By Henry D Gombya
Questions are being asked as who exactly pays the UGX43,513,991 annual wages of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (approx. £9,637.46) after he shocked an audience on Friday by telling them no one employs him. Addressing a mammoth crowd in Masindi, northwest of the capital Kampala to mark his ruling National Resistance Movement’s 31 years in power, Mr Museveni chose to go against the common belief that leaders are voted into office to serve their people.
In what was mostly a rambling speech said in a mixture of languages (English, Kinyankole and Kinyoro), to the amusement of foreign dignitaries, Mr Museveni told them: “I am a freedom fighter; that’s what I do when I do. I don’t do it because I am your servant. I am not your servant. I am just a freedom fighter fighting for myself, for my beliefs. That’s how I come in. I am not an employee. If anybody thinks he’s given me a job he’s deceiving himself. I am just a freedom fighter whom you thought could help you also…”
The Ugandan leader who fought a five-year bush war against the Milton Obote and Tito Okello Lutwa governments that culminated in the January 25 capture of Kampala, said there are many Ugandans who are satisfied with what he called an ‘employee mentality’ and said he was not one of them. While politicians the world over have fallen over themselves trying to convince those who elect them to high office that they are there to serve the voters interests, President Museveni made it very clear that for him he went to the bush for his own interests. It was also not clear who approached him to request his services for fighting the Obote and Okello regimes having claimed ‘I am just a freedom fighter whom you thought could help you also…’