It is fascinating how the popular discourse on Uganda that followed the European Union Parliament’s decision on the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) focused on human rights issues under President Museveni’s reign. Yes, environment issues were among the basis for the decision, but the popular discourse in Uganda focused on human rights issues. To the best of my knowledge the same was not done to the President of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Got me thinking of the blog post, “Uganda politicians EU supports and why,” that I wrote in the lead up to the most recent presidential elections and in which I included this quote:
Right from the 1960s, whenever there has been an African leader who propagates strong Pan-African sentiments and values, they were either demonized or gotten rid of.
If the leader only nods to foreigners, he is good. Most African leaders nod initially but slowly, they start realizing that they are supposed to serve their country. Suddenly, everybody starts questioning what is up. The once popular leader is turned into a villain.
They expect you to think like them, but get surprised when you tell them: “No, I don’t agree with you.” If you really want to help, why should you disorganize governments? Why should you kick out some leaders for disagreeing with your philosophy and value systems?James Shikwati (Source: “Africa – Africans see Poverty: Foreigners See Resources and Wealth”, Occasional Paper 1, The Inter Region Economic Network (IREN)).
Does this quote apply to President Museveni? It would appear so, but whether President Museveni, can continue to claim being a genuine Pan-African is an issue that is now debatable.
Image credit @ Daily Monitor