The ever jocular Norbert Mao a.k.a. Won kom, and venerable President General of Democratic Party (DP), Uganda’s oldest political party, finally capitulated to President Yoweri Museveni and NRM, isn’t surprising to keen watchers of Uganda’s recent history.
By Ofwono Opondo
The spectacular fall of Boris Johnson, the soon-to-be former British prime minister reminds us of what Brutus, the conspirator in Julius Caesar said that “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune,” yet when missed is “bound in shallows and in miseries”. Johnson, the boisterous snob in recent British politics, is probably known for delivering Brexit, although the UK remains in quandary.
President Yoweri Museveni means, and has all along meant well with every development initiative that targets the general population seeking to uplift them from social and economic doldrums into shared prosperity. The president is clearly unimpressed by the rate of socio-economic transformation where seven million households still live outside the money economy, working only for the stomach yet reeling in hunger, poverty and want.
Teachers climbed the summit and now hanging in own breeze over pay
On the eve of the Commonwealth meeting of the Heads of former British colonies, and recent entrants Rwanda and Mozambique, the Belgian government finally returned a tooth of Patrice Lumumba assassinated on 17 January 1961, having been ousted as the first elected prime minister of independent Republic of Congo. Lumumba’s body was later dissolved in acid to eliminate traceability and prevent any evoking any association with him. A Belgian police officer Gerard Soete, who supervised the murder, then took and kept the tooth as his private trophy.
On Tuesday this week many waited in vain for opposition MPs to again boycott or walk out of the Budget reading, and President Yoweri Museveni’s address thereafter to see how much the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LoP) Mathias Mpuuga and allies screw themselves up. Their staying put, made me think about the seeming lack of their wisdom as it showed that they actually don’t have a coherent and effect strategy on how to engage the NRM on parliamentary business, and their limits are being ruthlessly exposed by each passing day.
June 3rd and 9th are commemorated in Uganda as Martyrs and Heroes Days respectively under what some scholars still consider controversial circumstances that perhaps don’t deserve as there are many unsettled questions. However, even if many disagree with this narrative, conventional wisdom dictates that we don’t ruffle feathers, but instead maintain and enjoy the prevailing social harmony. And little know or celebrated in Uganda, 2nd June is also celebrated worldwide as the International Whores Day (Sex Workers Day) which some may find improper.
It was, Plato, in his book “The Republic” who first used the phrase, “necessity is the mother of invention”, that whenever problems arise, we must find creative and innovative solutions for them. This phrase comes handy today when the Western world, led by the US is slapping sanctions on Russia, China, and other countries they disagree with, and is causing global turmoil, all because the grandchildren of former slave owners seek to maintain global hegemony.
The ongoing chain of events in parliament where MPs are asking the tough questions on transparency, accountability, and suspected corruption through negligence, laxity and perhaps connivance, gives collective hope to the good things yet to come from the 11th parliament.
In 1986, at the start of his presidency, President Yoweri Museveni made a stopover at a fuel station in Kawempe to get his car tyre fixed and noticed that apart from tyre repairs and re-fuelling vehicles, there weren’t other services offered. When he next appeared at a public function he recounted his story having waited over an hour without refreshments offered to clients. He then advised fuel station and garage owners to establish restaurants so that when clients make stopovers they can refresh and quench thirst.