Ours will be a liberal democracy

Liberal democracy has two main components. First, it is based on free and fair elections which are held regularly so that all eligible citizens choose their representatives and form a government. Second, a liberal democracy guarantees that rights for individuals and groups are protected and ipso facto cannot be taken away by government. Put another way, liberal democracy is a form of government that combines representative institutions of government including free and fair elections with liberal values in terms of individual rights and responsibilities.

It is important to stress that it is citizens that vote in a free and fair environment. And government cannot take away inalienable rights and freedoms of citizens.

In writing chapter two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) which was released to the public for comment last week, United Democratic Ugandans (UDU) committee examined the elections and governments in Uganda since 1961. All of them did not meet the two components of a liberal democracy. Citizen participation in elections and government has been less than satisfactory, elections have not been free and fair, foreigners have been allowed to vote and governments have violated human rights and fundamental freedoms of Uganda citizens.

Museveni has violent and feudal characteristics

The people of Uganda are resenting Museveni because of his increasing use of violence which he studied in Tanzania and has been encouraged to apply at home by some donors to maintain ‘stability’; his implementation of the philosophy of metamorphosis designed to transform beyond recognition Uganda’s ecological and demographic landscape (having more cattle than crops and more foreigners than indigenous people and another Ivory Coast in Uganda); and his consolidation of feudalism of lords (Bahororo) and serfs (the rest of Uganda) and Tutsi empire disguised as East African political federation with western encouragement.

Through the application of harsh anti-sectarian and anti-terrorism Acts and with tacit donor support, Museveni has violently silenced dissent apparently in the name of political and economic stability. Meanwhile suppressed dissent built into frustration and anger and then into enlightenment and dialectics. Ugandans thus no longer regard Museveni as a leader with divine right whose word is taken at face value. Instead, Ugandans are asking questions and demanding satisfactory answers (enlightenment) and are spending more time in archives and libraries and on the internet unearthing what was hidden (dialectics). Supporters of Museveni at home and abroad should not be surprised at what has hit them.

With all the will in the world why has Museveni failed?

In countries with true democracy where citizens hire and fire their representatives through the ballot box and/or public opinion, Museveni would have resigned or forced to because he has failed to deliver on his promises. Museveni cannot step down in large part because he is not sure what will happen to him once he has lost the immunity that goes with the presidency.

Museveni has had all the support at home and abroad that he needed to succeed. Why has he failed so badly? Everywhere you look domestically, regionally and internationally you see nothing but failure. At home, the diseases of poverty and environmental degradation are undeniable, at the great lakes region level, he has been accused of removing governments, his troops of committing genocide against Hutu people in DRC and plundering DRC resources; at the AU level he has quarreled with Qaddafi and at the global level his star has faded.

Discussions with people who have known him for a long time have shed some light. First, it appears that he set high ambitions that were not matched by his capabilities. Apparently, he deceived himself that he is intellectually superior to Ugandans because of his connections with the Aryan race of Europeans and therefore did not need to listen to people of lower IQ.