Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Uganda After February 18th 2011...First Thoughts


I meant to write something long about the just concluded February 18 elections we had in Uganda but I’m ill-ish, and besides that, some of the thoughts I have, I’m still hesitant to put down in words. In print. For print, words, once let out, with your seal, never quite die. They can lie in archives, for decades, waiting. About these elections...a few thoughts. 

1.     I was stunned, perhaps like some of you, by the margin of ‘defeat’ handed to the opposition, and especially to IPC’s Dr. Kizza Besigye, not that I’m a supporter of the Forum for Democratic Change. Such a margin of ‘defeat’, NRM’S 68.28% to IPC’s 26% cannot be very good because it only increases the arrogant confidence of the NRM leaders in believing they can ignore the other 26% who did not vote for them. They are the minority, snooty and up tight, unable to see “the vision” clearly. 

2.     Many observers, commentators, and those with interest in change in Uganda believe IPC’s defeat is possibly the end of Dr. Besigye’s political career. Indeed the during Dr. Besigye’s first post election press conference at FDC’s Najjanakumbi’s offices showed a woe be-gone man, a defeated man, a shattered man who could not believe the what had just happened. There was little of the fighting spirit that we once knew, one that could have him declare, “Kayihura!” wagging a threatening finger at the Inspector of Police of Uganda, who was a former Bush War comrade. But I don’t think IPC or Besigye are the biggest losers in this election. I think the Democratic Party, that once people’s party, the party with one political martyr all Ugandans unreservedly admire (Benedicto Kiwanuka) were the biggest losers. That this party which once ruled Uganda pre-independence, and is widely believed to have won the rigged 1980s election could reach the nadir of getting zero votes in some areas was humiliating, shocking, unbelievable to me. As some Norbert Mao opponents had alleged, the DP started dying the day it could not hold an uncontested internal election for DP President. Personally I think it started dying the day its former President Kawanga Ssemogerere would not hand over the party to younger DP members in the 1990s...but that is another story all together. The performance of DP in these elections leaves it a Facebook political party almost, to me...

3.     I’m coming to the rather frightening realisation, unwelcome even, that President Museveni has no intention at all of ever relinquishing the seat of Presidency in Uganda. Not peacefully anyway. There was a little seen interview, in I think The Observer newspaper of Uganda, where he all but admitted that in 2016 (when the next Ugandan elections are due), he is willing to go on (If the people still need him...) Don’t even bother falling in line to wait....have other ambitions, but not for the seat of President of Uganda...

4.     I’m more worried than ever where Uganda is headed. With a government that functions around one man, who must make every decision (not because his ministers and civil service is incompetent, but because he wants it that way), he is mortal, he is getting into his 70s, he cannot keep up all that energy to be all. What will happen when finally he breaks down? But even before that, President Museveni seems completely unaware of modern dangers and challenges we face. Like global warming and how that in part is brought about by the complete disregard for catering to environmental needs, protecting our green cover, enforcing laws that prevent the destruction of wetlands, all this Museveni seems completely oblivious to and as a consequence Uganda is galloping towards Sudan heats and thirsts. 

Like I said, just a few thoughts, for now. I’m tired, I’m ill. I will be better soon. But I would like to know what you think.

2 comments:

Sybella said...

i'm mob 'with you' for numero 4. change is necessary for it brings in a fresh outlook and opinion on what matters for everyone has different priorities. like the way our city is really filthy with kaveras all over the place, which affects the environment now and especially in years to come, doesn't seem like something the president is concerned with... 2016 should have someone who would be interested in a lot more than the political side of issues in the country.

Mckeith said...

I am also intensively concerned about the future of this country. I have looked at the social services slowly glide down a wretched road. I believe that change should come soon and the president should be serving his last term.
Like in economics there is that graph, that shows someone when they get to a point of satisfaction. The point when on the curve there is no movement upwards but you either remain at the same point. I believe that in terms of leadership by this regime we will see more of the same and more in terms of a polite state with the army and police patrolling the streets.....
These are some of my many thoughts