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Uganda and her day today politicians

26 July, 2023
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In the 1960s, four young men who later became critical actors in Uganda's politics were bundled out of UPC Headquarters. They were Kintu Musoke, Kirunda Kivejinja, Bidandi Ssali and Dani Nabudere. They were radical UPC youth wingers. Dan Nabudere became a key political actor during the Transition from Idi Amin rule.  Kintu Musoke, Kirunda Kivejinja and Bidandi Ssali became key political actors in the reign of National Resistance Movement- Tibuhaburwa Museveni. Although Kintu Musoke and Bidandi Ssali dropped out along the way. Kirunda Kivejinja stayed in the system until his death in 2020.

 


During the NRM Primaries in 2020/2021 two candidates in one constituency of Busoga physically fought. One of them was badly hurt. I have forgotten their names.

 

And now we have been treated to some drama in Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).

Politician are all the same: they think about their narrow personal political gains, which usually centre around resources and influence. If their narrow interests clash they may quarrel loudly or even fight with their muscles and their mouths.

 

In Africa where our rulers tend to concentrate on power retention and primitive accumulation rather than on improving quality of life of the people, or on the development, transformation and progress of the countries, causing conflicts in opposition parties is not abnormal. They frequently use money to confuse political actors in the opposition parties, or to buy some actors out of their parties. It is in the interest of those rulers that the leaders of those parties are cast as weak and greedy with no clear ideologies or strategies to govern. Frequently the rulers may plant spies and trouble shooters in the opposition parties to cast the parties nothing more than sinks of good for nothing people.

Ugandan politicians, whether in the opposition or in the ruling party tend to be narrow minded in the sense that they don't think beyond their narrow interests of power, glory, wealth, and domination.  They tend to agree to ignore the interests of the people. In public they may show they are antagonistic, but behind the scenes they may connive to serve each other's interests at the expense of the greater public interest.

One problem we have in Uganda is that we have become far more politically illiterate and politically underdeveloped than we were in the 1960s. Those days students were more politically literate than they are today. You ask Prof. Wangoola Wangoola or Dr Ruhakana Rugunda who were my elders at Busoga College Mwiri.

So long as we limit political literacy and political development of of our youthful population to feed our narrow interests, politicians of the future will be more combative, not by brain but by muscle.  The victims will be the poor and needy who will have no leaders but oppressors and exploiters, and will be treated to fights among the selfish political elite in both the ruling party and the opposition parties. It won't matter which party  is the ruling party and which parties are in the opposition.

For God and My Country

Prof  Oweyegha-Afunaduula

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