Mugabe’s exit causes excitement in Uganda

As Zimbabwe, and Africa at large, comes to terms with the unexpected fall of Robert Mugabe, Kampala, more than any other capital in East Africa is following the events in Harare with more than fleeting interest.

The shocking end of Mr Mugabe has fed directly into the combustible debate in Uganda about ongoing efforts to amend the Constitution to extend President Yoweri Museveni’s rule.

According to some analysts, the quick succession of events over just two weeks that eventually showed Mr Mugabe the door indicate that while President Museveni projects firm control of both military and political affairs in Uganda, as Mr Mugabe did in Zimbabwe, such control is usually premised on wrong assumptions and whittles away pretty fast.

“Two weeks ago, when Mr Mugabe removed Emmerson Mnangagwa from the post of vice president a lot of people jubilated. Two weeks later, when Mr Mugabe is removed from the chairmanship of ZANU-PF people also jubilated. That shows that actually in these banana republics of ours the so-called political support is actually manufactured, artificial support,” says Makerere University historian Mwambutsya Ndebesa.

While President Museveni appears to have successfully purged the army and the party of his war comrades, his hold on the latter is sustained more by money and coercion and less by genuine belief in his ideology, according to Andrew Mwenda, who informally advises him.