EAC: Complaining of “lack of democracy and ideological disorientation” holding back Africa, does Museveni have any self-awareness at all?

American President George W. Bush meets with P...

American President George W. Bush meets with President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda Friday, July 11, 2003 in Entebbe, Uganda. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the Daily Monitor, “Museveni faults Africa” 

President Museveni has said the “lack of democracy and an Ideological disorientation” are some of the 10 bottlenecks that have kept Uganda and many African countries listed as Least Developed Countries.

The President told the East African Legislative Assembly meeting in Rwanda that the continent suffers an “ideological disorientation whereby the reactionaries fragment the African people into sectarianism of tribe, religion and gender chauvinism”.

The statement does not, however, elaborate what he meant by absence of democracy. He added that Africa continues to lag behind despite being “favoured by God and nature.”

For a different take on Museveni’s “State of the EAC Address” see this report from the EAC website.  The discussion here picks up on Museveni’s call to go beyond economic integration to “Political Federation”.

Gaddafi and Museveni

Related articles

•  Uganda: new links for ongoing themes . . . (africommons.com)

 More on Moi, KANU and Ruto meetings with Museveni (africommons.com)

•  Uganda’s Independent features CSIS report on risk of instability with NRM decline, Museveni succession (africommons.com)

 Another Ugandan weapons procurement scandal? (africommons.com)

 Enough to drive one to drink . . . Museveni on Gaddafi (and Western company bribes to Gaddafi) (africommons.com)


Uganda Election one month out–the polls

Is the Ugandan election a foregone conclusion at this point?  Africa Confidential has said sort of yes and sort of no.  It seems that there is something of a consensus that the multiplicity of opposition candidates means no one of them can really rival Museveni.  On the other hand, does Museveni clearly have 50% support in his own right? And does that matter to the official outcome of the election?

The Daily Monitor has a fascinating story about the status of the polling and the media reporting on the polling that indicates a great deal about the actual situation in Uganda right now, and how little is actually known:

When an opinion poll by AfroBarometer/Wilsken was published last December, it was the first indicator of the possible public mood.

The poll inevitably caused celebration among the NRM camp and angry protests among the opposition and their supporters.

Amid all the heated reaction to this poll, what most for and against it forgot to note was that the final question of the poll asked the respondents who they thought had sent AfroBarometer to conduct the poll. Over 63 percent of respondents said they believed AfroBarometer had been sent by the government.

The fact that such a large number of respondents believed the poll had been commissioned by the NRM government (an interested party in the 2011 election) was the very point that nullifies the 66 percent lead that the poll showed NRM candidate Yoweri Museveni to be enjoying, since it proved that respondents were playing it safe and responding out of fear.

Planting seeds
However, it was the first major poll of the 2010 campaign season and as such was at least a starting point. Had it stopped at that, many people might have reflected on it and it might have shaped perceptions of what February 2011 might bring.

Then two weeks later, the New Vision published results of what it called its own poll, which put Museveni at 65 percent. This too was met with protests and accusations that as a government-owned paper the New Vision obviously had an interest in portraying Museveni as enjoying an unassailable lead.

However, last week when the New Vision published a poll supposedly by the research firm Synovate (formerly Steadman & Associates), supposedly commissioned by the FDC/IPC, and supposedly showing Museveni with a lead of 67 percent, and when Synovate publicly disassociated itself from this New Vision story the following day, then opinion polls for the 2011 general election had reached the point of diminishing returns.

The New Vision had overreached itself. It was now viewed as having planted this story in its pages by fraud and so, of course, the so-called Synovate poll could now be discarded as null and void.

However, it raises a number of questions. For one, if the New Vision could publish a poll it fraudulently claimed had been commissioned by the IPC and was proved to be fraudulent, how could we now trust that the New Vision in its own internal poll that had been honest with that 65 percent result?

And now, come to think of it, how can we be sure of any poll that purports to reflect Ugandan public opinion in 2010 and 2011?

By publishing this fraudulent poll that Synovate publicly dismissed, the election is back into the territory of the unknown.
The mid 60s percentage points that had started taking shape in people’s minds as a figure to believe or dismiss or at least debate, are now irrelevant. . . .

On the always fascinating question of what Kenyan politicians are up to in Uganda:

“As Kenyan leaders troop to Uganda, Museveni makes political capital”, Charles Onyango-Obbo in The East African.