Why the next Muganda president may not solve Baganda problems.

There are some Baganda who are reasoning that they have suffered more than any other group in Uganda since independence. To end this suffering the next president of Uganda must be a Muganda. But those in favor of this idea must bear in mind that a president per se may not do much. Baganda should take a broader view and look at Baganda that have played a role in Uganda since 1962 including presidents, vice presidents, prime ministers and those that have served in senior positions like the police and the army. When you do this check you are going to realize that it takes more than mere numbers and status to produce the desired results. This honest analysis may help to rethink the strategy. Let us see what the record holds for Baganda.

Baganda have had:

1. Four presidents namely Mutesa II; Lule; Binaisa and Muwanga (he served as the real head of state when he was chairman of the military commission);

2. Four vice presidents namely Muwanga; Kisekka; Bukenya and Ssekandi;

3. Three prime ministers namely Kisekka; Kintu Musoke, Apolo Nsibambi;

4. Two second and third deputy prime ministers namely Paul Ssemogerere and Abu Mayanja;

5. One vice chairman of the ruling NRM party Moses Kigongo;

6. One inspector general of police Katumba Wamala;

7. One army commander Katumba Wamala;

8. Many ministers in key and strategic ministries namely foreign affairs, internal affairs, finance, attorney general, security, education, local government etc.

No other region has had such senior representation in the central government since independence. Buganda and more specifically Kampala has remained the economic, social and cultural hub of Uganda. Currently some 80 percent of Uganda’s Gross National Income (GNI) is generated in Kampala and surrounding areas.

Conclusion: it is not the accumulation of these things that matters. It is the spirit and dedication to serving the people and making sure that the benefits trickle down to the rest of the population. Getting the next Muganda as president could possibly make matters worse as he/she tries to appease Ugandans from other region in order to keep the position, making Baganda suffer even more.

Solution: Uganda needs a dedicated person who will be bold and take tough decisions including solving the land grab problem; tightening the flow of migrants into Uganda; giving priority to Ugandans in employment; providing quality, relevant education to enable Ugandans to compete at home and abroad; healthcare that prevents and cures diseases; food and nutrition security that will build immunity and improve performance and increase productivity including school feeding program that improve school attendance and performance especially of girls.

We shall need a leader that will launch a conditional cash transfer to poor households as is being done in Brazil, India, Tanzania, Nigeria etc to get people out of poverty. Security insurance would also be necessary. We shall need a leader that will negotiate a good deal for Ugandans in the East African community; not the current one that has opened Uganda borders to an influx of non-Ugandans because of the unregulated travel arrangements within the community members. In part because of this Uganda has more men than women, indicating that we are getting more men than women coming into Uganda; Uganda will need a leader that will give identity cards to Ugandans not foreigners. We shall need a leader that will not rely on mercenaries to survive. I could go on but for now this is enough to chew on.

In looking for the next leader that could be a Muganda or someone else let us first look at what needs to be done and then pick the leader that fits this profile.

Eric Kashambuzi