As we head for 2021 elections, many Ugandans are crying for change & thus supporting politicians & political organizations that they feel can defeat Gen Museveni. In the same sense, whenever opposition attempts to front a joint candidate, the debate has always been on who has the popularity to defeat Museveni.
Many especially youth think that when Museveni leaves power, Uganda will become a paradise & this explains why we always focus on removing NRM as an end in itself. Whereas many would wish to hear that, the bitter truth is that when Museveni goes, the real struggle will begin. Because some one’s boyfriend is bad, doesn’t necessarily make any available man the better alternative, because I don’t want to eat chicken doesn’t mean any available food is the right one, it could be pork yet am a muslim, because Obote was bad didn’t mean that Amin was good.
Indeed, many countries have had change of leaders, but the status hasn’t necessarily changed. Libya changed from Gadafi, Sudan from Bashir, Iraq from Sadam, Egypt from Hosni Mubarak, DRC from Mobutu to Kabila, Uganda from Obote to Amin, etc. The change of leaders didn’t necessarily mean change to prosperity. It’s possible to fall from flying pan to fire, just like Uganda Police came from hands of Kale Kayihura to Ochola.
Ugandans should not just look at merely having change but rather the quality of change matters a lot. We have 45 million Ugandans of which 70% are below 30 years, by 2050 we shall have 100 million people. These need food, education, health services, housing, jobs, water, security etc. We are in a global world where a Ugandan child in a dilapidated UPE school is competing with a Chinese child who is manufacturing watches. We need a leader that has the capacity, the will, the discipline, the exposure, the experience & the skills to address those challenges.
A President doesn’t only take charge of local issues but handles issues regional stability, economy, national security etc. It’s not just about having the will to fix those things, it’s also about having the capacity to manage. Amin possibly had the will to develop the country but he lacked the skills to balance all factors at play.
As Maxwell says, everything raises & falls on leadership. The office of the President can break or build a country.
As we choose political Parties & candidates, the questions should be, who is capable not only to defeat Museveni but also to change the state of affairs of this country?
Can this person or group of people (party) be trusted with the security of 45 million Ugandans? Can he handle volatile relations with Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania or DRC which harbors criminal gangs? Can he handle the question of terrorists in Somalia to have a stable region for trade? Can he handle issue of economy & fiscal policy? Can this leader balance interest of Ugandans versus international bodies like World Bank or IMF? Can he resolve tribal tensions in Rwenzori, historical issues of Buganda Kingdom? can he initiate policies that will create employment opportunities? Can this person reconcile the country, rebuild regions that have been marginalized without necessarily avenging against others?
If a candidate or a party can’t manage those questions, even if you love them still know that they can’t afford & don’t take a risk of handing this country to any one just because you want change or you love them.
Ugandans don’t deserve simply to have change, they need a positive change, they don’t simply need a new face in state house, they need the right person in state house & if they scan through all available candidates, Ugandans should have the brain enough to realise that of the candidates its only Mugisha Muntu & ANT who have the necessary credentials to stear this country.
May God bless you
The writer is a member of the Alliance for National Transformation