SALIM SALEH: WE MEMBERS OF KAGUTA FAMILY HAVE BEEN MISUNDERSTOOD & UNFAIRLY DEMONIZED FOR TOO LONG
By Mulengera Reporters
Gen Salim Saleh is angry that despite all his efforts to sacrifice for Uganda, there is always a conspiracy to demonize and make him misunderstood. And he says it’s not only him by all members of the Kaguta Family. Gen Salim Saleh says that much of this public misunderstanding about him has largely resulted from deliberate misreporting by the media which always portrays him to be more powerful than he actually he is.
During a radio talk show, Gen Salim Saleh wondered how he can be powerful and influence the President so significantly as the media always portrays him yet he rarely meets nor talks to Gen YKT Museveni. Gen Salim Saleh referred to money-making journalist Andrew Mwenda and CDF Gen David Muhoozi, who were appearing with him for the radio talk show, saying these two are more engaged with Gen Museveni than him despite being his biological brother. He specifically said the very talkative journalist rom Kanyandahi speaks to the President and gets to influence his decision-making more often than he does.
Revealing how he had spoken to Gen Museveni only five times for the whole of 2020, the farming general from Namukenkera asserted that being the CDF, Gen David Muhoozi too speaks to Gen Museveni and gets audience with him almost on a daily basis, a privilege he admitted enjoying two decades ago (in late 1980s) when he was still the army commander. Gen Saleh, who nationally coordinates Operation Wealth Creation, said the President gave him an assignment to transform the country through OWC and there is no need to meet him frequently. He said he and his team members understood the assignment and they are busy executing the same as instructed. “He sent us to get in contact with the population and we have done it very well,” the President’s brother said.
When one panelist joked about “the exclusive hotline” on which the two politically very powerful brothers speak on hourly basis, Gen Salim Saleh sarcastically laughed saying: “That is another machination on the Kaguta family.” That he isn’t lucky like the Andrew Mwendas of this world who speak to the President “on hourly basis.” Saleh, who is leading a group of liberal-minded generals in security who are against unleashing violence and police brutality on opposition protestors regarding this Thursday elections, said even on the few occasions he speaks to Gen Museveni; it’s about how best to deliver on the OWC assignment whose ultimate aim is to economically transform Uganda for the benefit of its people and posterity.
Gen Salim Saleh revealed that because he doesn’t have that much influence on Gen Museveni, many of the ideas he writes for him on how to make Uganda work better for its citizens end up being discarded because every time he advises the HE on something, the man from Rwakitura first subjects it to extreme scrutiny by involving cabinet and subsequently parliament. He gave the example of the 2017 defense white paper and his well argued proposal to rationalize government and disband some of the MDAs while merging others to stop the expensive and costly duplication of roles and mandates which he said Gen Museveni cheerfully received from him “only to take it to Cabinet from where it died” yet in his view it would save lots of billions from being wasted and thereby enhancing service delivery.
Gen Saleh (aged 61) also reflected on the anger the young jobless youths have lately been directing to wealthy elders like himself using social media) and said that anger has been even more pronounced against the Kaguta family largely because the media has unfairly targeted and demonized them and in the process biased the broader public opinion about them and their sacrifice aimed at making Uganda better place for all.
He added that what hurts him even more is the fact that “even those who know the truth like Andrew Mwendas here don’t defend it” to detoxicate lies against the Kaguta family. He observed that even other public officials don’t mind countering those who misrepresent and distort the Kaguta family and their contribution to Uganda “as long as it’s not them personally being character-assassinated.” That most public officials with generous access to media platforms concentrate on defending themselves and their respective entities even when they come across falsehoods being propagated against the Kaguta family.
Gen Saleh said that as part of the broader efforts to deescalate the anger against the Kaguta family, there is need to engage with the ghettos more because that is where “the unhoused, unskilled and uneducated” youths live in abject poverty and total deprivation. Saying that such engagement helps, Gen Saleh gave the example of the musicians, comedians and entertainment journalists whose anger against the Kaguta family diminished after he recently engaged them and took them through a seminar to educate them about how inclusive government service delivery programs have been since 1986. Saleh, who repeatedly spoke about a mismatch between NRM-O and NRM-G, said much as some remained hostile to him and NRM, he was grateful he created a deepened understanding among the artistes that he recently dialogued with from his Gulu conclave.
Saleh said the demonization and name-calling targeting the Kaguta family has been on for years prompting Mwenda to tell him their legacy has been misunderstood because the NRM government, they are running, has always overlooked investing in publicity and communication to facilitate spin-doctors like him to keep polishing their image while educating or sensitizing Ugandans about where Gen Museveni has brought Uganda from. Mwenda asserted that Saleh is personally the one to blame because it was on his insistence that the PR budget for all government MDAs had to be cut to zero because he perceived it as part of the consumptive expenditure which had to be cut to boost productive activities.
Gen Saleh partly owned up and sounded more remorseful when AIGP Andrew Sorowen from the Uganda Police Force revealed that the much-bashed Okoth Ochola-led Force doesn’t have any significant PR budget to portray its true image while confronting deliberate demonization by millions of social media users. Saleh also admitted that it’s unacceptable for the entire Ministry of National Guidance to have only Shs500m to facilitate its communicational mandate throughout the FY2020/21. During the same talk show, Gen Saleh warned spin-doctors like Mwenda against taking advantage of the desperate PR situation they claim is facing the Museveni government to “become commercial” and plot to extort billions under the guise of offering the relevant PR communication services. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).