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So: what is Saleh resigning from?

Ikebesi Omoding

So: what is Saleh resigning from?

The fellow who asked that: what is Gen. Kaleb Akandwanaho, a. k. a, Salim Saleh, resigning from, on hearing this supposedly epic news, was more to the point. As family to his elder step brother, President Yoweri Museveni, Saleh has so many portfolios that, for him to declare that he is resigning as the Senior Presidential Advisor for Defense, does not jell well with the political pundits.

This latest of Saleh’s announcements comes hard on the heels of yet another one, when he declared that he had become a Born-Again Christian. The former announcement bodes on his declaration that henceforth he will concentrate his activities on the Luwero Triangle self-help activities. The latter must be said to have been made when he is said to have espied a snake in one of the churches he was worshiping in at the Luwero Triangle.

Obviously, there is a ministry for the Luwero Triangle; so why should Saleh now say he is going to devote his investment activities there for the people? What will the Minister for the Triangle be doing in and for his ministry?

The time of the announcement is also appropriate for two reasons: one the presidential elections are around the corner. There have been myriads of presidential pledges made to the people of Luwero, and indeed to the many other Ugandans in other places, it is now incumbent upon the step brother to go and calm down the people’s nerves before the step brother campaigns in the area.  It will be seen as a commitment they will make to the base of their power.

And secondly, this comes against the background of the challenge by Museveni’s colleague, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, for the “sweet chair”.  Mark you, one of Mbabazi’s youth wingers, William Seruyinda, the Kampala Central NRM youth chairman, comes from the area. So it makes sense for Saleh to do the earlier campaign leg-work for his step brother to try to smother the Mbabazi campaign machine. Is this resigning from being his step brother’s side-kick?

In his role as advisor, Saleh has been so embroiled in a number of scandals and corruption cases, as no matter. Attempts to wish them away have hung in the air. The one about the junk helicopters in his role as military advisor and Commander of the Reserve Force, was excused by his step brother. The argument with the late Sulaiman Kiggundu, on the issue of the financing of the purchase of the former Uganda Commercial Bank, fell on flat ground.

Saleh has also been an arbiter on family squabbles that have come to the fore, where he has sometimes been noted tongue-in-cheek asking his bother to relinquish the “sweet chair” for any number of reasons. This must be seen as political brinkmanship and disinformation to garner the popular opinion about his step brother’s tenancy. But even if it were not, how would resigning in that much-vaunted position do to feather his half brother’s nest in the occupancy of the family chair?

Some mention has also been made about his health as perhaps being one of the factors giving him the idea of quitting (?) the pinnacle of being involved in deciding on any of the affairs involving the country. If this had been the case, then Saleh would have resigned long time ago. He has been mentioned in this area, of not being physically sound, since the nineties, yet he has gone on unimpeded. One time there had even been a mention of his having died in a German hospital, in what was one of the many malicious rumours about his failing health. So this does not jell either.

One is left to guess that Saleh – or probably his step brother, or the family – is going through a cataclysmic period going on to the 2016 presidential elections, that this is a preparatory period to do all that is possible to shore the step brother’s fortunes. If it were not for this, then the most ideal situation for Saleh- though of course, genetically improbable – is to announce that he is going to resign as Museveni’s half brother.




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Ikebesi Omoding is the acclaimed author of a weekly column titled: From the Outside Looking In

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