Our weird political embroidery
Michael P. Kivumbi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
996’s Peace, Unity, Democracy and Modernization campaign message had such a great appeal to Ugandans, coming from all the embittering tyrannies that ever trailed the 1966 precedents. By the end of the polls, Yoweri K. Museveni had on merit basketed for himself a 75% landslide – Quite an exposé of how badly Ugandans wanted a mettlesome makeover of their brand, not only politically, but socially and economically as well.
This election was such a milestone upon which Uganda’s politics would hinge from nearly less than infancy to a rock-solid power-belongs-to-the-people adjunct in the constitution. This is apparent today. Some, nonetheless, still reckon it hypothetical to disanchor other Afro-centric prognostics who think Uganda should be excused from all such denigration having been downrightly an exemplary work in progress not after so long.
Personally, I am a maverick, but I can’t agree more with the optimists this time. There has forever been a feasibility question on the working of all these democracy ideologies in the African setting.
This continent is a kings’ world and the subjects are almost instinctively attuned to decrees. It’s a heritage thing – One was either making demands or obeying them.
Pretty authoritative, if you will call it, but it was availing because of its “discipline”; until colonialism changed everything when with it crept in the White-man’s liberalism as if to menace all African political sanity and serenity.
While many Africans figured it was hijack, at the same time it turned out too alluring for them to flout. They got themselves entangled, and consequently, the classroom system bred a pseudo-royalty in the minds of these African elites and whence came it for Western Education to be perceived as an earned receipt of a license for non-royal “blood” to unprecedentedly rise to be crowned chiefs, and kings as well: It was the genesis of the apparent jungle-like political-field of today. The educated class made adversaries out of each other over who was better deserved for the roles in government. Why not: after all there was an influx – no more was there shortage of legibility or aptitude.
It would then be the “cake” problem to stray us from the real substance of our political conversation.
Whether it’d manifest as individualism, or tribal sentimentality, just the rendition of this imported pragmatism, separate from what it pitches, is literally polarization; considering we are barely fully a civilized society. And I put it to the radical progressives for having fostered the perpetual unrests and unconstructive bickering that inundates Africa of this political era.
Uganda clearly, is walking away from all these trends of political ignorance. The pace is simply acceptable. If any politician therefore is claiming to be “honest” as they assess the state of our political sphere in this country, or an analyst for that matter is citing a case of not-good-enough vis-à-vis literature-made-in-London, I feel compelled to remind them of how they may end up at a lesser speed because of an overly ambitious haste. For instance, if we were to take the Arab spring for precedence, as previously referenced by some, by now we would be hiding our faces in dismay. Egypt is not better off now! Neither is Syria.
And just for what so heavenly a change in this world would the Kenyans rather sacrifice so much blood for as in 2007? Raila Odinga? And in 2013, he’s not the guy they want! Ironic indeed.
We don’t want to be on some sort of roller-coaster because of some individuals’ ambition.
I know how realistic I may not sound for many Political Scientists but practicability be given chance: the elementary concepts such as compromise and concession of defeat in an election, typical of a genuine democracy, in 2012, in this black man’s land was still simply alien. Even in FDC. Malignment and ambition-motivated pursuits inundate our political sphere today instead; only to suggest amateurism. And we have to agree to this – we are politically not marched to USA.
Otherwise we’d appreciate that fondness is just not as mandatory as you do not lack grace when you want to rise to the top. The word “opposition” came in rather handy for our political immaturity. Parties have obliterated a middle course from their platforms to assume some kind of pertinence just by behaving too extreme against those “guys” yonder, in the state house – actually the election winners.
It begins with frustration, but it does not rationalize one even having to assassinate the character of fellow compatriots. Before you tell, personal feud has eclipsed national interest. We live with this mess everyday in Uganda though; even when we know it’s hardly where we want to be as a country.
Dismay has clouded many hearts and it’s with the abject failure of politicians to act more nationalistically than conceitedly.
And that NRM’s favorable ratings soared in 2011 surprise me? Not a chance. Just what philosophy was Museveni running against? Besigye?
Upon such as I-am-as-good attitudes, the Opposition front-runner premised what we know now as the second largest political party in the country. Deplorably, FDC is not exactly uncomfortable with its deficiency of the “issues-morale”. Such a party’s foundation couldn’t be groggier.
Counting one’s weaknesses too does not automatically make you a solution. Precisely why I squarely disagree also with the notion that newly elected leadership of this party could be a game-changer come any national polls that may involve President Museveni.
We keep on doing these rounds of this idle talk not unaware that structurally everything remains compliant with the status quo – rhetoric and nothing more. Serious about taking power, FDC would not be flirting with Mugisha Muntu. So many questions never got asked before these self-professed reformers enthroned another 1986 war-veteran; a former NRM cadre for that matter and a “Westerner”! Straight down another “NRM-aggrieved” fellow who leans much of his political deductions on the bush-time tutorage of YKM. Truth be told; this is not what change looks like.
I could perhaps be over-stating it, but I want to find one aspect that separates Mugisha Muntu from his predecessor, I can’t find it. His quest-strengthener is as much Dr. Besigye’s. It’s a soldier thing–A gutsy thing–A Museveni-can’t-be-that-hard thing. It puts country second and it’s preposterous. It’s a Ugandan vice though that we ought to evolve from.
Getting defensive against this fact would itself be in vain, as I insinuated not that the opposition politics is to compromise its customary objective. All I am saying is that anyone would be disgruntled that they are unconstructively too reactionary, which I realize comes in very convenient when there’s no other justification for being the opposing side besides ambition.
It was just too whimsical to think that transitioning Africa would be an overnight job. We had no background of a government of the people by the people for the people. The role of the people here is clearly not sabotage or clamoring for power. It is simply participation and compromise. If we have finally had some peace and ultimately a lead down this path, we don’t need as much pressure as we do poise. Even when we want to change leaders.