As many of you are aware, the summit of the Inter Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) sat yesterday in Entebbe. IPOD is an umbrella organisation of political parties that have representation in Parliament.
They are basically five: NRM, FDC, UPC, DP and JEEMA.
FDC, as expected boycotted the meeting for the second time in six months so in Entebbe yesterday, four leaders of the other parties
The main attraction at this meeting was of course President Museveni, the chairman of the NRM.
See, IPOD regularly hosts meetings of party officials but they rarely gain traction in the local press
So Museveni’s presence is bound to give any meeting mileage.
Before the four principals jointly addressed the visibly tired and exhausted pressmen and women at 10 PM, they first went into a closed door meeting that lasted four hours.
The meeting was supposed to discuss a number of issues including electoral reforms and changes to the Public Order Management Act.
My fly on the wall told me the meeting did touch on these issues before degenerating into an assessment of how President Museveni has managed the country.
Mbu in the heat of the discussion, DP Mao suggested to Museveni that governing a country was in fact a much easier task, not rocket science as Museveni has made Ugandans to believe.
Mao reminded Museveni that Idi Amin, a school drop out, had ruled Uganda for eight years so there is nothing sophisticated about being president.
Museveni was taken aback but let Mao have his say, occasionally rolling his eyes and smiling.
Here is how the discussion between Mao and Museveni played out, allegedly.
Museveni: Okay, assuming I lent you this presidential chair for one month, what would you do in the first ten days?
Mao: I would repeal the Public Order Management Act and table electoral reforms in Parliament
Museveni: Then you will be finished. It means you would allow your opponents to hold rallies in markets, in the middle of roads..Oh..there will be disorder
Mao: Of course I would expect them to be law abiding in carrying out their civic rights…
Museveni: Haha..I see. So you would manage the country on expectations of good will on the side of the players? What if the rallies turn violent..how would you react?
Mao (now scratching his head and stammering): I would…I would…tell the riot police to intervene.
Museveni: Okay, police intervenes and three people are killed. How would you handle the backlash?
Mao: I would…that is a tough one.
Museveni: Okay let’s leave that. What about the military, the intelligence, South Sudan… how would you handle the threats to Uganda’s sovereignty?
Mao: I would react appropriately. Where I perceive a big threat, I would send troops to safeguard our sovereignty. In other situations I would go for dialogue.
Museveni: What about the Rwanda situation. How would you resolve it?
Well…I would call Ndugu Paul Kagame for a chat…
Museveni: Just a chat over vital matters?
Mao: Well…it would be a tough chat…I would lay down our position on some issues and
Museveni: What if he refuses to yield to these positions?
Mao: Ehh (scratching his head again)…Let me think about it.
Museveni: See, Ndugu Mao, managing a country is far different from leading a political party. With a country there are so many complex problems not these issues of sijuyi Nambooze, sijuyi. It is not about using good political jargons.
Actually I enjoy some of your phrases especially the one on Meal Card Politicians but the country is not governed on catchwords. Now you understand why I have been here for more than 30 years.
Mao: Thank you for that complement Mr President. But…still managing the country is not a hard thing.
The Rogue is a satirical column that runs once a week on The Nile Post.
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