Kampala – On Tuesday, 12 November 2019, at Naguru based Skyz Hotel, National Mindset Transformation Initiative birthed out of Mindset Academy was officially launched.
The NMTI is aimed at changing the mindset of majority of Ugandans to think beyond – positively. This, will be made possible through training, talks, conferences, among others.
Mr Alex Ahimbisibwe is the founder, Human Engineer and Director of the initiative. Its chairman is Professor Tarsis Kabwogyere, Uganda’s sociologist and a retired politician.
Uganda’s Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda was the Chief Guest. The Premier applauded the initiative, and below were his words.
“I was able to join you after receiving an invitation from my good friend Ndugu Taris Kabwogyere. I think this initiative that you and your colleagues have taken to be able to examine this issue of mind-set and mind-set change is an urgent issue which needs thorough examination so therefore, as we move to impact on it, we are impacting fully aware of the implications of mind-set and mind-set change.
We who are actively involved in the development services is critical that people should examine their mind-set and in fact change their mind-set in order to be able to deliver policy effectively to the wanachinic or else you remain stereotypes; forms of service delivery so that we remain above the population that you are indeed intended to serve. But then the question of mind-set; mind-set is by itself a very controversial issue because mind-set can be positive, who can spare me; can be pro people or can be anti-people.
(Adolf) Hitler have been able to mobilize the Germans really wage war on the rest of the world and also caused problems, and actually holocaust. So what they had was notorious Minister of propaganda or close to something like that.
So, therefore you can see that what we are actually engaged in is a struggle for the minds; the negative forces want to capture the minds but also the positive forces and we are the positive forces and also focusing on capturing your minds.
The language may be different; some may call it degrading the ideological consciousness; the negative forces want to use the way to achieve their negative objectives and the pro people, the positive forces would want to capture the minds of the people in order to do positive things.
Now, I just was looking; thinking about the negative and positive mind-sets. What example do I have in mind? I have already given you. The mind-sets of the Hitler and his colleagues had, and leading the all cost, but, you also have the mind-set of the African people saying enough is enough, we will have struggle for our liberations.
Our continent have been under colonialism for centauries since the Portuguese and the likes came and captured different areas of Africa, so, it’s high time we liberate ourselves.
So, that mind-set is critical, mind-set foiled by; however it was poised against minds, minds and mind-set for oppression because when Hitler was localised and when Vasco Da Gama and Portuguese came and captured a number of territories their aim was, their mind-sets then was to make sure that now the continent of Africa have been divided into mere provinces of Portugal or other European countries.
Therefore, the issues of mind-set is neutral, needs to be qualified, well and positive only. The mind-set that I also like to make reference to about the African people in their struggle for liberation is Kwame Nkrumah.
Kwame Nkrumah when Ghana on 7th of MARCH 1957 got Independence, he pronounced that the independent Ghana would be meaningless unless all continent was liberated.
This was the major statement, prophetic statement and a moblizational statement for the African people to look at the continental liberation and that time it was unthinkable because Apartheid was strengthening in Southern Africa.
You had in Kenya white highlands were we knew that was the permanent residence for people from Europe. You had Zimbabwe – actually Rhodesia to have a federation of Rhodesia Nyasama.
One day Kwame Nkrumah dared and made that categorical statement. This was calling for mind-set change of the African people, intensifying their struggles so that they free themselves from the York of neo-colonialism.
Kwame Nkrumah did not only stopped at that, the following year, 1958, he called all African People’s conference. Uganda was one of the countries that I represented.
Really, our struggles for changing of the African people is strong enough and opposed colonial yokeand colonial representation. As you and me know, today, there is only one country on the African continent which is still struggling for independence and that is Western Sharara but the rest of Africa is free, some have challenges which you and me know; but, that is responsibility of the African people to sort out for themselves.
