As violence once again erupts in Uganda, I ask myself again what dictators will not do to stay in power. Watching from a pedestal as his country, once one of the most promising economies in Africa, descends into poverty and chaos, does Museveni like what he sees? Is death and poverty irrelevant?

Uganda has survived some of the most brutal civil wars and dictatorships of modern times, Museveni fought a bush war and emerged a hero, but twenty years later he epitomises what he fought against - fraudulent elections, using the military to enforce power, race and tribalism.

I wrote previously about the distance between leaders and their people. In pushing their people to the limits of survival such leaders are asking people to martyr themselves either in violence or when they cannot survive the daily challenge of feeding themselves or fending off disease. The babies and children that die unattended in hospitals are sacrifices to maintaining the wealth and happiness of the corrupted leaders and civil servants.

Somehow this is not enough for the Musevenies of this world. Their money is siphoned off the wellbeing of their people, yet such leaders are content to massacre the same people who make their lifestyle possible.

photographs: Reuters; Edward Echwalu/Reuters

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