Below are the merits of dictatorship I learnt about dictatorship at NCO Academy:
1. It means a powerful and efficient government. A heavy hand is put on anti-social and anti-national forces. The conditions of law and order are restored in a short time. The government does not spend time on unnecessary discussions. Promptness in administration can be seen, because things move expeditiously at the behest of the dictator.
2. It assures progress and prosperity of the people by taking quick action. The dictator tries to solve social and economic problems of the people so as to legitimize his iron rule. Political stability is brought about and new plans of social and economic development are implemented with the result that overall development of the country can be taken note of.
3. It recognises the element of quality or merit. It stands on the principle of natural inequality of mankind. The dictator acts with the assumption that only a chosen few have the talent to run the administration of the country. In this way, the lazy and incompetent persons are deprived of the privilege to mess around with power.
4. It enhances glory and prestige of the nation. A weak government cannot protect the honour of the motherland. Dictatorship makes the nation strong. The name of the nation is glorified and a policy of ‘blood and iron’ is pursued by the government to restore the honour of the country. Lost areas are taken back; humiliating treaties are abrogated; enemies of the country are severely dealt with.
5. It can meet the situations of emergencies effectively. Whenever the security and stability of a country is endangered by the conditions of war, external aggression or internal subversion, a dictatorial system works well to meet the problems.
I do not know what the Kampala government has told you, but what I can confidently say is that for many many years to come, the country is going to remain unstable. The question is: who will stabilise the instability? The instability is stable. And that is very important. Extremely important.”The patient is in stable condition” does not mean “recovered”. They will even say, “critically ill but stable”.
For example: It is one thing for rebel groups to emerge and another thing for governments to fall every other year. Emergence of rebel groups is a sign of instability. When such groups go a head to constantly overturn governments with resultant anarchy, you are talking of unstable instability. The people of NRM will tell you that their tenure in office has been marked by the emergence of at least a dozen and a half rebel groups (instability), but the reign of only one government (stability). Not a dozen and a half. I am told that the former London spokesperson of the Teso-based UPA is now the PPS of the NRM founder…..
Another example: When there is going to be tension between provincial notables like RM Mutebi and national authorities, there is bound to be instability. The stability of that instability lies in the fact that there will be predictable push and pull but RM Mutebi will not be deported, or exiled or his palace will not (yet) be a target of a military assault. There will be a constant search for an equilibrium.
Uganda or Somalia are not therefore failed states.When a three months old pregnancy is aborted, do we talk of a still birth? When your little ones were losing their milk teeth, would you call them “failed children”? “Moving beyond that level”: which level are we at? May be we are behaving exactly the way we are supposed to be behaving!
Think of Somalia and wonderful people that call it a failed state. If you hire an autistic child minder and your child becomes a “Kasiru”, do you call that child a failed child? Somalia was colonised by Italy. As late as 1846 Metternich of Austria was describing Italy as a “mere geographical expression”, and a few years later, Bismarck was inviting the same Italy to also partake of the scramble for Africa. What did we expect a former Italian colony to become?
Recall Italy in 1870 was like DRC. If DRC became a colonial master, what would you expect its colony to become after independence?….in a few words, in Somalia, Italy created itself in its own image! So, is the failure really Somalia’s?…..recall Italy has since the end of WWII had over 60 governments. It is a failed state, to such a point that in 1990, Gadhaffi was offering to provide political leadership. So, what do you expect of its former colony?
Let us call off these platitudes of “failed state”, “good governance” etc. They are conceptually and historically anaemic.
Lance Corporal (Rtd) Patrick Otto
Lance Corporal (Rtd) Otto Patrick