Ugandan leaders have all been the same with minor differences. If you trace carefully and critically, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni( YKM) is no different from Iddil Amin Dada and all the other past leaders he always despises. I expect the usual suspects to argue that YKM is miles ahead of the ruling class. Wapi. They have been a bunch of mediocre who failed to create long lasting stability in Uganda. Uganda today is no more stable than it was at the time of independence. Kingdoms were abolished but what did it achieve? Some could argue that it gave Uganda YKM.
See how his admirers measure transformation; YKM is supposed to be better because UPDF is more people friendly. Or he has allowed this or that or that people can at least sleep.
But if Ugandans were to be honest there is no social, political, economic transformation in Uganda. The people are again worried about the future. As The late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga famously wrote” it is not yet Uhuru” in Uganda. I dare anyone in Ugandans At HEART (UAH) to come forward and make the case that Uganda has undergone positive transformation since independence.
The national education system ended with Amin. Up to 1979, it did not matter much where one went to school. They had a fare shot at success. Things went downhill since then.
All past leaders and YKM shine from time to time in the eyes of their admirers because those who came after/before them set the bar so low. Look at YKM on corruption; it would be a real idiot who would not be better on his record. YKM is also the most tribalistic leader EVER in the history of Uganda and has no shame about it. He has screwed that country like never before, but because in some areas he is yet to reach the lows set by his predecessors, Ugandans still give him the benefit of the doubt, and YKM also goes chest thumping about it. The sad part is that Ugandans tolerate and even worship mediocrity in all spheres.
Yes, the Kingdoms can play a positive role in society. Why is it that the golden days in Buganda when Ugandans from all over the country could settle in Buganda without any problems was before or shortly after independence? Look at Ghana where cultural institutions are accepted and actually respected. No Ghanaian president can talk such nonsense you hear from YKM about kingdoms or traditional chiefs. A Ghanaian friend told me last week that his brother’s funeral is on hold in Accra because under the Gaa-the original ethnic groups around Accra-traditions, funerals cannot place there for some time. They are celebrating their traditions. There are Ugandans here in UAH forum that live in Ghana and can testify to that.
Now to the question some people wanted to ask: suppose Uganda was to embrace federalism how would Kingdoms fit in? Actually the question was settled in 1955 by what is famously known as the Namirembe Agreement of October 1955, which made it clear that Kingdom rulers would be Constitutional Monarchs like the Queen of England is today. I will not abuse the intelligence of UAH folks by explaining what a constitutional monarch is. So when you read Monday’s editorial in the New vision, you begin to understand what we are talking about: mediocrity all over. And by the way, the Namirembe agreement of 1955 applied to all kingdoms not just Buganda. The media in Uganda seems to be ignorant of this famous Agreement based on what they continue to spew out in their pages or editorials whenever YKM speaks out.
So people, ask yourself this question: why is it the case that in Uganda you see people-will not call them leaders-pretending to have what it takes to lead DP, UPC and other opposition parties. Some of the people in those political parties who offered to lead them should never have been in the race in the first place, but because mediocrity is now more or less the norm in Uganda, they offered themselves, and managed to cause chaos in opposition parties.
I am not going to get into the business of naming names here but take a critical look at the pretenders who threaten the identities of their respective parties? Are those the calibre of leaders to take down their traditional parties or to fight and die for? Put differently is the current NEC line up in political parties, particularly DP, in Uganda ,are they there on merit and have something to offer the country in terms of leadership.
UAH forumist in NewYork