Summary: In perusing Uganda’s party-political history, two Youth leagues and their violence come to mind, both threw punches at National Delegates Conferences and elsewhere. But they differ on two ingredients . One: the reasons. Two: the action of the parent’ bodies, in the wake of the youth chaos. Have a look.
A. Case one:
1) It is 1964. The Cold war and therefore the ideological war is raging, not only between the Super powers but also between their lackeys, Uganda not excluded. The UPC delegates’ conference has to take place in Gulu. As a prelude to that, things in Buganda are ‘hotting up’. The UPC cannot consider itself a national party without branches in Buganda [UPC-KY provision in the Alliance Agreement]. The UPC Buganda youth are therefore punching it out (must have seen pictures of youthful Bidandi Ssali, Ssegwanga Misisi, etc throwing punches at the UPC Buganda office). The struggle is bigger though. One Kakonge has graduated with an M.Sc. in Agriculture from India but, drunk on liberation ideology, has become the first Ugandan graduate, with a Masters at that, to not seek a job! Obote is scared. The western -leaning ideologues [the wa-Bezi group] are scared. They must be shown exit. And the Place: Gulu.
2) The UPC went to Gulu. Punches flew. There was an ideological shift. The so called socialists/young Turks were overthrown. Kakonge was no more as Party CEO or Secretary General. The Ibingira-Nadiope group won, especially with the Busoga ‘validation act’ as the icing.
Cause: The struggle was purely ideological.
Verdict: The unruly youth wing was proscribed. The Executive banned the UPC youth Wing[what democracy???] In other words, in its usual ‘cannibalistic style’, the party ‘fed on its own children’, the divide-and-rule way.
B. Case two
The year is 2010
3. The venue is Mandela National Stadium at Namboole [a project first mooted by the Chinese in 1965]. The Regime is a mature plutocracy. It is NRM primary elections, whereby the winner is assured of 100% [??] rigged success in the upcoming National elections.
Dictatorships thrive on the divide-and-rule theme of old and ‘power-drunkenness’ which, combined, make the oligarchs allergic to democracy.
4. Look: NRM say they have called the youth to Namboole but BUT in detail, they are in reality bunches of Northerners, Buganda representatives (not Baganda), Easterners and so called ‘Westerners’ [some districts in the west are represented by Kampala residents].The way things move, it is obvious that the party CEO, one Mbabazi has deployed his ubiquitous forces such that his ‘region mates’ have everything easy. Meanwhile, the tough, excitable Bagisu are causing chaos with their ‘imbalu‘ [circumcision] dancing, which takes the DISO’s, GISO’s and the other Mbabazi’s ‘underground forces’, by surprise. Why? In a mob environment, anything like sloganeering can be followed. Indeed that is what ensures, eventually: the Northern youth, taking advantage of the mob-atmosphere, announce and tell any journalist that wishes to hear, how the westerners have gerrymandered all proceedings.
5. In the command centre, the powers that be are worried. The first question from the “Big Man” to Mbabazi seems to be, “Who are these people and who is their leader? Who is the architect of this disaffection’ did their money not reach them?“. When the answer came that these were possibly IPC/FDC youth from Acholi, the boss did not take it on the surface. So, instead of banishing them as the 1964 leaders did at Gulu, the big man took his usual wisdom, against advice: He went on air and addressed the conference and the Nation and named the culprits: the Conference Organizers and the NRM Electoral Commission (in other words, those ‘westerners’ and Mbabazi’s and cheats are NOT M7 style!!”
6. This way, the big man achieved many things:
i. The NRM chaos is not of his own making.
ii. the so-called ‘westerner’ vehicle to power is an imaginations. people make mistakes individually.
iii. by openly distancing himself from the chaos, the Big man can soothe the rebellious youth and therefore keep them in the fold. He will appear [to the partisans,, to the Ugandans and most important, to his maters the Works over, to be above all the shame, corruption and the chaos that has characterized the NRM ‘selections’ and vote buying.
i. . Causes: The 1964 UPC youth league chaos was ideologically based. It was not partisan. The NRM 2010 one is tribal, encouraged to be that.
ii. The 1964 Gulu-chaos was sectored into sides based on elders’ groups. The Ibingira-Kakonge divide was clear. the 2010 Nambole thing is based on ‘who has paid out more money?’
iii. The 1964 youth ‘riots’ took on the leadership but the 2010 NRM is funny: It’s the youth against the youth, on a tribal basis. That these are/maybe FCD, DP or any other agent provocateurs does not hold water because, after all, they hold NRM party cards and have been elected by their colleges back home.
iv. Finally, except by partaking of the opposition tear-gas, the NRM leadership has not done anything about the rioting youth. they are encouraged, instead, to act as they have, because that is the modus operandi of the party.
Uganda is gone and is now a failed state, where hooliganism, even inside the “Party and State” (fused together), is tolerated, if not encouraged. Pray for us. To the “North American Association”: Did you have “The Restoration of Uganda as a Country-State” as a Prayer item on the Agenda- although it is reported here you were not enthusiastic about your meet this year?