M7’s many districts could be explained with the 1,2,3,4 doctrine:One wife; two children; a three-bedroom house; a four-wheeled vehicle

Leading Uganda is not about being glib.The point is, leading Uganda is not about ear-to-ear smiling, if snarling, day in and day out, and blaring out at every passer-by as “brother”, “sister”, had lunch with so and so, and all that sort of rubbish that should left to con persons. Leading Uganda is about deep reflection, it is about wearing a scraggy frown, it is about brutal truthfulness and aversion to papering over issues. It is about being a philosopher king.

I do recall warning NRA (as UPC would call it), to free themselves from “the Okellos”. I once told them that the world was changing and there are more determined adversaries that will emerge and if you are still excited by defeating the Okellos, they may not know what will disorganise them from another angle. I was a mere Corporal, so…………………………That warning stands for nay organisation that gets overtaken by the victories or defeats of yesterday, and forgets that tomorrow will present itself with completely new challenges. Indeed, when AM Obote was gloating at the rather pacifist PK Semogerere, taunting him: “Brother Semugererere, show me your generals”, he did not know that there were more furious adversaries stalking the UPC. They were fixated on DP, it did not pay. They are now fixated on NRA, it will not pay, because they will be shocked when the carpet is swept from below their feet, and they are dispatched as an organisation, probably with the eternal enemy, the NRA. As for UPC “generals”, the rest is history.

When we were young foot soldiers, we harboured a dose of resentment for the by-product of the overhyped secondary school called Makerere University; particularly because of what, we were told, was their principle ideology: the 1,2,3,4 doctrine.

The 1,2,3,4 doctrine means, One (official) wife; two children; a three-bedroom house; a four-wheeled vehicle (preferably, four wheel drive with a four litre engine). Apparently, that is all that the Makerere (large noises?) graduate possess as life’s ultimate ideal.

Right there in the 1,2,3,4 doctrine, the national manager is faced with a tough contradiction whose two poles are:

1. A yawning gap in “service delivery” to a largely rural population.
2. The abundance of a 1,2,3,4 bureaucratic, intellectual and technical elite (with an overinflated opinion of itself).
The question then becomes: how do you resolve that contradiction?

One of the two above is the means and the other is the end. One is primary and the other is secondary. The big-shot mentality of the “Moja, Mbili, Tatu, Nne pseudoelite” is, that if you are to be assigned as a public servant outside the confines of the national capital to the outlying country (which is literally 2 miles beyond the “city” centre), you have to go there as a “District-something” at a minimum: District Medical Officer, District Veterinary Officer…the same with education, administration, agriculture, culture, youth…mention it.

Here is how our Roman Catholic Priest Kiringente parish used to resolve a similar contradiction. Roman Catholic doctrine prohibited(or prohibits still?) the consumption of meat on fridays, except fish. When the Faza (Father) Pio found himself stuck only with beef or chicken on friday, he would have to sort out two contradictions: the subjective one to do with some obscure doctrine and the objective one to do with basic survival by avoiding starvation. Solution: take the beef to the altar in the Kelezia, and in the name of the father the son and the ghost, “I baptize this beef as fish, and from thence onwards it shall be fish”…sprinkle some water here and there…Kwisha!..and on to the kitchen, and a friday dinner of “fish”. Amen.

Now, if you have an elite with such a huge ego that they will not take any title that is not prefixed by the word “District”, you are in a bit of a fix. They will not be called Sub county Medical officers, or Sub county Education Officers etc, and those aspects of public service will remain unsuperintended by those with the knowhow, if know who. What do you do? Use Faza Pio doctrine. Get the thing called the Sub County, bundle it to the Kelezia called parliament full of rubber-stamp catechists that are indebted to you, cause them to baptize the Sub county as the “District” all in the name of the goat and the rooster…or whatever is on the Court of Arms….Amen.

That is how you deal with a philosophically constipated pseudoelite that will not distinguish between form and essence: essentially they will be sub county notables but in form, they will District this and District that; while taking services to the people shall cease to be irritating claptrap. “No money for many districts”: that is more of popular rubbish that it is enlightened public opinion.

Vote Retarded Lance Corporal Otto into State House now and I would baptise the sub parish as the “District”, if only to massage the morbid egos of the muddle-headed 1,2,3,4 pseudoelite, and take those services as deep down as the mayumba kumi. The end would justify the means.

Lance Corporal (Rtd) Patrick Otto



One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Jonny Rubin.,

    What a sense of humour! Well, if you were talking to me directly I would thank you for telling me nothing really, in a manner that left nothing unsaid. You remind me of someone who said, ” Ah, he knows nothing and claims to know everything; that’s clearly a qualification for a political career.”
    I always enjoy your analysis of political, cultural, or historical matters.
    Webale muno, Patrick Otto (L/ Cpl rtd)
    BJ. Rubin.

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