Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, the National Unity Platform (NUP) President, while discussing matters of national importance at the US State Department in Washington, DC, showed a lack of grasp on the issues he presented, leaving his hosts in shock.
In a statement released by Dr. Daniel Kawuma on September 21, 2023, the US State Department held a meeting with Kyagulanyi and the team in Diaspora and the distinguished state department officials, including Director of Office of East African Affairs, Dante Paradiso, Deputy Director Sarah Skorupski, and Uganda desk officer Mike Berenson.
According to sources that attended the meeting, the meeting that was meant to discuss matters concerning Uganda’s political landscape, economy, foreign relations, human rights situation, and border regional dynamics turned into a spectacle as Kyagulanyi had no idea of what was being discussed and could hardly articulate any issue.
“The officials at the US State Department were so disappointed with Kyagualnyi’s lack of understanding on issues pertaining to policies, most especially foreign and economic policies. Hearing that the so-called president has no knowledge of what policies are discussed in terms of a country’s development was embarrassment,” sources said.
Sources noted that Kyagulanyi’s remarks were deemed as being completely off-track stating that when questioned about foreign policy, he asserted that tribalism was the underlying factor influencing it. Similarly, in regards to border security, he contended that violations of human rights were undermining the effectiveness of border security measures proving his lack of grasp on any issues affecting the country.
“His lack of knowledge on policies was evident, as during his submissions he behaved like someone attending a political rally, airing out issues of land, human rights violations, and ethnicity without facts. These are well-learned individuals, and his ignorance was very obvious to them,” the source continued.
Kyagulanyi acknowledged the funding of the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), but went ahead to request that they stop that funding since it only keeps Museveni in power.
“I could not believe his reasoning; these are Ugandans in need of serious medical care and support; all he sees is Museveni, not even the disease. What a confused young man! I would not wish for such a person to lead me,” stated the shocked source.
“These US State Department people will surely think twice about dealing with him after this interaction,” the source continued.
According to the source, the meeting with Kyagulanyi was deemed unproductive as he allegedly failed to address key policies essential for a nation’s progress, rendering it a futile use of time and concerns have been raised about Kyagulanyi’s leadership potential for Uganda following his performance at the meeting.
Kyagulanyi has in the past asserted that to be president of the republic of Uganda, he doesn’t have to be an intellectually or economically savvy political strategist.
The Diaspora team, under the leadership of Dr. Kawuma, made a bold move during the presentation by intervening to prevent further embarrassment caused by Kyagulanyi’s submissions. However, it seems that despite their efforts, significant damage had already been done.
“The US State Department has expressed concerns regarding his knowledge of policy issues and his capacity for strategic thinking,” the source stated.
Many have expressed concern about the NUP leader’s temperamental behaviour and his tendency to make inflammatory statements. Whether or not he will be backed by the US is yet to be seen; however, it is clear that he has a lot to learn if he wants to be a credible candidate.