19th November killings in Kampala during the Kyagulanyi rioters were gunned down. He said gratefully, his government was already investigating the circumstances under which the more than 20 people (who got killed yet there weren’t rioters) came to lose their life.
The Ugandan veteran leader also used the occasion to brag about his COVID19 management record which he said the likes of Kyagulanyi, who Amanpour defended as a victim of state brutality, have been working hard to jeopardize by insisting on addressing large crowds of people. Sarcastically asking whether the interviewer has ever heard of Coronavirus, Gen Museveni said it’s through such restrictions, imposed by the same security forces, that Uganda has been able to avoid the mass COVID19 deaths akin to what has been witnessed in the US and some parts of Europe. He explained that Kyagulanyi’s only trouble throughout the campaigning period resulted from the fact that he conducted himself in a manner that risked reversing the anti-COVID19 gains and progress the NRM-governed Uganda has registered through strict enforcement of the mitigation measures.
Museveni also denied haranguing the homosexuals in Uganda who Amanpour defended as a group whose rights to do their thing as they opt to must be respected just like Christians (she gave the example of Museveni and his wife) are free to practice sex the way they like. Museveni said homosexuals have always been part of the African society (and not just Uganda) and they have never been in any trouble except that his government doesn’t have a deliberate policy to promote them as is the case with many of the western societies. Amanpour (herself properly married to James Rubin with children) read to him stuff illustrating the extent to which known homosexuals aren’t safe in Uganda but Gen Museveni remained unrepentant about his negative views about the homosexuality practice. As the interview program ended, Amanpour wished Gen Museveni the best of luck while assuring him how her CNN teams would continue to follow the Thursday elections in Uganda very keenly.
via Mulengera News