By Morris DC Komakech
The old parties and current antics no longer have the capacity to propel us to a conjoined future
Nigeria has completed its multiparty elections where an incumbent gracefully conceded defeat in an election. It is an unprecedented “first” of its kind in that nation. In Uganda, such a dream appears farfetched. The road to 2016 is shaping up with its characteristic uncertainties of inflation, insecurity, hostility, and intolerance. The back-to-back assassinations of prominent figures taking place in Uganda projects a gloomy future pre and post-elections.
That aside, there is a crisis of confidence in Uganda’s politics. For Ugandans to recover from the apathy towards their politics, some hangers-on must be exposed and eliminated. These detractors aim to subvert the replenishment of social and political spaces with new ideas.
There are cynics in this country who have amassed enormous amounts of wealth and will die protecting it. Many are now hanging on to this regime for selfish reasons to protect and secure their loot. However, we must assure them all that a change of regime does not translate into a change in their fortune, especially for those who have rightfully accumulated wealth.
Uganda is ripe for a new dawn of politics; the politics of unity within our diversity. The old parties and current antics no longer have the capacity to propel us to a conjoined future. In fact, they are holding us hostage, and continue to drag this nation downwards and backwards.
FDC President, Gen. Mugisha Muntu, recently stated that the incumbent measures progress from where we are coming from, not where we are going, or where we should have been. This statement needs amplifying because Uganda is in the NRM bus whose headlights were swindled.
It is only those behind the driving heel who are able to see the future, and the near future as such. In that bus, the common future for all Ugandans is obscure, desolate!
However, what options do we have with precariats?
The Ugandan opposition groups, without Dr Col Besigye, are like disciplined pupils in a classroom. They are constrained such that they have to obey draconian oppressive rules. In this regard, you know a serious opposition figure by the frequency of charges against him/her that are in courts.
It is comprehensible that going back and forth in court and jail are frustrating, affording a lawyer is no ordinary feat for many, and feeding a family is hard task if the family’s breadwinner is in and out of jail. Living in the Opposition is precarious, making them “precariats”, as coined by the American Linguist, Noam Chomski.It is simply impossible to dislodge President Museveni if you are the type of urban elite who desire earthly privileges of a luxurious life. Museveni has taken full control of the economy and the resources of this country as his own. His costly investment in public administration enables him to secure control over Ugandans and their resources.
It implies that Museveni has the power to dispense wealth, comfort, vanity, dignity, and a peaceful existence to his unquestioning loyalists, and the opposite to his adversaries. The Uganda under President Museveni is a theatre of revolutionists of different shades. There are those who have and must protect what they have and those who have nothing, but because of necessity, they must protect the wealthy.
Depravity explains the treachery, suspicion, distrust, and infighting within the Opposition ranks. It is very simple analogy – when you administer depravity, it sets ground for infighting due to scarcity of privileges and resources.
It creates a society that valorises corruption. So, to save face, opposition members have to appear on the fence. It is revealing of lack of an organising ideology, and thus, a need for new dispensations.
By far, Besigye deserves very positive appraisal for his courageous efforts at unsettling the status quo. Reform Agenda compelled Museveni to return Northern Uganda onto the national agenda. Left to the vagaries of the regime, that place could have been obsolete by now.
Without a strong non-opportunistic coalition of patriots, Museveni will treat 2016 general elections as a mere rite of passage. As such, only Museveni can defeat Museveni. Period!
Morris Komakech is a Uganda social critic and political analyst based in Toronto, Canada. Can contact via firstname.lastname@example.org