To understand Museveni and Uganda’s decadence, read him dialectically

Let me begin with this statement to clear the air. In analyzing Uganda I have decided to use Museveni because my research has led me to conclude that Museveni is the governing party, the cabinet, parliament and the appointing authority (some people are refusing to leave their jobs on account of incompetence or corruption unless the appointing authority says so). But I refer to Museveni in his public, not private capacity.

Why I have clashed with Museveni

Some people –Ugandans and non-Ugandans – close and not so close to me have wondered – directly and indirectly – why I have decided to oppose Museveni when there is no chance of winning because he is powerful at home and abroad. Besides I or someone else could get hurt. Some have even questioned my motive.

This is the first time in Uganda’s political history that I have actively campaigned. I have chosen to participate in order to defeat Museveni in his re-election bid for another five years. He has been president for 25 years already. During this period, as outlined below, the welfare of the majority of Uganda citizens and the environment has deteriorated.

My education and profession were influenced greatly by the injustices of the colonial indirect rule system which was an extension of a repressive feudal system of lords and serfs (rich and poor) in Rujumbura county of Rukungiri district in southwest Uganda. The chiefs and their families lived very well at the expense of the poor who produced goods and services. Through tribute, taxes and free labor the poor peasants toiled for the comfort of the chiefs. Most of the nutritious food (goat meat, chicken, eggs, beans, fruits etc) was consumed by chiefs. Heads of households would disappear for months to work for tax money leaving their wives behind toiling to keep the family alive.

Why has Uganda become a nation of complaints?

On balance Uganda has been plagued by complaints more than anything else. And what is worrying is that the complaints are multiplying and getting louder with the passage of time. This article will record those complaints from 1962 to the present and attempt an explanation. This article is written particularly for the youth, Uganda’s future leaders, who must find solutions to these complaints.

Uganda as a nation had a rocky start caused by religious wars among Catholics, Muslims and Protestants as well as resistance to colonial rule which was very bloody in some places. With these conflicts over, law and order was restored and important decisions were made that laid a solid foundation for economic growth and social development. The construction of the Uganda railway, the wise decision that Uganda belongs to Ugandans, the realization that good nutrition is a vital component in human development, and the determination, in the 1950s, that industrialization is essential to create jobs, transform Uganda’s economic structure and build forward and backward linkages.

In spite of this promising start, rhetoric was not marched by action and most dreams were not met. On the eve of independence in 1962, the then Secretary General of the ruling Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) complained, inter alia, that: