I believe that as with industrial revolution, we need more stakeholders in the nation’s socio-economic arrangements to spur a nationalistic discourse. The imperative for this threshold is education.
The more we provide informational, enlightening education to more Ugandans, the less likely our citizens will be so subservient as to be easily manipulated and controlled by one Individual.
So, the liberation of Uganda is dependent on the quality of awareness of every Ugandan.
What system has always existed in Uganda that frustrated Obote, Amin, Binaisa, Obote, Okello and Museveni, to the extent that their leadership performance stayed at par? How was that “system” established in the country, and by whom?
Is Uganda irreversibly divided on tribal, religious or regional lines? My answer is a huge NO, Ugandans have always lived and operated above pretty tribalism.
Until Museveni stepped in, no Ugandan president had run a lopsided government, such as his that is always filled with his village-mates and tribes-mates at key national sectors.
As citizens, we need to wake up and face some hard realities.I think one of our major weaknesses is the ridiculous culture of acquiescing to leadership. We are not, inherently a questioning, demanding and forceful people. So, we accept mediocrity, mistreatment and misrule by a few citizens who happen to be in charge of something we need.
Visit any government office and see how long people stand in line to be served, while the midget behind the desk is taking his tea! We do this because we fear making demands even when we have the right to do so.
Or, how often do you see grown men and women, lying or kneeling to great a leader. That meekness has been exploited by power-hungry leaders because, they correctly realize that, a man who will readily kneel at your feet is unlikely to challenge what you tell him.
It may be due to cultural sensitivities, but we need to drop some of these subservience in order to stand face-to-face with these leaders and look them in the eye.
One other weakness, which is on its way out, had been general poor education and limited awareness of national, regional and world affairs as they may relate to us individually or as tribes or as a nation. In the bad days, mass media was government-controlled, so all the news we got was government-approved.
With the influx of the media in the past three decades, Ugandans are likely to learn about a major corruption in the government from sources other than Radio Uganda. But we need to take advantage of this information outlets and cause changes in the government.
For example, right now, we have the Railway scandal, where a former PS has alleged that over $1 M exchanged hands, among other questionable activities involving the contract to build the railway line.
How do we handle this information? What will we do if the government, as usual, closes the case without holding anyone to account?
This is where our elected representatives must step up and do their job of supervising the government. But if they don’t do anything about it, then how do we show our displeasure?
Recalling them or voting them out would the next logical recourse, but will we?
Someone once said that the major weakness of democracy is the ignorance of the masses; we’re coming out of that ignorance stage, except ours is compounded by a cultural observations that automatically place us as second citizens.I don’t think that being assertive is the same as being disrespectful. Ugandans have been trained or conditioned to be subservient, meekly seeking the approval of authority without questioning its sanity.
This is the source of our vulnerability, which unscrupulous, opportunistic leaders, from Obote to Museveni, have exploited to keep us down and in trepidation.Our institutions – civil service, the judiciary, police force, education, are what the leader wants them to be. These institutions change names and missions as often as national leadership changes.
To stop this whimsical enterprise that we call the presidency, we must change some characteristics of our culture that endear us to the world, but perpetually hold back as victims at home.
Edward Pojim via the UAH forum