My hat’s off to Uhuru(Swahili term for “freedom”) Muigai Kenyatta!

My hat’s off to Uhuru(Swahili term for “freedom”) Muigai Kenyatta. He has had his ups and downs as a president, but his best work, at least, belies the claims made by his opponents. He’s been in office since 2013 but he seems to have won so many ‘trophies’ in his first season compared to a certain manager I know who has been around for 31 years and achieved so little. He won my respect in 2007 when, as leader of opposition, he backed Mwai Kibaki for re-election in the December 2007 presidential election. Who does that in Africa, man? No wonder even Moi wanted him to succeed him before he left office. He’s just one of those guys who sincerely love their country, very principled but cool at the same time. KANU would still be in comma, as Uganda’s UPC, if Uhuru had not won against Nicholas Biwott for chairmanship of KANU in 2005. Kenyans should just give him another ‘kisanjja'(term)!

I won’t fault some people’s opinion on Mr.Freedom(Uhuru) as a dictator. My statement originates from a comparison with other East African leaders.I happen to put him on the top of the mountain as the best leader in East Africa right now. He moves me, there seems to be a rare depth of character and patriotism around him, and he has been a terrific influence on the Kenyans ever since he became a president.That seems pretty subjective, though. And I’m not talking about the recently launched railway services and whatever he has done for Kenyans, but I’m looking at him as a leader. He is intelligent in delivering speeches, yet humble in presentation.No boastful uproars, no calling himself a ‘leaopard’ nor outbursts yet he comes from a very rich background. He was born in money. Humility is a trait of true masters.

People can talk about the violence in the last Kenya presidential elections, and the subsequent ICC charges, but this is like continuing to look at your wife as a prostitute because you met her on a street or bar in town. The truth is that few African leaders can boast of having come to power through legal means, if you know what I mean.What counts is the quality of the final products, not the process of composition. Uganda’s Museveni came through violence but just look at the quality of life in Uganda for the last 31 years, its as bad as the word itself.

There is no absolute ranking criteria for dictators but I would rank our Museveni as the worst dictator in East Africa though he is a millitary genius.I would say someone is a genius only if he/she is born with exceptional talent.It takes tremendous analytical talent to find the right people to bring one to power via a guarilla war, a war that is usually lost by most leaders.It takes tremendous millitary talent to control and find the right people to defeat all the rebel groups that were in the country between 1986 and 2004, and later on wage wars in neighbouring countries and come out on top.That Museveni could do both, and both supremely well, is proof of his genius. And that’s sums up as the only thing I admire about him( apart from his sense of humour too). He is actually not bothered with the wananchi(common citizens) at all as long as he keeps himself in power forever, and that makes him the worst leader in East Africa.

Tanzania’s Magufuli moved me a little bit at the beginning, but as of recent, he has shown serious signs of dictatorship in his armour, and I think he risks losing the next presidential elections. One could make a case for his humility, I suppose, but I think he is just a perfectionist, and very hard on himself, which is a little different.

With Kagame, I rank him as the second most useful dictator in East Africa.He has been innovative (in certain aspects). And deeply conservative in many more, but has got Rwanda into the ‘premiership’ and ready to take off. I just hope that he let go and let somebody else move the country forward.Once upon a time, I used to be more fond of him, not any more. He is as arrogant and merciless as they come!

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Semuwemba Calendar

June 2017
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Semuwemba is a Ugandan residing in the UK

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"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. "~ Martin Luther King Jr. ~

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