Is militarism the Solution to Uganda's problems?

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Is militarism the Solution to Uganda's problems?
Museveni's brother Salim Saleh pips First Son Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba alongside the latter's wife Charlotte

As submissive citizens, we had gotten to the idea of seeing big people being escorted with at least two or three fully soldier- laden police or military pick ups blaring all sorts of sounding sirens in addition to the multiple coloured lights mounted on top, soon emerged the practice of every big SUV to have the twinkling multi coloured lights and sirens. The submissive Ugandan motorists have no way of distinguishing a vehicle carrying a genuine government official from that simply taking advantage of the prevailing situation of free for all in the City.

It has been reported that the UPDF Army Commander (CDF) Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba yesterday gave orders for the arrest of errant army drivers who have been tormenting other road users. Today, while appearing on a Radio Talk show, Mr. Frank Gashumba joined other Ugandans in applauding the CDF for taking this step. Actually, it is reported that since that directive, sanity seems to have returned to many roads in the City.

What should be concerning is why our country which was previously, known for being law abiding and courteous has descended in such lawlessness and recklessness on our roads particularly within the city!

We have awkward scenes when both high and low ranking officials of government drive on the opposite side of the road in relation to where other motorists are heading. We have seen the sprouting of almost all government vehicles blaring loud sirens while driving and cross crossing from one lane to another in the middle of traffic on roads.

As submissive citizens, we had gotten to the idea of seeing big people being escorted with at least two or three fully soldier- laden police or military pick ups blaring all sorts of sounding sirens in addition to the multiple coloured lights mounted on top, soon emerged the practice of every big SUV to have the twinkling multi coloured lights and sirens. The submissive Ugandan motorists have no way of distinguishing a vehicle carrying a genuine government official from that simply taking advantage of the prevailing situation of free for all in the City.

Four months ago, the Minister for Works and Transport, Gen. Katumba Wamala was at the Media Center and made a vow to Ugandans that he was determined to crack the whip on the errant motorists. However, since he made that appearance, the situation with errant drivers just soared with no abetting at all. It has had to invoke the intervention of the Army Commander for sanity to appear on our roads. All motorists are praying and hoping that this intervention will remain in place and even be reinforced on the roads going out of the City Kampala.

It must however, be concerning that in our country these days, interventions in forms of instruction of a Cabinet Minister like that of Works and Transport don't matter and people don't seem to take them seriously. It must be worrying that we have allowed our country to descend to this level where only it is the Military Army Commander that we can listen and abide by.

This is a sign of many worrying things to come. The Cabinet Minister are the representatives of the Executive that is in charge of the day to day running of the country. They are effectively the ears and eyes of the Country's Chief Executive in regard to the affairs public management in the country. So if we as motorists or citizens can't put any respect to the words of instructions of the Cabinet Minister then we are making it difficult for ourselves.

We as citizens need to re-examine how we consider our Ministers if we are going to make it easier for public management for our own good.

 

Edward Baliddawa. Former Member of Parliament

Contact: 0772502121

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