A Peaceful Transfer of Power: Uganda’s Achilles heel
General Mugisha Muntu while addressing mourners (at the funeral of Major General Benon Biraaro) a couple of weeks ago at All Saint’s Cathedral Church in Kampala Uganda, gave a strong message to the president Museveni, officers and security agents. He urged the minister for Karamoja affairs in the person of John Byabagambi to educate the president against the issue that the UPDF is a personal rather than a national army. He also asked the minister to remind the president that he is president not because of personal cause but for national cause. He implored the army to put to use their training and academic attainment to manage the transition of power from Gen. Museveni to a new dispensation. General Muntu being a man with unquestionable integrity and a deep statesman deposition made the statements for there to be smooth transfer of power after the forthcoming election next year.
According to history, Uganda as a nation has not had a smooth and peaceful transfer of power since her Independence in October 1962. With every change of people, there was violence, which lead to massive loss of life and property and disruption of the country’s socio-economic and political stability. This has thus derived the country the opportunity to make real progress in the Economic and material well-being of her citizens. It has also stifled the country’s ability to change into a nation.
In addition to this, a country will remain on a precipice, making small steps forward and huge retrogressive steps backwards if such country does not make effort to build the culture of peaceful transfer of power. There will not be continuity and situations become uncertain. This made western and the Asian world to put in place systems and institutions that cultivates the culture of peaceful transfer of power to future generations. Uganda as a country is yet to reach this height.
The people in charge of power seem not to be bothered about the issue as they work hard day and night, to block the possibility of peaceful transfer of power in the country without care for the impact it will have on their children, grandchildren and the prosperity of the country. The bad news is that there is no way out of this. Under normal circumstances, elections would have provided a way out but in the country, elections are just formalities organized to appease the international communities whose objectives is to protect their selfish political and economic interest. It always turn out futile, also whenever there is an attempt to improve the legal and institutional framework for the conduct of free, fair and credible election in the country. Thus, this brings to fault the country’s hope in using elections to bring about smooth transition of power. In the end, the citizens maybe compel to look for alternative ways for change, which may not even guarantee the peacefulness of a transition of power unless it is properly negotiated. As a result of this, the country chances of negotiating General Museveni peacefully out of power is very slim
Finally, there may be a way out of all this. An oppressed people develop all manner of survival instincts, which make them become resilient. This sharpens their creativity and strengthens their spirit in the fight for their liberation and this makes violence inevitable. We have learnt a lot from history in this aspect. In addition, the oppression may span for a long time with untold hardship but in the end, the people will triumph.
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