Are the pages of political transition ripe?

By Bbiira Kiwanuka Nassa

A few days ago, Uganda was struck by a new upsurge of a political birthday. It is the first I have witnessed celebrated in a full combat of our mighty Uganda People’s Defense Forces’ full uniform. My attendance was limited because it was planned to be attended by NRA/NRM cohorts. From there the birthday tsunami ravaged major rural but politically fallacious cities. I missed that of Hoima where I was but as I had planned to drive to Ntungamo for national assignments.  I knew that the Genetically Modified Officer is ill prepared and weak to form a credible candidate for the immediate transition and succession of his pater. However, those who believe in acute patronage can gang behind him, enslave him like they have enslaved his pop father and shape him as a ruler for the next generation. This will be a question of another day on whether he is fit to succeed his father or if it’s just diversionary of the sole leader to keep Ugandans occupied discussing his only known sole son and leave his aging father to rule and or misgovern Uganda.

The question of the day is whether the pages of political transition are ripe. One historical fact is that since the union jack flag was brought down, transition has been a big probationary. Uganda has had over 8 presidents since independence. None of these was usurped in a bloodless, peaceful and assured manner. It has even caused Ugandans to call our former leaders bandits and their cadaver to be brought from a foreign land. The framers of the Uganda Constitution had put two critical transition safeguards, i.e. a two presidential term limits (Article 105 Tenure of office of President (2) “a person shall not be elected under this Constitution to hold office as President for more than two terms as prescribed by this article) and age limits (under Article 102 (b) as regards the qualifications of President not to be less than thirty-five years and not more than seventy-five years of age) before they were amended by our dear Parliament. In our empathetic management of our politics, we amended the constitution and established an open cheque for the presidency to either be manned by God or himself to manipulate. The timing of the transition is just right. The transition talk is even delayed. For this reason I love and respect the Twitter General that has thrown the stick in the wildness to see what will happen. I am also convinced that anyone concerned about Uganda should either discuss or shape the transition. What informs my thinking? First, the current president is fighting with God in terms of age. In the near future, he will lack corporeal and cerebral ability to lead based on his oldness. The country has been pluralized to an extent of thinking that only one family has been and continue to lead us. One fundamental question however is the ill preparedness of all political players including the political parties to offer credible, trustable, national portrayal of trust and demeanor and assured peaceful leadership to the country’s governance apex in the transition era. The ruling party is waiting to read what the son of Kaguta will do or what will happen to him. The political patronage network has assassinated the political party of NRM and made it a political company limited by shares. Even supporters believe and think that transition should be sexually transmitted or genetically modified from the family of their cult leader of Uganda’s NRA party. My keen look at the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the National Resistance Army (NRA), little focus is seen to be put on presidency and therefore leaders act and think in terms of their small constituencies such as parliament or ministry or their military dockets. The political patronage has also vandalized the opposition with very many of the would-be alternative governments having no clear agenda and their strategy and philosophy strictly bent towards removing Mr. Museveni and no ideology at all. A few leaders are however beginning to craft a seemingly great ideological beliefs though not yet sunk into their sub national leaders and the population. The question of transition will shape either your flight abroad without a passport or your title to change from being a citizen to being either an asylum seeker or refuge. Let us not shy away from the transition talk. What is most important however is for us to deliberate deliberately on this transition such that we plan and prepare for the new era. I feel we shall not all be affected by the transition in equal magnitude. For a fact, the political impotent will feel the wrath of poor transitioning. There are two categories of people who should champion this transition discussion. The Museveni’s henchmen and the poor. Now that the poor make a vast majority of us, the transition debate should start and yield actual transition for when a non peaceful political transition nags and destroys the social political and economic fabrics of our society. In this discussion, four things must happen. The transition discourse must be well guided and moderated to limit its boundaries and ensure that the transition question doesn’t damage the country and dominate the population. The second issue is minding the actors. These include the potential candidates to replace my president and the gang of looters pretending to love these candidates. It is possible for the mafia to camouflage and bring the weakest leader and instead lead him or her. Under this circumstance, the leader will be led by this mafia in an engrossed manner. No one should love having an enthralled, engulfed, absorbed leader much as we need a transition. The third issue to project the most likely scenarios. For instance, the likelihood of the sole leader overthrowing himself politically and militarily and tactfully shaping who must replace him mid the political term. It is also possible for age to dictate and make the current sole leader unable to man affairs of society and therefore assign another posse to lead as the queer fish will be unable to offer stewardship. The other most likely scenario is forming 2 government before even the 2026 election. Under this, there will be the most loyal government team in both government and state led by the army and either Kapeka or any other base created by the system. This will sanction everything including evil. The fourth likely scenario will most likely be a national deliberate negotiation and dialogue. This will guarantee peace. It will most likely happen after the military has failed and greed has overpowered common reasoning.

It is important to shape this transition debate. Irrespective of which direction it takes, it is timely. The time is ripe. It should have been livelier if it was in 2006 or 2021 but it’s time is now. Ugandans have been burying their heads in the sand like an ostrich. We have pretended enough. Its time to transit peacefully, democratically, bloodless and in a manner that will leave us live in Uganda and not call for the bereavement of any actor either in this transition or the remnants of the transition.

At the end of everything, we need to mind the actors and act in good faith but above all ensure that the debate is smooth enough, constructive, respective and significantly focused to protecting the current leaders and formulating new ones. This article is informed by my intimacy to my country. My love for my country Uganda makes me appear distanced from my government. For this reason, I sometimes want to defend my country from my government. We can transit peacefully.

I thank you.The writer is a Lead Consultant and Mentor – Centre for Ideas and Innovation Incubation

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