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Why Museveni's Phone Call is a Big Win for Him

President Yoweri Kaguta Musveni of Uganda, stopped on the way, pulled a chair out of his car, sat by the roadside and made a phone call that has stirred social media, sparking both praise and condemnation. However, it was not the first time that Museveni engaged in such a populist gesture. I have seen him do similar things before. For instance, I recall a day he stopped along Entebbe road to play 'football' with kids who were playing by the roadside. But it is interesting how infectious yesterday's call by the roadside has become. Ssebo must be a very happy man. It worked exactly how he wanted it; or even exceeded his expectations. The more reason he should not shut down the social media platforms in the future. Or is the social media good when he fills the waves? But why ask the obvious! Museveni is a clever man and if you thought he was stupid, like my friend suggests, you must be wrong. My friend thinks that Museveni should focus on more pressing matters than engage in what he terms stupid things. I still insist what he did was not stupid, however awkward it appeared. At least, not in politics. Beneath the jokes that are being made over the same, let us not be blinded to think it was a random act. No. It wasn't. That was a very well calculated and executed act. 

Museveni knew very well that Dr. Kiza Besigye was to be released yesterday. After all, it is Museveni who gives orders as to when to arrest, detain, release, re-arrest, and/or charge Besigye. He had earlier given orders for Besigye to be granted bail. But he was equally well aware that news of Besigye's release could fill the air and refresh a debate that is slowly fading off since his detention almost two months ago. M7 had to find a way to shadow that. It was a must that such a way be a clever one. He had to find a way to create a good source of news, divert the public attention both in Uganda and beyond from discussing Besigye, his release, conditions surrounding his arrest and his release, why he has been detained for all this time etc. I still insist that was not stupid. So Ssebo instructed few of his aides to put that chair in a car and he knew when and how to use it. He did use it at the right time and place; at the roadside during daylight. If it was just a phone call, normally, he could have done it from the ca, must he step out of the car to take a call yet he was not driving? Someone said but, may be the network was poor. Granted. But even if such was the case, and he wanted to make that very important call, perhaps he could have made the call while standing or strolling around. My friend must know that it was not stupid. But M7 did not only make an important call, he also ensured many pictures of him making the call were taken and circulated on social media. Never mind what kind of a call or to whom it was. The most important thing is that Uganda got excited by the gesture, the world's attention was captured, diverted and driven wild, thanks to netzens. Others praised and others cursed but, at least, all were talking about one thing: Museveni's call, not Besigye's release. Little or nothing was talked about or heard from Dr. Kiza Besigye, after all, Museveni captured the whole space. Bingo. 
Why Museveni's Phone Call is a Big Win for Him Why Museveni's Phone Call is a Big Win for Him Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on July 13, 2016 Rating: 5

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