Paul Gagame, Yoweri Museveni and Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Written on:September 22, 2016
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I think Ellen has one of the three key qualities for success for an African leader: Preparedness. But she lacks the patriotism

Yoweri K. Museveni, who naturally is supposed to be Yoweri Kaguta but is actually called Yoweri Museveni, gave himself the surname of Museveni. Museveni in his Ugandan vernacular means “The son of the man of the Seventh” Battalion of the former British colonial power. The story is that his father, Paul Kaguta, was a top fighter of the Seventh Batallion and that, because of Yoweri’s military/guerrilla training background and his fascination with the outstanding record of his father in the Seventh Battalion, he renamed himself and subordinated his biological surname with that associated with the family’s warrior legacy.

Upon completing university studies in Dar es Salam where he wrote his thesis on the applicability of Frantz Fanon’s concepts on revolutionary violence in the aftermath of the attainment of independence from colonial power. He later summersaulted in his orientation for economic path and opted for mixed economy. Museveni joined forces to remove Idi Ami and later traveled to the then unfree Mozambique to undergo Marxist training and fight in the war for liberation of that nation. Following long years of fighting and studying, Museveni abandoned Marxist ideology and opted for a political system based on mixed economy. He developed ten-point program for how a successful government would be run while he was still fighting in the bushes.

Some of the landmark accomplishments of Museveni’s reign in Uganda is the reversal of the country’s ugly international image as the nation with the worst aids virus record, the unification and consolidation of the country as a united nation state as well as the significant improvement in the economic life of the people as evidenced by the great recovery of the economy that had been damaged by the civil wars.

Today is a historic moment when one views the immense economic progress of Rwanda under Paul Kagame, himself a former soldier in Yoweri Museveni’s liberation army or the National Resistance Movement (NRA), and a fellow alma mater of Museveni’s secondary school of Ntare, Museveni has proven how even a nation, a people under the worst recorded economic and political conditions can move his country and people forward with determination, preparedness and patriotism

However, given that these leaders are all currently leading post war nations, and given their successes, Liberia is quite the exception. I think Ellen has one of the three key qualities for success for an African leader: Preparedness. But she lacks the patriotism and, therefore, lacks the determination to do the patriotic thing for her own people. She hates the very people she rules over, as I see it. Otherwise, she would be leaving a lasting legacy as a transformative leader, as her term expires in the coming months.

—-Benjamin Art, contributing writer

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