By Richard Mbayo
In any country’s progress, security plays a vital role in ensuring development takes place. However, Uganda’s case is different.
We have been singing peace, peace, peace, peace, peace, peace for the last 36 years, yet there is no visible progress.
Take a look at our neighbors. In 2020, Tanzania was lifted to middle-income status. Kenya and Rwanda are already doing well, but Uganda’s experience of peace has had no value in terms of economic and social progress.
Going forward, the class of 1986 NRA has built a national army, police force, and prison service, yet those men and women in uniform, their welfare is far from the standard they deserve.
According to the NUP’s manifesto 2021, the party recognizes the role of security agencies in keeping the country at peace. Kyagulanyi promised a salary of one million, free education and healthcare, and better housing facilities for all serving army, police, and prison men and women. This sounds promising and appealing to the young men and women in uniform who can’t come out to complain about their poor working conditions.
Muhoozi has been in the military for 20 years, but he has never even advised the CiC about the need to improve the lives of the army, and it’s the army that is holding Museveni in power.
Yet the Ghetto President, in less than 5 years in politics, has made it one of his points to improve the lives of the army, police, and prison service who are responsible for ensuring peace in the land.
Some top army bosses are not convinced and pleased with the Muhoozi project, and ordinary (corporals) subscribe to Bobi Wine’s camp, which serves to explain why Bobi Wine’s takeover leadership is more peaceful than handing over power to a lab general.
Top army bosses who are liberal believe that Museveni betrayed them after 1986 after failing to comply with his 10-point program and promises, so they are not ready to salute Museveni’s son as CiC as we remember the late General Kasirye Gwanga once stated that he couldn’t salute the lab general.
While some top army bosses are willing to salute Muhoozi as CiC because they believe that Muhoozi won’t touch their regime’s modified wealth, unlike Kyagulanyi, who is most likely to launch a committee to investigate the source of wealth of NRA cadres before 1986, the corporal in the army who constitutes 90 percent love and would wish to defend and protect Kyagulanyi Bobi Wine’s government whom they have been following through his lyrics advocating for better social welfare, unlike their own Muhoozi, the lab general who has been raised to higher ranks in the shortest period without a successful field mission, people would love to see a field general the likes of Katumba.
Bobi Wine’s confidence, trust, and love from the public outweigh any doubt in the army. Thanks to the 2021 Presidential polls that showcased violence but also enabled the public to express free love, the public witnessed confidence from the Ghetto President.
Everyone, including the author, would love to be led by a brave President who can speak freely and articulate issues of national importance. We applaud ghetto society for allowing its son to enter politics.
Realistically, every country deserves the very best at the top. Being a military serving officer doesn’t guarantee one to become President, Dr. Milton Obote was a civilian, but to date, some of the national hospitals, roads, and colleges are his legacy.
Museveni’s legacy is viewed with a black eye, something that’s a positive for Bobi Wine and a minus for Muhoozi.
If Mr. Museveni had been so honest with himself and Ugandans, it would have been much easier for the MK project to succeed than Kyagulanyi. Therefore, it would be in Museveni’s interest to hand over power to a civilian rather than to his son.
Even in Kenya, where Jomo Kenyatta is regarded as the founding father of Kenya but never handed power over to his immediate family members, although his son is the current leader, Kenyans supported Uhuru because of Kenyatta’s legacy.
But guys, what’s Museveni’s legacy in 36 years in power that prompts the population to trust the Muhoozi Project? Is it the drones and abductions, the debts, the regional imbalances, the tribalism at the apex, the rule by law, corruption and breakdown of government institutions, or silencing freedom of speech and association by the gun?
The NUP/People Power structure categorically states that the party is built on meritocracy over technical know-how. The party is headed by Kyagulanyi Bobi Wine, who hails from Central Uganda and is deputized by Dr. Linda Zedriga from Northern Uganda. The Secretary-General is David Lewis Rubongoya from Western Uganda, and the Party’s Deputy PRO is Wasswa Mafumbiro from Eastern Uganda. This sounds promising that NUP will be based on someone’s competency in awarding government positions, something that’s rare in the NRM government that the MK project is projected to takeover.
Uganda is a republic, not a monarchy. This itself shows that peace may be guaranteed after Museveni’s handing over power to Bobi Wine rather than Muhoozi. As backed by Article 1 of the 1995 constitution, all powers belong to the people of Uganda, unlike in a monarchical system of government where the king selects his successor. The proposed bill raises a lot of uncertainties if the Lab General who is planning to take over power through Parliament, then the people of Uganda may instill their own choice.
Finally, we can have a peaceful transition of power if those at the top put aside their personal, selfish interests in favor of the national interest of Uganda. Let’s pray and hope that Uganda won’t follow the precedent of Yugoslavia, Sudan, Iraq, Libya, DRC, and Ethiopia where Marshall Tito ruled Yugoslavia for 27 years. After his death, his country disintegrated.
For 23 years, Field Marshall Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq. His country is in turmoil after his ouster. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi ruled Libya for 42 years, and after his assassination, his country descended into anarchy. Field Marshall Mobutu ruled DR Congo for 32 years, and after his overthrow, Congo was a near-failed state.
Sudan is in political turmoil as a result of Omar Bashir’s rule; he ruled Sudan for 30 years before being deposed, and Sudan is now in political turmoil. Ethiopia was ruled by strong man Meles Zenawi, and after his death, the country is in a dangerous civil war.