So, the other area of mind-set change that I want to take you through and I was very happy that Brigadier Gen Kasura Kyomukama David is here because as our Professor Tarsis Kabwegyere said, Kyamkwanzi is one of those centres in this country that has made an enormous contribution in the struggle for mind-set changes especially for the young people from being, you know….taken by the way, being more chorus, being more Ugandan, being more pan African, being more pro people so, i am one of the products of the gate mind-set changer because when Ndugu Yoweri Museveni as a young man started organising themselves so that they can get rid of the dictatorship in our country, and he was at that material time a relative minority; if you counted the crew; numbers of people who participated.
Because message was powerful and clear the people in Uganda rightly absorbed it and that led to the mind change and that led to the liberation of our country and am glad that Ndugu Kutesa [not Foreign Affairs Minister] is here and he has told it in ease, books and writings which he’s prolific about but the Ugandan case is a classic case of 27 guns by handful of young people had deep conviction, deep patriotic ideological arrangement and courage to be able to face with an army [I think that time it was an army of 40,000], 27 armies with courage and determination and conviction to say yes because we have the just cause we will go and talk to the population.
The population with their minds realised that power is within themselves to liberate their country. There would be no better case of mind-set change than that illustration.
As Yoweri Museveni in 1981, he wrote an article on Protracted Peoples’ Movement and was published in the Resistance News. The more of liberations literally followed the article that he had authored, clearly at the very beginning of his uprising.
So, the NRM’s situation that am talking about and the armed struggles and the confidence – positive confidence in the population and the realisation that the population has power if mobilized is a very important situation of mind-set change.
They don’t have to be oppressed all the time that after all they can themselves change the situation so it’s actually empowering people who were empowered and that empowering then led to a mind-set change which in turn led to them taking action and liberating themselves.
The other area of mind-set change is 1949 when China became liberated. China was one of the backward countries, which we used to learn about if you wanted starvation you go to China, if you wanted the beggars the country you go to was China, very negative things but as we very well know, the Chinese struggled to liberate themselves and steady people.
That leadership under the chairmanship of the communist party of china were able to struggle against internal and external reactions and they were able to liberate themselves. The fact that China which had been weakened was having so many problems had its people mobilised that they could after all not only cause liberations within their own country but also transform [and if we are to use the word transformation] there is no doubt that China shared example of the transformation.
I will not be shy to talk about it because sometimes you know – because of neo-colonial denomination we are even scared to always call a spade a spade. If you don’t want to talk about progress of Chinese people and or Chinese revolution has made, because you know this may not be in line with the traditional line of thinking but the movement has liberated their country.
Anyway, china therefore has had not only mind-set change but has used that change to change the conniption in China for the better of the population; it has brought prosperity to the people of china because china is the leading country in reducing poverty, on pushing people out of poverty to prosperity and this is the results of the positive mind-set change the Chinese communists party.
These messages are clearly shared and used by all of us, so I think the challenge now is for us to support this effort of mind-set change positively so that we use it to accelerate the speed of transformation of our country, the speed of effecting neutral changes in Uganda for the benefit of the people so that we achieve prosperity for the wananchi so that we achieve more unity not only for the people of Uganda but for the people of Africa because you know really we are African people and had it not been for vulcanization we would be free African people.
So, let’s go back to what we have always been and remove the temporary distortion by colonialism of creating all sorts of entities because we will remain African people and focus more on making sure that our people are all united and are all prosperous and then the word transformation would make sense because there their condition would change for the better and the objective of mind-set transformation would have been realised in Uganda; we don’t need to go too far away, we should start, focus here, fortunately the work is already going.
The question of mind-set, in fact this initiative is not even correct – I think perhaps, this may be either acceleration but I think we should look for more appropriate terminologies to describe this because the struggle for mind-set change has been going on, has produced results; actually the beneficiaries of this results – this freedom is the result of mind-set change we have been talking about.
As I conclude, we need to get more and more cadres. As much as religion comes and they are looking for catechists and the priests, we ourselves who are concerned about positive transformation of our continent and mind-set change we need to recruit more and more people to reinforce us and this is why I commend Prof. Tarsis Kabwegyere and his team because this is one way of recruiting more cadres to reinforce towards the process of positive mind-set change for Uganda and African and in that respect what we are struggling for in the National Resistance Movement and what you are struggling for in this initiative are converging and since they are converging you will therefore get our support.