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By Isaac Wandubile

Before landing his current job of research fellow at Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR), Yusuf Serunkuma was an employee of Independent Publications Ltd; the company that publishes The Independent news magazine which is also Andrew Mwenda’s. He equally had blossom friends like current Vision Group CEO Don Wanyama with whom they attended literature classes at Makerere’s Faculty of Arts (and Lecture Room 4 was their meeting point).

But Serunkuma is now furious and very disappointed that his mentor/former employee Mwenda and former classmate Don Wanyama have resorted to overlooking their prowess in order to materially achieve quick fixes. In his weekly newspaper article, Serunkuma castigates Mwenda for accepting to be a servant and praise singer of initially Gen Yoweri Museveni and his introverted son Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba. He asserts the Mwenda he knows, and worked under, is much more qualified and way more informed and eloquent than the two blood related Generals combined.

He wonders why a great man like Mwenda can become so resigned to the extent of not realizing he can actually be President of this country as opposed to being a self-appointed praise singer for Gen Museveni and his later on his son. Serunkuma makes reference to a recent image that emerged of Andrew Mwenda proudly wearing a T-shirt that carried a Gen Muhoozi portrait accompanied with words “The Leader.” That whereas mere support and praise-singing for Gen Museveni was appalling enough, being prepared to do the same under Gen MK (in case he becomes President) only makes things worse.

Rather coming off as being sarcastic, Serunkuma disclaims that this very intriguing conduct has made many perceive and write off Mwenda as being an opportunist but in his (author’s) view, the man from Kanyandahi is actually a victim of the day’s political circumstances (and deserves rescue) as opposed to being written off as a fortune-hunter.

Writing under the headline “When our dreams for making it got reduced to befriending Museveni,” Serunkuma admonishes his Makerere literature class OB Don Wanyama for abandoning all the idealism they used to pursue during those Lecture Room 4 discussions when they were all unanimous in their contempt for Musevenism. That they always idolized the legends like Ngugi wa Thiongo, Okot Bitek, David Rubadiri and looked forward to walking in their footsteps. That as young literature students, they grew up despising material things and political obscurantism which today’s political leaders epitomize. They were both proud members of The Literature Association (LitAss) at Makerere.

That they always admired Daily Monitor columnist Austin Ejiet [who died in 2010] for his relentless and fearless criticisms of the Museveni regime. Serunkuma claims “The Letter from Kireka” series, which Don Wanyama used to author in the same Monitor newspaper, was actually inspired by his desire to become the new “Austin Ejiet” of his day.

That the first betrayal he saw in Mr. Wanyama (regarding the ideals they espoused as young intellectuals at Makerere of the early 2000s) manifested in his decision to solicit for a job to work as a journalist at New Vision which, as young students, they always despised as a platform for “fake news” aimed at propagating and amplifying the regime’s propaganda messages. That in 2009, Serunkuma visited Don Wanyama at New Vision where he worked and when he focused him on this contradiction, his host said “let’s go and have some tea.”

Today, Mr. Don Wanyama is the CEO for Vision Group which produces New Vision, a paper Serunkuma claims they grew up despising. Yet like in the Andrew Mwenda case, Serunkuma says he is sympathetic as opposed to being angry at his OB because the duo must be construed as victims and not opportunists or fortune-hunters.

He insists that it’s not only the duo but many other very brilliant and intellectually capable citizens have accepted capture and surrendered as opposed to demanding for a better-governed country different from the way Gen Museveni has gone about things thus far. Serunkuma, who exhibits clear admiration for another journalist called Semujju Nganda for correctly diagnosing the political problems afflicting contemporary Uganda, uses the same article to assert that Don Wanyama, just like Andrew Mwenda, can and should be doing much better than merely seeking the opportunity to sing praises for Gen Museveni and his much-scrutinized son Muhoozi Kainerugaba. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at




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