Last week’s decision by parliament to set academic qualification for lower local government elected leaders in the electoral reform law is a step backwards in our universal, popular and participatory democracy. It is being motivated by a false hype of trust and perhaps arrogance in superficial elite education which has little to do with ethical values, patriotism, commitment to duty, progressive and transformative leadership which Uganda so badly needs.
By Ofwono Opondo
The political resurrection of the ebullient, cunning and yet aggressive Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Henry Tumukunde is almost complete, but only. We can now wait and see the influential endorsements that will line behind him as he brags of having one thousand underground tricks, although I guess none that big or credible will pop up any time soon. Ugandans may not be itching for another big revolution as Tumukunde seem to believe, the consideration of which, he should ask those from the same backyard, and ahead of him in political rebellion, Col. Kizza Besigye, Maj. Gen.
It may still be too early to extend some appreciation to the much-maligned Uganda Police Force, now headed by Okoth Martins Ochola (OMO), for scoring modest success in curbing crime waves hitherto characterized by violent robberies, murders, and kidnaps among others that had gripped the country since 2017.
It is a year since the grandiose opposition political groupings were reported mulling an alliance or working together to defeat the NRM, but perhaps more precisely dislodge President Yoweri Museveni, whose thirty-four years on the throne gives them goose pimples. It is also one year to the billed titanic 2021 general elections, but again, many groups are in tatters, and Uganda is like to witness huge stampede from many angles including acrimonious contestations over party membership registers, already triggered in DP.
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.
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.