I have been constructive in my criticism of NRM government

Ugandans and non-Ugandans who have followed my writings and speeches about the NRM government and President Museveni know that I have been constructive with a view to helping steer the government in the right direction. I have avoided personal attacks of individuals and their family members. I have written personal messages to the president; prime minister; speaker of parliament; minister and minister of state for finance, planning and economic development; permanent secretary of the ministry of foreign affairs and Uganda ambassador to the United Nations in New York giving them my honest views about Uganda’s political economy since 1986.

I fully supported the ten-point program because it was relevant and home-grown. But Museveni dropped it in exchange for the Washington Consensus or structural adjustment that I did not agree with. While in Kampala or when Ugandan officials came to New York where I reside I discussed with them what I thought was wrong. But they did not listen so I went public. Those who want to know what I have written about NRM government visit www.kashambuzi.com. It’s all there and comment on them constructively if you wish.

I have problems with Ugandans who worked with Museveni from the beginning and advised him on how to govern or without realizing it how mis-govern Uganda. They stayed with him and accumulated vast wealth until recently when they realized that Uganda is in real trouble and NRM might be removed peacefully or otherwise. Now they are conveniently jumping ship and are now blaming Museveni and his family alone for messing up Uganda. No single leader however authoritarian like Louis XIV of France governs a country alone. He/she has advisers in all sectors of society including the military, the church and civilian populations. When things go well the leader should share credit with them. Equally when things go wrong the leader should share blame with them.

David Sejusa formerly Tinyefuza is among Ugandans that worked closely with Museveni and his family. Sejusa was probably more powerful than Museveni because he could order the arrest or torture of Ugandans without Museveni’s permission. He could harass Ugandans in the Diaspora without Museveni permission. So Sejusa should be collectively and individually responsible for his commissions and/or omissions.

I am not a Museveni supporter – contrary to the views expressed by people desperate to destroy what I stand for – and want him to go but let us be fair. All those who have worked with him and witnessed Uganda sink into the ground should not run away and hold Museveni and his family members accountable alone. Sejusa must be one of them.

Ugandans should therefore not listen to those Ugandans that participated in crippling Uganda and her people when they start bad mouthing Museveni and his family alone. They are equally responsible and should be held accountable when the time comes.

Meanwhile let us focus on what needs to be done. Those aspiring to be the next leaders should tell Ugandans what they see that has gone wrong and what they plan to do to right the situation for the benefit of all Ugandans.

Since 2011 when I joined radio Munansi and got elected Secretary General of UDU, I have written and spoken extensively – building on what I had done earlier – about what has gone wrong in Uganda, what needs to be done to correct it and how it should be done. Since November 2013 when Ugandans at home and in the Diaspora met in The Hague and subsequently in London at the end of June, 2014, we have adopted a roadmap and methods for removing NRM from power by non-violent resistance and inroads are being made. As Secretary-General of UDU with responsibility inter alia for diplomatic networking we have done a lot that has contributed to concrete actions including reduction in donor support to the NRM regime. We worked hard before the US-Africa Leaders Summit took place and you all know what happened. The record speaks for itself.

UDU developed a National Recovery Plan (NRP) and is available at www.udugandans.org. Kindly visit the blog for the details of what we have done since 2011.

We are now advocating peaceful change of the regime in Uganda. We have suggested for stability inclusion of everyone in the transitional government that should be led by a presidential team instead of one person who accumulates power and misuses it. The transitional government should besides day-to-day state activities, conduct a complete population census for purposes of development planning and demarcating constituencies of equal voting numbers; convene a national convention so that Ugandans discuss and agree on how they want to be governed. Those who want federal governance should get it and those who want other arrangements should spell them out and have them. We should move away from a one size-fits-all situation or cookie cutter administrative designs. Meanwhile institutions should be strengthened so that an individual leader is not allowed to decide arbitrarily.

Those who criticize UDU and The Hague Process (THP) should focus on these proposals. Instead many have chosen to focus on Eric Kashambuzi as an individual accusing him of being retired forgetting that retired people have accumulated vast experience and are wiser. I have accumulated vast experience that has kept me in business at the highest level in the intergovernmental process. They forget how old Mandela was when he became president of South Africa. They forget how old Deng Xiaoping was when he became leader of China. They forget how old Rao was when he became leader of India. They forget how old Adenauer was when he became the chancellor of West Germany. They forget how old Reagan was when he became president of USA. I could go on.

They also attack Eric Kashambuzi for being short. They forget to explain why I am short. They forget that short men have been among the best leaders in the world – in government, in the military and in other occupations. Let me remind them. James Madison father of the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the two-term president of USA was short. Napoleon Bonaparte was short. Julius Caesar was short. Oscar Kambona, one of the best African foreign ministers was short. Many of these critics because they are huge they think that makes them fit to lead – not necessarily. Uganda has had some really huge leaders – Amin and Museveni. Yet under their rule Uganda has sunk into the ground. Ipso facto Uganda needs a short man/woman to lead Uganda based besides on their expertise, experience, patriotism and above all impeccable character.

Eric Kashambuzi