Sunday, November 09, 2003

Uganda: his brother's keeper

Here is a fascinating profile of Lieutenant General Salim Saleh, President Museveni's younger brother.
Unofficially, Saleh is known as the unseen guest in every Ugandan boardroom. His business empire stretches from aviation to pharmaceuticals and private security. Fourteen years after he was first removed as their commander, his following among the troops remains huge. His name in the headlines sells newspapers. Both friends and critics attribute his survival in the face of countless controversies to his charm, humility and cunning. In the same breath they cite the influence he wields over Uganda's genial and autocratic president.

Behind this is no ordinary story of brotherly love. When he was still a teenager, Museveni pulled the young Saleh out of school to join a regional revolt against Idi Amin ...

... Museveni's guilt at having cut short the education of a brother whose intelligence few doubted may explain some of the presidential forgiveness.