Every time me and my journalist friends meet, we like to gossip about the state. So we talk and debate and even argue on state secrets, each of us throwing in the might of their sources.
We have, in the recent times, gossiped about whether the President actually authored the letter firing the now Secretary General of his party Amama Mbabazi.
One of our friends, who writes for a reputable media house and is quite big on his sources, argues that the letter was actually typed by Mbabazi himself while Museveni was in the US and sent to the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga (LOL) . The President was only shocked by it and forced to make a return home as quickly as he could.
His gossip theory – somehow -checks. Museveni is not in the habit of firing his close allies from far off lands. He likes to hand-deliver his firing wrath. You remember Besigye, he stayed here until he was concrete sure that the ‘Besigye’ threat had been neutralised. The same goes for Kategaya, Mushega and Tinyefuza.
For Tinyefuza, infact, he boldly told him; “If you want war, you know my address and where to find me”. A statement he delivered clad in his full military fatigue!
Again, that military fatigue thing is something we have also always gossiped about. My other journalist friend, with some real good sources, says the President only puts on his army uniform when he wants to create an atmosphere of fear in the people he is going to talk to.
This gossip theory, again you will agree with me, checks.
When the Bududa landslides happened and Mukula (at the time he had presidential ambitions) wanted to use them for sourcing political capital, Museveni showed up in the area with his full army combat and his original AK-47 gun. He delivered this rousing speech of how people should not be intimidated and forced to do things they would regret later on. The same thing happened when he was in Kyankwanzi and they “ambushed” Mbabazi with the sole-candidature resolution. But for Kyankwanzi we can make the exception, the man always goes there in times of crisis!
Speaking of times of crisis, we have also gossiped about the times the country has almost run into a crisis!
There was that time the Rwenzururu attacks happened, a carefully co-ordinated string of attacks. So , this other Journalist friend of mine, says, the President, immediately after noting the trend, called a top security chief (I won’t name for obvious reasons) and asked them what was happening in the area considering that majorly his forces were the ones under attack. The officer, unaware of the trend replied the man with “Mr. President, we are now worrying over theft of small things like pancakes?” . I don’t know how the story ended but the President was unhappy about thie response that he criticised his own armed forces publicly for the first time. The other bit to that story is that the security officer is now called ‘General Pancake’ by his other rank men!
Oh how I love gossiping in our circles, we keep this flame of events as they should be and not as how they are presented to us. When I was joining journalism, my seniors told me, always give the news 40% of what you know, when you need to write a book, the 60% from each story will make for interesting revelations!