I marvel at the way the executive is quick to embrace the idea of bringing political annihilation to the other leaders with the new parliamentary bill designed to curtail the political will and bring paralysis to traditional structures as ancient as the soil of the country itself . I’m in shock and awe at the timing and wondering this time who has anesthetized the NRM top brass to not realize that there is a chunk of voters out there who are traditionalists at the core.
If I were them “NRM top brass”, I would primarily concern myself with surgically dealing with any elements that might cause instability in the country or bring about insecurity . Killing the political will of institutions because insults were hurled at the president, despite their governance record which is far superior than the modern system being touted with increasingly deceptive presidential campaigns, is indeed a bizarre call and one which is hard to stomach.
Peaceful assembly and rallies of our kings to garner support for their immediate and future causes, should not be considered a taboo thing in Ugandans. If there are any lessons to be derived from kayunga, it is the president’s own doing with the new created virtual kings which caused the worst civil unrest bubble in Buganda’s history and when it came to burst many people lost their lives and folks like Betty N, were given political wings to fly in the country. I had forgotten that we are in a country that hardly goes through a post mortem of an incident or follow up to draw upon lessons learned from fatal mistakes of our immediate past.
In the case of Buganda and Bunyoro and other kingdoms with a long history of stable Kings, many traditionalists feel more comfortable putting their trust in these more traditional figure heads, for long they have come to terms with the fact that a central government exits and politically these two twin institutions should not be mutually exclusive in furthering the political aspirations of the nation. Though, if polls were conducted today, they would leave no doubt to our social scientists as to what is considered most popular and trusted by large masses of Ugandans in these regions.
However, a sense that their interests are best served with these more familial bonds build over the ages of time, should not be viewed as a rebuff of the central government but rather an opportunity to further strengthen the ties for a better Uganda.
When Britain’s Iron lady Margaret Thatcher, decided to remain the last friend of apartheid in South Africa, it took the Queen’s hand to nudge her into the proper line, now if she had been in Uganda with the new proposed political gag legislation being imposed on traditional figure heads, she would have been thrown in the slammer for towing a line that was morally right but not popular with the central Thatcher administration.
A deep mistrust exists of this fairly new institution “our central government”, while unwavering support and ancient chains of trust and allegiance flow deep in the veins of observant traditional Ugandans who are counting centuries, not decades, well served with a just a few hiccups by these traditional heads.
The people’s choice should come as no surprise to our central government which has had such a tumultuous history of barely 50 years in leadership, it’s time in service pales when compared to centuries of leadership boasted by our kingdoms. We already have a lot of orphaned institutions, why is the government preoccupied in orphaning these great ancient institutions?
The new institution central government has track record of failure, and it has been plagued with dictatorship, mayhem, fuzziness, promotion of a self serving culture and is often matching in an incomplete state of democratic demerits with every rising opportunity. This unstable history of the central government has made it nearly impossible for many Ugandans, traditionalists and non traditionalists alike to consider it a steady and proven rock of political stability.
The sooner our central government realizes the usefulness of a laissez faire climate for our traditional institutions and puts a cessation to harassment, curtailment and meddling in their internal political matters the faster we will get to a state of political equilibrium, whatever that may turn out to be.
People all over the world are now turning to bodies of common values to air out their views and to form alliances that address and protect their interests in an increasingly greedy corporate driven and insular central government, even in long lived democracies of the likes of the USA tea party loyalist are a force to contend with.
All able minded Ugandans should resist the temptation and attempt by such a young institution to define and to have an overriding force to kill the other as the bill being tabled by the current government seeks to do.
It will put us all in a state of in equilibrium creating an unnecessary vacuum and turn the people’s institutions into orphans of ineffectiveness, causing uncertainty in an already chaotic environment. Our collective psyche as a traditional people still relies heavily on these critical central figure heads, and their continued stability as a stable and reliable political force. Unifying the country will take more than the creation of lesser kings Mr. president ,we need reform frames that are well thought out.
These two systems with their imperfections must exist symbiotically for Uganda to continue on it’s rather foggy path of political hegemony. Looking at where we are now with inexplicable and unsolicited redistricting, a parliament and judiciary branch heavily tilted and dependent on the executive branch, absence of these traditional institutions in the current political arena would take away the only seemingly functional political institutions that we trust to bring checks and balances to an increasingly power thirsty central government.
Ugandan In Boston