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General Kale finally learns that Museveni’s only friend is Museveni

OPINION
By Jawoko Otim | June 17th 2018
Death awaits General Kale Kayihura just like other generals among them Maj Gen James Kazini, General Aronda Nyakairima, Andrew Felix Kaweesi and others. [Courtesy]

 

Kayihura comes as a surprise only to people who don’t know Museveni well.

Unfortunately, among these is Gen Kale Kayihura, the embattled former IGP who is being sacrificed by a president who is overseeing a system that is weakening by the day and is in need of anything to latch on for dear life. These people who don’t know Museveni can’t believe that a “whole General” could not find a way to escape and was caught like “ensenene (grasshoppers).”

Kale is a man whose only ambition in life was to serve Museveni. This blinded him to the extent that he never took the time to accept Museveni for who he really is: a manipulator who only cares about one man, Museveni. This was Kale’s main weakness. This is a fact that those who accuse him of having been caught like “ensenene” fail to recognise. Kale could never think about fleeing because he was deeply convinced that someone he had served so loyally, for whom he had gone beyond the call of duty to protect would never turn on him.

Kale failed to learn from history. Museveni is on the record stating that friendship is a refuge for the weak. Indeed, when he says so he is not simply bragging; he has lived his life in a way that is consistent with this view on friendship. Ironically, despite his own admission, his critics say that he is fond of systematic treachery that goes as far back as Museveni’s youth in the 1970s.

During the FRONASA days, Museveni betrayed his close friends Martin Mwesiga and Maumbe Makwana at the latter’s home in Mbale, when Amin’s soldiers were closing in on them. In his own words, Museveni recalls this treachery in in Sowing the Mustard Seed, “Taking them [his friends] by surprise, I jumped over the hedge, hoping that my colleagues would follow my example and scatter in different directions. At the time, I did not realise that they had not done so.”

Not many people know that story. Eriya Kategaya’s frustrations with Museveni, however, reflect the real story of deception. Almost everyone – that is, except Museveni – knew Kategaya, for most of his political life, as Museveni’s childhood friend. For many, their closeness implied a foregone conclusion that Kategaya would succeed Museveni. Everyone, and apparently Kategaya himself, considered him the de-facto number two - a president in waiting. As a result, it is only Kategaya who was never accused of jumping the queue (Besigye’s kiss of death); everyone understood that they were behind Kategaya in the queue. 

Soon Kategaya himself came to learn that there was no queue, and that he was not standing in a line but on quicksand. It quickly became clear to him that the presidential term limits were the only evidence of the existence of the queue.

 Without them there was no queue. Naturally, Kategaya insisted on the term limits; Museveni fired him immediately and reminded anyone who would listen that he neither has, nor believes in, friends.

The “weak” were shocked. It didn’t take long and his comrade who had supplied him with weapons while in the bush, and after, came under a barrage of missiles. Colonel M. Gaddafi looked to his friends across the African continent for help. Only Jacob Zuma turned up, although his intervention proved inconsequential.

On the contrary, Museveni not only denied asylum to Gaddafi but he took the moment to rain a barrage of attacks against him in a commentary in the New Vision that basically made what was up to that time the most coherent case for his friend’s removal and assassination.

WikiLeaks cables revealed that over the years Museveni had been having meetings with U.S. State Department officials where he had described Gaddafi as “a problem” for Africa. This didn’t stop Museveni from holding a tribute a few years later in honor of John Garang and Muammar Gaddafi for being “great statesmen” of the African continent. Gaddafi’s crime was his desire to become the President of Africa which Museveni perceived as being against his own ambitions of becoming the president of East Africa.

This is the man Gen Kayihura trusted to reciprocate loyalty. Even when he was used and dumped, Gen. Kale Kayihura still gave Museveni the benefit of the doubt, believing that things would eventually turn out just fine because every order he had ever implemented had been initiated by Museveni.  Now the man wants to kill him.

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