By Mike Ssegawa
Ugandan media has been awash with stories of how the country lost a million dollar and reputation in Dr Specioza Kazibwe’s poor performance at the African Union summit in Kigali Rwanda.
Some concluded the rejection of Specioza as AU Commission chairperson reflected the lack of influence the Ugandan president had in Africa on top of fronting a “weak” candidate for such a position.
Whereas Kazibwe came last in the three horse race, there was no victor according to AU rules that require one to win the 2/3 majority. The fresh elections open to other aspirants will be in January in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. And again, even if she went ahead to stand, she has an equal chance to win or lose. Yes, it is a competition which has a winner and losers.
However, geo politics is much more sophisticated than counting votes.
Museveni, the masterclass player, is calculating something that’s has been blind to many people.
To start with, there was nothing weak about Specioza. Some one who has served as vice president isn’t a light CV on top of her solid academic profile.
Nevertheless, Museveni knew his candidate would lose.
But the game was clear going into elections, as it was clear none of the candidates would win. The West African bloc, Ecowas, were pushing for no elections and the next thing was for the bloc to abstain their vote.
In doing so, west African fell into the trap. Africa had been divided over uncommon interests.
That’s the nail fundi Museveni has been looking for in vain. Museveni has drummed up support for regional negotiations and few people understood him.
For Museveni to show how important regional blocs are, Uganda demanded the futile elections.
By pushing West Africa to go on record for abstaining their vote during the continental elections, Museveni managed to open the eyes of fellow eastern Africans as well as southern Africans as to why strong regional negotiations are important.
Museveni has been pushing a bigger and stronger eastern Africa bloc for the past 20 years but some leaders have been suspicious of his intentions.
Museveni, using Kazibwe as a bet, is calculating some thing more grand for East Africa.
Come to think of it, what’s in the AU Commission chair for Uganda that Museveni could splash three billions on!
For a long time, Museveni’s dream of rallying eastern Africans around a cause has not been really fruitful. Reviving the East African Community was part of it and he succeeded. He has championed for the inclusion of Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan in the blic. Soon, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Sudan might fall in place.
West Africa and disentengrating SADC, give perfect inspiration to eastern African leaders, how to play their politics.
In fronting Kazibwe, and being rejected, it’s clear West Africans cannot sponsor anything in Africa and it sails through without the backing of other blocs.
Now that Museveni has his carrot, he can remind West Africans how they rejected his candidate and abstained on record, at the same time, East African countries should realize, divided, they lack influence. And the big boy they should rally around is none but Museveni.