THE LAST WORD: Reason Why Mzee Amos Kaguta Died in a Local Hospital yet Germany Is the Treatment Destination for First Family Members
By Fred Khadafi 22nd, February 2013
This Friday morning at around 9am, news filtered through that Mzee Amos Kaguta had passed away at International Hospital Kampala. A lady who now seems to work as the defacto spokesperson of the NRM government by the names of Sarah Kagingo officially released the news on social networks (facebook, twitter and all) and it instantly became viral.
Mzee Amos Kaguta died at age 96 and his death attracted the usual political cynicism from a large section of Ugandans. # But one of the most pertinent questions was why the late father of the Ugandan president was not flown to overseas hospital as it had been rumoured in several media outlets across the country.
One FDC functionary actually posted on his facebook account that there was a big reason why Mzee Kaguta didn’t get the overseas treatment that all the members of the Museveni family have been getting in the previous years. In the previous year’s most members of the first family have been getting treatment from oversees hospitals.
At one time when one of president Museveni daughters was about to deliver, she was flown by a presidential jet to Germany where she delivered one of president Museveni’s several grand children. This move generated a lot of debate in the country as political analysts regarded it as a clear sign of opulence and extravagance exercised using tax payer’s money.
President Yoweri Museveni was treated to a lot of criticism that he had to defend himself by writing a big article in the media justifying his decision to fly out his daughter as ‘a strategic decision aimed at protecting his family from counter revolutionary forces’.
The president asserted that he couldn’t and cannot take any member of his family to Ugandan hospitals because he doesn’t trust them. He then laboured to explain that his role in the liberation of this country has earned him a lot of enmity across the country. He therefore has to keep constant vigilance when any member of his family has to seek for medical help.
His protracted defence, however, fell on deaf ears as members of the opposition used this Germany maternity trip of his daughter during the subsequent presidential elections. It remains unforgotten to-date. And indeed when Mzee Amos Kaguta was pronounced sick early on Monday this week, some sections of the media instinctively reported that Mzee Amos Kaguta had been flown to Germany.
The media had anticipated that Mzee Kaguta wouldn’t get his treatment from Uganda since precedence had been set for every member of the first family overseas for any treatment. And when it was later reported that he had passed away form one of the local private hospitals, people started mumbling.
One of the hypothetical and rather cynical suggestions given for treating Kaguta from a local hospital which the president had earlier said he mistrusted was pegged to the fact that perhaps he ( Mzee Kaguta) was not the real father of president Museveni. This theory of Mzee Kaguta not being Museveni’s real father was first mooted by President Milton Obote while he was exiled in Zambia.
President Obote was trying to punch holes in the nationality of president Museveni by suggesting that he was not Ugandan but rather a Rwandese who came with his mother from Rwanda. The late president Milton Obote also bragged that he had saved Museveni father during the civil war at a time when it could have been easily justified.
At that time Obote’s father Mzee Perino Opeto had been killed by suspected elements of the LRA during the insurgency in northern Uganda. Obote questioned why Museveni had not protected his father even when he (Obote) protected and practically spared his (Museveni’s father).
Although it was widely believed that the LRA killed Obote’s father, the former UPC leader insisted that it was Museveni who killed his father.
At that time the issue became political and only evaporated due to the bigger events which took place. The debate seems to be back again. One of the most talked about stuff in the down town quarters is that Mzee Kaguta married Museveni’s mother Esteri Kokundeka when Museveni was already borne.
It’s believed that Esteri had produced Museveni from Rwanda. This theory suggests that Mzee Amos Kaguta only produced Caleb Akandwanaho otherwise officially known as Gen Salim Saleh and a sister called Kajubiri.
But In his auto biographical book The Mustard Seed, president Museveni insists that Mzee Amos Kaguta was his biological father who raised him with a hand of a disciplinarian. The Ugandan president writes about how Mzee Amos used to confront teachers who mistreated him at school. Nevertheless, Mzee Amos Kaguta has passed on, following his wife Kokundeka and hence, that historical theory has, as well gone with them. Rest in Peace our Country’s First Father.
Fred Khadafi is a political analyst and commercial writer who can also be reached on 0704198310