President Museveni was on the verge of being named winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize until things changed dramatically, sources have told The Rogue.
According to sources, organisers had informed Museveni two weeks ago to prepare to receive the prize.
They had told him to buy a navy blue suit, the colour preferred by the organisers of the award.
Museveni had been told that he would be rewarded for his efforts to pacify Somalia and South Sudan.
Sources have told The Rogue that the news excited Museveni so much so that he could hardly sleep.
Locally he summoned some of his ministers to State House Entebbe and told them that he was about to join the league of people like Nelson Mandela, the inspirational South African leader who won the prize in 1993 for his fight against apartheid.
“When I preach the value of Pan Africanism, when I tell you the importance of ensuring that our neighbours are peaceful, some of you think I am just talking fwaa. When I sent our troops to Somalia, some opportunists here criticised me. When I decided to help out my brother Salva Kiir in South Sudan, some people said I was after their oil,” he said.
He then switched to Luganda: “Naye Katonda talya nguzi (God does not take bribes) and very soon, I am going to receive a big prize.”
Later on the eve of independence as he received Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa, the president whispered the good news to him.
“Pray for me your excellency. I know I will get it [Nobel Peace Prize],” he reportedly said.
Unfortunately at the last minute, organisers decided to give the prize to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for “his efforts in ending two decades of hostility with neighbouring Eritrea and initiating broad domestic changes.”
We have been told that Ahmed defeated Museveni by 0.005 points.
What hurt Museveni, according to sources, is that he had gone to Ethiopia to inform Ahmed of his impending prize.
Now the organisers had decided to give the prize to Ahmed when Museveni was in Ethiopia.
“It was like a stab in the back,” said one person familiar with the developments.
After the announcement, Museveni congratulated Ahmed but he was seething with anger.
On his way back home from Ethiopia, Museveni reportedly confided in someone that perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that he was not offered the prize.
Museveni said that if he had accepted the prize, it would tantamount to embracing neo-colonialism.
“These Bazungu want to determine for us what constitutes good leadership. We have our ways of managing society. Let them keep their prize,” the president said.
In any case, he added, he no longer has more space left in his shelf for awards.
The Rogue is a satirical column that runs every TUESDAY on the Nile Post. Contact on the author on +256-788179369/+256-752195226.