Ugandans, in retrospection, have in the immediate past appreciated that whoever sets our national standards and agenda higher than the bar, most especially when it comes to the maintenance of our country’s peace, security and stability stands to win the general elections.
They are always averse to untested pair of hands; which hands are littered everywhere amongst the recessing opposition. And this is not without a background; it’s an uncomfortable reality to the Kamwokya based and red-hooded haters of peace who of recent have resorted to unorthodox political posturing. Their earlier ilk plunged our country into an abyss from 1966 to 1986. It would be the greatest folly for Ugandans to embrace those groups whose norms are simply fluid and because of their limited appreciation of our dark past. Fortunately, in our case, our voters’ expectations do not simply shift, they are based on a candidate’s past and present valor.
Prior to the advent of the Yoweri Museveni administration in 1986, we were environed to accept the debilitating and ignominious insecurities from which we were delivered by his safe pair of hands as well as the stoicism and endurance of his compatriots. Ugandan voters, therefore, will not, as they have always done, gamble and choose, in 2021, the opposition whose agenda includes playing by renegade rules of remonstrations like defiance, riotous protests, walk-to-work and the savagery of nailing the 21 year old and NRM supporter, Baker Kasumba’s hands together last year. Already the NRM has six unopposed MPs; that speaks volumes about the party’s strength.
A survey of the opposition’s pack that is seeking the office of chief executive officer of Uganda shows none has what it takes to effectively secure the country in a volatile region bedeviled by insecurities. The western neighborhood simmers with countless insurgencies pulling in all directions just like the northern one.
The southern unhinged neighborhood that, in this age closes its boarders with us to the detriment of East African integration, calls for a tested leadership and robust agenda which Yoweri Museveni does not lack. The President’s ingenuity of upping the nation’s economy from the doldrums of 1970s and 1980s, the restoration of traditional leaders, plus other political interventions like decentralization, involvement of the women, youth, workers PWDs and now the elderly in the last three decades, have, in combination, taken our country notches higher and restored Uganda into the international files of honor.
Bobi Wine and others in the opposition with a cognitive deficit in tow, while enjoying their crowded political canvass, have, so far unknowingly christened the opposition as a chaotic assortment hell-bent to stampede national progress. They have exhibited a general lack of knack to meld their jostling constituencies; they assume that by shouting from our capital’s bully-pulpit of the central business district that will supercharge their political batteries. From there, the public conversation will definitely take the usual course: Yoweri Museveni’s over 30 years of explicable public commission and a record spanning two centuries and three decades, a period of immense positive social-economic and political change are the reasons for his impeccable national and international standing.
His administration, though faced with the challenge of a generational divide, in which a rising cohort characterized by its diversity and exigencies, it has done the most in terms of advancing the youth agenda; that needs to be methodically explained: a burgeoned economy since 1986 has offered countless jobs especially in the private sector, youth representation at all political levels has churned out national leaders in droves, the youth livelihood fund has led to the massification of youth managed small businesses, etc.
The opposition’s mixture of paled fortunes and bravado which makes their rank and file punch above their weight deludes them to become politically rabid; some have kept a stranglehold on that sector and Bobi Wine, a “Johnny come lately,” cannot measure to the high standards set by Yoweri Museveni and that disarms them to a point of playing dirty through riotous protests and social-media-mongering. Such fiendish posturing may be politically satisfying and expedient but it comes with a cost; the Ugandan voter who loves peace is sick of that paralyzing polarization. Which is why the Patrick Amuriat-Bobi Wine couple as compared to Yoweri Museveni is only moonlight by the latter’s sunshine.
Ambassador Henry Mayega
Deputy Head of Mission
Uganda Embassy, Beijing, China