By Benon Fred Twinamasiko
With Museveni political tenure coming to a Constitutional end, National Resistance Movement (NRM) Party sections are calling for the amendment of the Constitution to enable Museveni continue his presidency and consolidate his infrastructural developments and security ambitions for transformation. This demonstrates that most of those with such thinking have been just followers pursuing power and wealth without learning anything from their leader’s methods of work. My personal experience as a teacher; I have always taken pride in seeing those I have taught grasp the concepts and even articulate them a little better. Similarly, Museveni followers should have learnt how to do what he does best; being that he has done it for over three decades continuously.
As a ruling party, the NRM party has majority Members of Parliament in the August House and will have all the intent to get tempted in drafting a bill to allow their ‘Ronaldo’ play for their team come 2021 Presidential Elections forgetting that ‘Ronaldo’ actually replaced ‘Beckham’ and there was continuity in lifting all categories of Championship Trophies. After three decades there should have been at least some resemblance of a befitting replacement in the waiting.
There are three scenarios that Ugandans should be ready for as we progress in pursuit of both political and social transformation. Knowing these scenarios would help us prepare ahead and not get surprised when the events unfold arguably in an undesirable fashion.
The NRM party authorized members draft the bill and present it to Parliament and through the game of numbers the Age Limit gets scraped; this will aggravate the looming hopelessness in the majority of citizens who feel a particular class of Ugandans are the ones who have access to state coffers and have all the freedom to use it as they wish.
This hopelessness will lead to several protests country-wide as the opposition leaders will be out on the loose trying to rally masses to fight what would have matured into life presidency. This scenario has all the worst cases possible; Museveni will not live eternally, so the NRM party would have to look for a ‘Ronaldo’ whom they have always admitted is nowhere in their camp. He could also be won in the 2021 Presidential Elections or be overwhelmed by Electoral Pressure.
President Museveni could come out and categorically and frankly in his sincerity state that he is NOT standing and the NRM party gets someone who they would back come 2021 and continue using his guidance so that the new President can implement all the projects he had in the pipeline for implementation. This scenario will create some hope in majority of Ugandans who believe in Change, but not in those who want systems to work and in orderly manner for that matter. The problem with this option is that those who have been ‘stealing’ (through corruption) will continue since this will be under an arranged presidency.
There are sub-scenarios under this option; if the new president is from Western Uganda, he will find it so difficult to prevail over his region-mates and a case in a point is that of a recent security officer who will be publicly executed after the court martial sentenced him to death for shooting a resident in Sembabule in broad day light. This is because they will not allow the president to reinstate systems for they would implicate most of them, so it will remain business as usual.
The other sub-scenario is if the new president is from outside Western Uganda; he would definitely be itching to ‘Magufulify’ (make systems work) and this would lead to his demise due to the fact that those who have been tasting bread for over three decades cannot see it slip off their hands.
The NRM party gets tempted to think that leadership is genetically and sexually transmitted and try to route for someone from the first family. If they are subjected to party primaries, a lot of linen washing would bring about disunity to the extent that by the time they reach general elections, un-earthed scandals would be enough to cause problems. The members of the first family (wife or son) also lack the background Museveni always uses to assure voters of security and transformation.
Whichever of the scenarios above, Uganda is at crossroads and for the survival of the NRM party, which has failed to erect a party headquarter, there is need to use the remaining three years to mend fences and create a plan for transition. If the above scenarios are not diagnosed and way forward crafted in a careful manner, then we are a Somalia in the waiting. For God and My Country
The writer is an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Physics, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University