Yoweri Kaguta Museveni; the president of the Republic of Uganda made a controversial stand during his recent interview with France 24 by opposing the coups in Guinea yet it is well known that the genesis of his elevation to the high seat in Uganda was through the very means he seems to be opposing. The debate might easily switch to the different elections that have been organized since the 1990s which to many the outcomes are not absolutely free from his influence as the president of Uganda.
In order to make his stand clear about the recent coups in the different African states; President Museveni posted an article on his website on 15th September 2021. He identified five points as reasons why he drifted to what seems to be a controversial conclusion. In defending and justifying his stand, he cited the following five principles as the main basis for justifying a coup in Africa, anything opposite to these five principles; he considers it as an invasion of African freedom and liberty as well as a diversion from the vision of independent Africa’s founding fathers.
1. Decolonization and anti-imperialism
2. Patriotism Or Nationalism opposed to tribalism and sectarianism
3. Pan Africanism (African integration and economic growth)
4. Opposing Neo-Colonialism
5. Working with international players supporting African Independence
In his article; he argues that he is not well informed about the internal politics of Guinea but in his conversation with Alpha Conde, he can conclude that the former president stood for the above principles. Unfortunately, he does not argue in detail about how these overthrown presidents stand for the principles he identified.
He criticized the army in Guinea for denying the former ministers their right to choice by stating that every minister who fails to show up for their meeting will be openly declaring rebellion against the current leaders.
It is not clear whether Africa is decolonized or not. The day Africans chose to use the west for the standard of what life is supposed to be, they forever made themselves slaves to the west whether they accept it or not. Till now, most African states cannot finance their country budgets thus depending on foreign aid. With foreign aid playing a big part in almost all African economies; the one who pays the piper will continue to command the tune whether directly or indirectly.
Every time the one who pays the piper commands a tune; African leaders often respond that their country is a sovereign state. But over time, we see them starting to bend towards the desires of whoever is commanding the tune.
In ancient times, life was about having food and shelter. In a generation where a person who neither grows food or rare animals can still be richer than the former, it becomes very hard to be a free society since new ideas of earning a living come up every day some of which are birthed by the very colonialists that Africans claim to run away from. At the end of the day; decolonization continues to be a legend to scorn until liberation ceases to be looked at in terms of military capacity.
Patriotism is a belief that each of us in the given boundaries is directly connected. And whatever I do or not do directly or indirectly affects the people within the given boundaries. Therefore I am bound to work with integrity considering that my skewness will only benefit me in the short run but in the long run, it will affect one of the people I care about.
Looking at the president’s argument; he ignores the fact that the general public in Guinea celebrated the take over by the military. The response to the coup can be seen as a patriotic act that the country at large really appreciated. Patriotism can only be in the interest of the country, not ideals that have people never level up.
The political and economic integration of Africa is another myth that has acquired public space. Africans no longer live as though they have a common enemy. They are have failed to appreciate their co-existence because their societies were built on looking at themselves as superior and others as subordinates. Every time some African countries seem to be making progress; they slide into the trauma of being subordinates to another country and all of a sudden, they act contrary to the terms of the unification agreements.
This has been the case with Uganda and Rwanda. In a recent Interview by Rwanda’s national television; President Kagame identified President Museveni as a bully. This was partly inspired by Rwandans feeling like subordinates to Uganda thus setting out to fight for a leveled-up space.
Now; with the East African community already crumbling; there is no proper ground for president Museveni to start talking about pan Africanism in the other parts of Africa without doing everything possible to ensure that pan Africanism works out in East Africa.
It is relatively hard to mark the line between African countries’ independence and neo-colonialism. With most of the African projects sponsored by China; the future for African independence is relatively uncertain in some countries. Even though President Museveni brags about the independence of Uganda; similarly Uganda’s projects are sponsored by China. Once China starts calling the shots; if they haven’t already, Neo-Colonialism seems to be China’s global tool of control through loans.
Even though President Museveni stands for opposing Neo-colonialism; his actions speak contrary. Uganda is a country gifted by nature in terms of weather and fertile soils but until now; it is ranked among the poorest countries in the whole world regardless of its Agriculture and Tourism potential that has remained underutilized leaving the country in the position of continuous borrowing instead of focusing on how to get out of debt.
With this background, we cannot oppose the Guinea coup on grounds of Neo-Colonialism. While Alpha Conde instituted policies that were not in favor of his countrymen, it seems the coup leaders have the heart for their people. They are doing everything to drive the country back to leadership that the people can be proud of outside fake democracy identified by rigging.
Working with international players supporting African Independence
European Union, the United States of America, China, Russia, Korea are some of the international political players calling the shots. Though the president can identify these as people supporting African independence. They are equally guilty of disrupting African independence. For example, the Libya civil war can be counted on the United States of America who is also a good ally of Uganda.
They can justify their actions on grounds of restoring democracy but the damage cannot justify their actions. Till now there are no specific countries that the African union can identify as foreign players who are against Africa’s progress. Therefore whether the coup leaders have international partners or not; the president in his article makes it clear that they also had international partners who helped further their illegitimate wars in Uganda.
In conclusion, most of the principles pointed out by the president in his article can actually validate the Guinea coup in favor of the militants instead of the former president Alpha Conde