Sunday, January 1, 2023

Three years of the Covod-19 pandemic and its effect had extended a false belief in Uganda’s fickle political opposition that NRM and president Yoweri Museveni had lost grip on the sails but well, they got crushed instead.  

2022 has ended as another year of misery from all the doom predictions they made. The economic tailspins of high commodity prices especially fuel and transport, cost of living, and inflation had provided the drowning men with straws to clutch on.

DP president general Norbert Mao at long last joined government as minister of Justice and Constitutional affairs. How he squares that with his previous stand, only him can satisfactorily answer, but you have to love him for firmly standing his ground in the face of crude assaults from his former colleagues.  As for the collective opposition groups, it’s truly difficult to understand what they stand for, except personal needs. They appear completely rudderless and in disarray. 

As the economy recovers and posting positive projections against all odds, the scare-mongers in opposition, academics, and ‘analysts’ are now left on the bench writhing hands and gnashing teeth. With these scares they had hoped to thwart Uganda’s quest of attracting the much needed 21st century investments and jobs.

Usually, these groups pontificate how NRM government has rundown Uganda’s economy but don’t provide sensible alternative policy options that can be applied to boost the economy, or for creating the necessary environment to spur innovation and creativity among local entrepreneurs. When they see some misfortune, they talk with gusto as if they have no responsibility whatsoever in building Uganda except to lambast President Museveni.

While there appears to be so much opportunity on the horizon, political and religious leaders should have a message that uplifts our national spirit that it can be done even when it looks hard and bleak. But unfortunately, these leaders are dumb, and offer very little demonstration effect to communities where they live, work or originate. The net effect has been complacency, a growing beggar mentality and surrender.

Critics have the right to continuously flay President Museveni as they have done for a quarter century, but surely, many people are getting sick and tired of critics who only put their fingers in the air to see which direction the wind blows. Wringing, whining, and moaning cannot help the country. Opposition MPs are getting away with barely a scratch for their ineptitude and unhelpful behavior like calling for business shut-down, full-blown violent street actions, sit-ins and knock-on homes of NRM leaders as a way of intimidating people they don’t agree with.

It appears the professional opposition, so derisively called, is suffering from a common grief because of the unity within NRM the reason they won’t stop conjuring doom predictions. The problem for this opposition is that it is a collection of one-issue entity at a time, which they often use for internecine disputes, and fundraising hoping they can thwart any attempts at a progressive agenda.

Constant attacks on President Museveni are counterproductive because there is no ideological disagreement over where resources should be spent as a matter of policy priority. But President Museveni must play a chess game with the elected politicians in parliament because for now they are the ones with authority to allocate public resources otherwise the torpedo his progressive agenda.

Understandably people want quick and bigger spending on such areas as agriculture, health, education, and salaries for health workers and teachers as it directly affects most of them, but also because they have been made to falsely believe that government doesn’t take these issues seriously. And while there are glaring cases of duplication, wastefulness, laxity and lack of coordination, it is important for the public to appreciate that government works within the available resource envelop which includes the manpower with bad attitude and ethics.

Being in the opposition provides some glamour even when one would ordinarily not be considered intelligent because they feed the hungry ears of the ravenous press. Political junkies become centres of attention as pretender experts in virtually everything. Meanwhile, Besigye, Mao, Muntu, and Kyagulanyi, are now foursome claiming equal rank in the opposition although with a shared contempt for each other, and hoping to penetrate and hold the ground.

Muntu, who belatedly joined Besigye and opposition in 2005, is discovering that politics is a diabolical game in which presumed allies become enemies to hurt your interests permanently. Kyagulanyi is finding checkmates, who exploited his name as a convenient vessel to their desired destinations. The jostling appears less to replace NRM or President Museveni, but more for individuals to find space to collect perks, and so in the opposition, NRM must look deeper to fish.

Impassioned speeches by politicians should remind us that even Adolf Hitler, rode on sloganeering, but as populism gathers storm before subsiding, Ugandans should find at which point the contending groups will intersect, or cross each other. Otherwise all Ugandans should endevours to make 2023 tranquil, joyous and more productive to spread a shared prosperity.