Two months of sustained distressing news from distant places first in Wuhan province, China about the devastating Coronavirus, now named Covid-19, by the World Health Organization (WHO) has killed about one thousand three hundred people there provide an interesting review of the infertile local elite. The second and equally fearsome, is the invasion of Uganda this week by desert locusts.
By Ofwono Opondo
It is a year since the ever-upbeat DP president, Norbert Mao, launched “DP re-union” and forming the ‘Bloc’’ in Masaka, hoping to resurrect the lost fortunes of Uganda’s oldest political party founded in 1964, based on dejection, religious and tribal sectarianism. That re-union was, partly to lure back estranged tribalists from Buganda like Erias Lukwago, Mathias Mpuuga, Betty Nambooze, Muwanga Kivumbi, Samuel Lubega Mukaku, Sebuliba Mutumba, and Lulume Bayiga.
NRM’s road to the 2021 general election victory appears guaranteed and painted with undeniable achievements, although also tainted by a myriad of visible internal malaise that threatens to dent the glory if not dealt with quickly. Last week’s decision by NRM three top organs, to have internal elections held by openly lining up behind candidates should be a welcome development on many accounts, firstly, to cut costs, deepen transparency and truthfulness among party members to each other. Queuing could eliminate double crossing candidates by mischievous voters.
Today marks thirty-four years since the resilient and glorious National Resistance Movement/Army (NRM/A) under the leadership of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni captured Kampala. The battle for Kampala, marked the defeat and retreat of UPC and UNLA remnants, which also ended the reign of terror, uncertainty, and political anguish that accompanied national ruin and state collapse in Uganda’s first two decades of independence.
A small section of the political and media class is wagging their loose tongue faulting President Yoweri Museveni for having not walked the entire 195km trek from Galamba in Wakiso to Bireembo in Kakumiro district on foot having chosen to partly drive about half the route. For the record, President Museveni actually walked 84km of the trek including climbing the three most treacherous Kanzira, Katera and Butoloogo among the Singo hills. In addition to being long and winding, there are also very steep and stony.
The year 2020 is beginning in a high notch considering that yesterday Saturday, President Yoweri Museveni began his long march from Galamba in Wakiso to Birembo in Kibaale district, a distance of about one hundred ninety-five kilometers leading liberation war veterans, servicing army personnel, political leaders and youths. The trek will be over a six-day period with rests at eight preselected venues where captivating war story-telling will be over camp fires.
The year 2019 is coming to a peaceful end, with Uganda steadily marching off in stability, national unity, democracy, freedom and an all-round progress, contrary to the alarmist assessments that the collective opposition made at the beginning. At the time, taking false advantage over insecurity, murders, robbery with violence, and widespread economic uncertainties especially among the vulnerable urban poor, unemployed youths, and rural folks, the opposition believed that sudden and sad end of NRM and President Yoweri Museveni had approached.
The much anticipated cabinet reshuffle made by President Yoweri Museveni last Saturday appears to have come too late, too little in the estimation of many Ugandans who had believed that a massive shake up was necessary to kick out evident inertia in what had been christened Kisanja hakuna mchezo. Clearly, the public is demanding that more blood flows especially on corruption related issues which they believe this reshuffle hasn’t decisively dealt with, but merely people going through the revolving door.
Uganda is entering that time, the election campaign season when opposition groups and their allies in the civil society and Western so-called donor groups accuse the NRM, and President Yoweri Museveni of dipping hands into the public till to run elections campaigns. But knowing that no opposition group has independent, reliable and sufficient sources, we must ask them if their tree isn’t rotten as well.
In the last three months Cabinet has vacillated with statements over the possibility of permitting the development of hydro-power dams on Uhuru and Murchison Falls (devil’s cauldron) along River Nile three times. That vacillation is causing anxiety and suspicion that perhaps government is acting under pressure from a dubious hand, up to no good, and the public is spoiling for a big fight.