It is now crystal clear that Uganda has leaders suffering from a sleeping ailment. As if that was not debilitating enough, they have begun to quarrel among themselves. When the president addressed parliament last year on State of the Nation, his senior cabinet staff fell into deep sleep – people can doze off once in a while and that is excusable but when you sleep so deeply and repeatedly that is a different matter. One would have thought that the sleeping habit was due to age but young ones slept as well on both occasions. Therefore age has nothing to do with it. Last year’s sleeping incident was not taken seriously. We thought there must have been some specific and temporary reason why so many cabinet ministers could sleep so much. On June 7, 2012 it happened again this time with more ministers – again young and old – in deeper sleep than last year. Leaders who can sleep this deeply and for so long in the presence of their president, how much do they sleep when they are alone in their offices? A non-Ugandan friend of mine who had seen pictures of last year called me after he saw those of this year. He wanted to know whether Ugandans were suffering from a sleeping disease and, if so, what steps were being taken to cure it because no country can develop with that kind of leadership. I had no answer for him.
The tradition of religious sermons in Uganda involved a prayer wishing the president and his government wisdom to govern justly, peacefully and lift everyone out of poverty and vulnerability. These messages were particularly forceful during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Of late, however, this tradition has changed as human condition has degenerated to sub-human level witness human sacrifice and trafficking and biting poverty in a country that is overwhelmingly religious and potentially rich where citizens are taught to care for one another, respect and protect human life.
Initially religious leaders expressed their discomfort with failing NRM policies indirectly, hoping that the government would take a hint and make appropriate changes. However, as time passed, the situation got worse – liberty, justice and dignity came under attack by government policies and military action. Those who demanded improvements in their rights and freedoms including the right to work and freedom to walk to work through peaceful demonstrations were attacked by the government using disproportionate force which resulted in deaths, wounded and detained innocent people some of them charged with treason punishable by death.
On November 18, 2011 I published an article titled “It is leadership that counts” in the development process. I contrasted performance of two dictators: General Park of South Korea and General Museveni of Uganda.
General Park developed the economy and society pulling them out of poverty to prosperity and laying the foundation for sustained development.
By contrast, General Museveni has sunk his country and society into deeper poverty even when Uganda was relatively better endowed in 1986 when Museveni came to power than South Korea when Park came to power in 1961.
Based on this presentation I have concluded that Uganda will continue to sink into poverty unless Museveni and NRM leadership is removed and the sooner the better.
Those who are currently benefitting from NRM do not seem to realize that these are temporary gains – especially by those paid in intelligence services at home and abroad to hunt down their compatriots – which they will lose if they fail to allow leadership changes that may save them or their children in the days ahead.
Every organization, be it a family, village or nation must have a leader. A leaderless society cannot hope to survive for long. Even animals and poultry have leaders. You can have a good or a bad leader. I will talk about the qualities of a good leader.
1. A leader must be a servant and not master of the people. The leader must have a vision or ideas about how to lead the people to greater heights in economic development, health and happiness. In crafting ideas, the leader should carefully look at the past because it impacts the present. In doing so the leader must ensure that the past is still relevant to the present. If not the past or old ideas should be repackaged to incorporate new developments.
The “Tutsi Empire” project is real and on course albeit slower than expected. The idea which had been formed earlier received a boost when USA, UK and Israel chose Museveni to be a surrogate in their pursuit of geopolitical interests in the great lakes region. Museveni would help to overthrow governments in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo. In the latter three countries Anglo-Saxons would oust France from the region. According to Keith Harmon Snow “War for the control of the Democratic Republic of Congo – what should be the richest country in the world – began in Uganda in the 1980s, when now Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni shot his way to power with the backing of Buckingham Palace, the White House and Tel Aviv behind him” (Peter Phillips 2006).
Museveni who began the politics of larger geographic entities in the 1960s to reverse the effects of colonial balkanization in Africa welcomed western support that would help him to realize his dream of a ‘Tutsi Empire’. Museveni and other Tutsis falsely believe they are endowed by God to rule others initially in the area stretching from Uganda to DRC through Burundi and Rwanda. To realize the dream of a Tutsi Empire Museveni adopted a three-pronged military, economic and political strategy.
When Ugandans meet formally or informally, the political economy, future and diversity of Uganda come up. What has been recognized is that Uganda’s diversity is an asset and a strength that should be utilized properly to bring about equitable distribution of the benefits of that diversity. Many times, as discussions progress, my mind races back to what Kaunda former president of Zambia said about diversity in his country. He observed on several occasions that although merit is important in appointments and promotions, he had to use it carefully to meet the needs of Zambia’s diverse population. He stressed that in trying to strike regional balance, he picked the best trained and experienced from each region so that he maintained professionalism and regional balance.
In Uganda the concept of merit has been applied differently under the NRM government since 1986 with unanticipated adverse outcomes. There are cases where merit considerations applied by the appointing authorities have resulted in top or strategic positions going to people from the same family, same ethnic group or same region. The western region is believed to have benefited more than any other in Uganda. However upon closer scrutiny you find that within the western region some families or ethnic groups have benefited more than others. Further analysis has demonstrated that merit was not even strictly applied causing discomfort in various quarters.