COMMENT | Moses Baguma | One can argue that Museveni strategically chose Kyagulanyi as his main challenger some time back, and therefore all efforts then, were intended to inflate him to be the leading opponent.
Even if that’s true, we can’t deny that the journey from the day he was elected MP to becoming a presidential candidate has been a bumpy one. Countless measures have been made by the state to frustrate the young man’s ambitions.
Through his journey, some intellectuals have argued that Kyagulanyi isn’t a viable alternative to the old man with a hat. Yes, I concur with them on that but I’m disappointed that they don’t tell us why the political situation is like how it is. I entirely blame Museveni for this bizarre political situation.
Through his extensive politics of patronage, Museveni did not attract the best into politics. He compromised many, politically, to guarantee his long stay in power. Indeed through patronage politics, merit is secondary.
That bred to appointment of ministers and other civil servants that are not satisfactory to many. Through gerrymandering, we’ve had many MPs who even don’t match the standards of a good legislator.
This has overtime lowered the political bar to a level that even people like Kyagulanyi have found courage to run for presidency. Ok, one may argue that our democracy is growing, but I don’t share the same opinion.
You see, artistes have joined politics but they’ve not successfully invaded popular political shows, because the level of intellectual debates on those shows is too rigorous for them to handle, although they have the basic requirement, English speaking.
Secondly, Museveni’s long stay, his corrupt officials, incompetent civil servants, police brutality and all have angered Ugandans to the fullest. Their emotions have been stirred that they can now embrace anyone who has courage to present themselves as the most determined challenger, disdainful of what that particular challenger stands for, on their character.
Martin Luther King Jr . warned; “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.” We are at that point
However, even amidst intense emotions and love for our respective presidential candidates, it’s wise to keep sober. The same person, Martin Luther king Jr prophesied; “we will learn that the heart can never be totally right when the head is totally wrong.”
I urge all Ugandans to critically vet presidential candidates and other candidates at different levels when it still matters. Let’s not give legitimacy to Winston Churchill’s words; “When the situation was manageable, it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand, we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure.”
Moses Baguma is a business man and social critic