coming to power, the NRM studied and understood very well the nature,
extent and depth of grievances in Uganda. The cadres articulated
these grievances – political, economic, social, religious, ethnic
and tribal, gender, regional and military imbalances – and provided
solutions in their discussions and publications.
underscored a commitment to genuine democratic and economic reforms
to address the grievances. They were very aware that prolonged
military rule, overstaying in power, income inequalities, corruption
and broken promises would spell disaster. The 1995 Constitution was
promulgated with these concerns in mind after extensive
Amin came to power in 1971 he informed the nation and the whole world
that he had assumed power – for a brief period – to restore
freedom, end violent crimes, economic problems, corruption and
disunity which had characterized the previous regime. After that he
would organize and supervise general elections and hand over power to
the civilian government. The army would return to the barracks and
take orders from a democratically elected civilian government.
he broke these promises and declared he would govern for life, he
incurred the wrath of Ugandans who opposed his regime. He resorted to
brutal force including the invasion of a neighboring country to
divert attention from internal troubles. In 1979 he was forced out of
office by Tanzanian military superior firepower.
troubles that Amin inherited never went away but were instead
magnified many times by economic mismanagement and political chaos
and insecurity into which Obote landed with his second administration
in December 1980.
grievances deepened as the economy failed to meet popular demands and
the guerrilla war intensified resulting in a change of government to
Tito Okello in 1985 and quickly to Yoweri Museveni in 1986.
is believed that President Obote’s failure to give sufficient
assurances to Bantu groups, to accommodate Democratic Party
leadership in particular and the “Moshi Spirit” in general
fomented trouble and cost him the office.
NRM signaled willingness and readiness to redress resentment and
frustration by charting new and popular ways that would end predation
which had undermined state capacity to govern. Past political and
economic errors would be addressed through the implementation of a
ten-point program subsequently revised to fifteen.
of the popularity of power sharing, President Museveni formed a
broad-based cabinet including five members from the Catholic-based
Democratic Party, three members from the Protestant-based Uganda
Peoples’ Congress and one member each from the Conservative and
Patriotic Movement parties. Similar arrangements were implemented in
civil service appointments and promotions. These arrangements were
welcome and attracted many people to the Movement whose motto was
that advancement in all areas of human endeavor would be based on
that the national environment had been tamed, President Museveni,
like President Amin before him, began to chip away at the promises he
had made of genuine democratic and economic reforms that would enable
all Ugandans to participate freely in national processes and enjoy
their freedoms and rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights and subsequent instruments at the international,
regional and national levels.
soon mounted that President Museveni was moving away from national
interests to those of Bantu-speakers – especially a small group in
Ankole that was quickly amassing economic, political and military
analyses of the National Resistance Council and organs of government
found that Bantu-speakers had gained disproportionately in the
dispensing of patronage affording them access to material wealth. On
the other hand, the northern non-Bantu speakers had been given no
more than token representation in the Government out of proportion
with their numbers in the population and to individuals who had
neither experience nor substantial political support in their own
New York Times (February 7, 2009) has reported that the Lord’s
Resistance Army may have had some legitimate grievances including
oppression of Acholi people when it started its rebellion.
marginalization in political economy processes, rising unemployment
and nutrition insecurity, increasing alcoholism, crime, violence and
a breakdown in social and cultural fabric as well as refusal to
consider national government coalition have created conditions
leading to Uganda being described as a failing or failed state.