Kabaka Mutesa II was exemplary leader in many ways

As we look for quality leaders to govern Uganda in post-NRM regime, we need to look at those that have led Uganda at provincial and/or national levels and draw some lessons on the basis of a set of parameters. They should include inter alia pragmatism, ability to adjust to changing circumstances and compromise with those he/she deals with. Mutesa II (RIP) met these requirements.

During negotiations for political and administrative reforms with Governor Andrew Cohen, Mutesa realized that the Lukiiko was very unhappy. He quickly changed course with help of a remark that was made by a colonial official in London that East African territories would at some undefined time in the future form a political federation.

During the constitutional discussions for Uganda’s independence, the Kabaka did not insist on getting all that Buganda had demanded. He was happy with what the kingdom achieved and expressed the hope that the rest would be negotiated later.

Not least, regarding one of the most delicate issues in the constitutional discussions – the Lost Counties – it is reported that the Kabaka reconciled himself to the idea of a referendum.

Ipso facto, potential leaders will need to be scrutinized to determine whether or not they exhibit the qualities defined above. Thus as soon as possible Ugandans need to agree on a set of conditions that every aspirant must be assessed against. This will be even more urgent as we look for a team of leaders rather than a single one – an arrangement that hasn’t served Uganda well in the absence of strong institutions. There must be no short cut for anybody.

Eric Kashambuzi