Uganda is indeed in auto pilot. When you look around, you wonder why we even have a government at all, since the only functions they seem to undertake is to collect taxes from us and consume them. Public service delivery is almost nonexistent; the little that exists is mostly for political PR, around election time.
Coronavirus has completely exposed the rotten interior of Museveni’s political closet. In spite of his frantic efforts to try and cover up his 34 year national embarrassment, the veil keeps falling off.
At the onset, Coronavirus exposed the fact that there are no institutions in Uganda. Museveni has effectively killed any institutional governance, so that he can remain relevant as the Ssabalwanyi, the Alpha and Omega of Uganda. Museveni has made it clear throughout his 34 year old tyrannical rule that Ugandans would not survive a day without him at the helm.
That is why he has insisted that he must be the one to address the nation to give updates on Coronavirus. In normal nations with effective leadership, the Minister of Health would be the best placed to update the nation on a regular basis, and the President would also receive daily briefs on what is being done, how it is done and what is needed so that he can intervene if need be. But Museveni has chosen to undermine his Minister of Health and relegated her to the periphery, where she only sits in as Museveni takes center stage.
Apparently, the delusional Museveni is not worried that he keeps embarrassing himself. He has decided to believe that Ugandans think that he is doing a good job. That is because he has effectively shut out his AUX IN function and only activated the AUX OUT.
With this kind of activation, he makes sure he does not receive any feedback, because he fears this would depress him and kill his self-esteem. This is a common convenient tactic employed by many dictators.
Musevwni has poorly managed the fight against Coronavirus pandemic, to the extent that Ugandans have decided to resign to fate. As other countries in the region like Kenya and Rwanda responded swiftly to nip the spread of the virus in the bud by putting in place coherent measures, Museveni was caught napping (literally).
People arriving at our airports and borders from high risk nations were simply waved through, until there was noise in the media. But even when the government started to enforce some semblance of measures, officials did it only to achieve their own interests. Those who had money paid their way around the measures and went to join their respective communities around the country. Those who were placed under quarantine were so unhappy with the deplorable conditions that they decided to break out of the facilities which lacked any kind of organisation order.
You would expect Museveni, after seeing all these embarrassing reports, to tighten things up going forward. Not at all. Almost a month after he threw the country into confusion and military brutality, not much has changed.
While he has forced the COVID-19 taskforce to keep under report the confirmed cases, reports keep coming out suggesting that the situation might get serious for Ugandans.
After Sentongo, a formerly quarantined Ugandan blew the whistle on the ongoing cover-up in quarantine facilities; another report has emerged talking about sexual relationships among quarantined people. This misconduct stems from the fact that majority Ugandans have read unseriousness in Museveni’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic and are only reacting accordingly.
This is what happens when citizens expect leadership and don’t get it.