Best bet for Museveni to set new record as president who served for long and retired peacefully inside Uganda
COMMENT | MORRIS KOMAKECH | The intent to remove Article 102b from the 1995 Constitution to pave way for life-long presidency should be halted for the good of Uganda. There is no excuse for President Yoweri Museveni to prolong his rule. After 35 years, if Mr. Museveni has not accomplished his aspirations as a leader, then he will never.
In the last couple of decades of Museveni’s rule, Uganda has experienced declines in social service delivery, social investments and in public institutions. Corruption, nepotism/sectarianism and deceptions rose exponentially. The Presidency has concentrated all the powers, prestige and privileges, leaving the masses and those at the periphery deprived of fundamental rights, and excluded from the mainstream where national development agenda is discussed.
Museveni’s adherents are blinded to the glaring social inequities deliberately. Individualism and the personalisation of the state have superseded the call for collective commons. People think in silos and everyone dies to grab for personal aggrandisement what should be shared nationally. As such, the spirit of nationalism and patriotism has faded. Ugandans are bitter, exhausted and frustrated with this regime.
I have observed that indigenous Ugandans have ceded their birth rights, and the various incontrovertible rights to the state. A continued Museveni’s rule will do all of us in, worse – such that our citizenship will depend on loyalty to the cult leader that Museveni has become; our rights to property, land; and basic services, quality health care and education are already inaccessible. The last thing we all need as Ugandans is another year of a Museveni’s rule past 2021.
Recently, the military Police arrested criminal suspects, a job that the Police should perform. This phenomenon was unheard of until now. The arrest of Frank Gashumba and his brother, Innocent Kasumba over suspicion of extortion and fraud demonstrate a total collapse of the Uganda Police, under Gen Kale Kayihura. Concurrently, the onslaught on Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura’s “Generals” within the Police is an indication that the Police, far from being a civil force that should have exercised its mandate of maintaining peace and tranquil, protecting the law and reigning in on criminals, itself, became culpable to syndicated crime.
The presence of Military Police symbolises a vote of no confidence in the Police. The crooked Police force needs urgent cleaning and rehabilitating.
Nonetheless, we must read the political pulse right. The socialising of Military police with a civilian institution is an indication of how our society has become militarised. Kayihura militarised the Police but also politicised it way too much to align it as an instrument of NRM power brokerage.
Ugandans should worry of the take-over of policing work by the men with red tops. It is clear that in an event of defeat of the President’s agenda to rule for life by the Togikwatako campaign tide, we are likely to experience a repeat of the February 19, 2016 scenarios in Kampala – a military takeover.
The Togikwatako movement is indeed a challenge to Museveni and yet his truest of friends. A new pattern has emerged where traditional opposition leaders are surpassed by the Togikwatako wave. This movement has set a clear divide between the state (read, Museveni) and the masses. Many NRM adherents recognise that this removal of Article 102b is the most unpopular political move that could end in a revolution to topple this government. However, they are too deformed by dishonest to advise the dictator to retire.
The people on the Togikwatako side are people who mean well for Museveni. They are asking him to retire at the end of his zenith term in 2021 so that his legacy and lifelong work benefits those who value it. This is a noble request because Museveni has a chance of setting a new record, as the President who served for so long, retired and found solace inside Uganda.
Morris Komakech coordinates Togikwatako Campaign in Canada. Can contact via [email protected]