By Dennis Katungi
To aspire to lead is the epitome of patriotism and depicts a sense of self-worth. Any citizen, regardless of creed, tribe, religion or birth background is entitled to aspire.
Our constitution guarantees such aspirations: All the people of Uganda shall have access to leadership positions at all levels. It goes further to state that the exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms are inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations. Whence one is born is immaterial. On that basis alone, Joseph Kabuleta falls flat in his Facebook scribbles.
The former sportswriter penned a vitriolic rant on Facebook titled ‘Mafia Empire & the Transition’ in which he lampooned Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s leadership credentials.
It is the duty of every citizen to be patriotic and loyal to Uganda and to promote its well-being. The citizen is enjoined, in our constitution to engage in gainful work for the common good and to contribute to national development.
I would like to ask Kabuleta and those of his ilk; who is more dutiful to this nation than a soldier? At all times they are ready, willing and able to sacrifice lives to defend Uganda, its citizens, and their property.
Gen. Keinerugaba is first and foremost a citizen of Uganda with all rights and obligations thereto. Secondly, he is a decorated soldier on merit, despite the likes of Kabuleta who choose to believe otherwise for reasons best known to themselves.
Gen. Kainerugaba is not excluded from these rights, obligations, and privileges of a citizen of Uganda simply because of his birth in the first family. As a Ugandan voter, were I to be presented with the option of voting for a has been, who kisses the feet of a dodgy pastor and or casting a ballot for a dashing General who commands troops at the frontline, the choice is unmistakable.
Those who think and reason like Kabuleta should simply declare their hatred. Consumed by politics of envy, it is clear from the Facebook rant doing the rounds recently that Kabuleta is probably suffering from an attention deficit. Having established himself in the past as a sports writer, he shipped out mid-career and now seeks to reconnect with his former followership by crook.
By attacking Gen. Kainerugaba, he then draws attention to himself in the deluded false prophecies of a Kampala pastor who averred that Kabuleta has the potential to lead. It would be laughable if it wasn’t that he is toying with the reputation of a serious soldier, forget that he is a President’s son.
Kabuleta wrote that ‘it’s clear to every discerning eye that the first son is crawling out of his hole like a squirrel’ – a misplaced idiom by Kabuleta! Generals do not do that. They match out like storming Norman. The dynamic and ditzy personality that Gen. Kainerugaba is, I do not see him in the negative picture Kabuleta seeks to paint.
I don’t speak for the General, but I dare say that he should be undeterred by Kabuleta and the like, assuming he had such an ambition. He should continue to show face and plot his graph in the way he deems necessary regardless of naysayers.
In case Kabuleta run a rant for lack of bio-data, Wikipedia has an entry on Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, a Ugandan Military officer serving in the UPDF. He went through normal schools in Uganda and joined Nottingham University from where he graduated in 1994. He embarked on a Military career- training at Sandhurst, Kalama Armoured Warfare School, Egyptian Military Academy, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and successfully completed the Executive National Security Programe at the South African National Defence College. This track record is not unique to Gen Kainerugaba, many UPDF Generals have similar accolades. It has been deliberate - professionalizing Uganda’s Armed forces since the mid-1990s.
Lt. Gen. Kainerugaba commanded Special Forces and led troops at battlefields against ADF, LRA with direct hits at insurgents in Somalia. He remains in active service as Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations. The fact that he hails from a line of Military leaders; Generals Yoweri Museveni and Salim Saleh, known for standing up to tyrants on the home ground should be a plus. When duty called, they answered. You could well argue like Isaac Newton did, that if Lt.Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba sees far, it is because he stood on the shoulders of giants.
In other countries, Military families are revered and respected, but in Uganda, the likes of Kabuleta think that denigrating them is ‘cool’. Luckily, Uganda is a fairly balanced country. There are the noisy Kabuletas and their social media ilk known in the Western world as the ‘glitterati’ but there are many other Ugandans; the silent majority. They are the determining factor.
The author works with Uganda Media Centre
Twitter - @Dennis_Katungi