By LUZINDANA ADAM BUYINZA
Kampala, 3 December 2020: While President Museveni has led the revolution to transform Uganda into a modern self-sustaining industrial nation, President Museveni is rapidly losing support of the common people or the vulnerable people of Uganda who indeed supported the NRA liberation struggle from 1982 to 1986 when the NRA rebels captured State Power.
President Museveni remains the icon and champion of Peace and Development in Uganda but also a Great pan-Africanist who has devoted his entire life struggling for the liberation of Uganda and a transformed East Africa.
The 16 factors likely to cost him re-election.
- Failure to effectively engage and empower youth in villages and trading centres to overcome poverty and unemployment. The NRM party leaders and government officials who have failed to transform the lives of the poor youth of Uganda are the people describing them as thugs, goons, thieves, hooligans, etc. The youths are determined to fight on to liberate themselves.
- The persistent intrigue perpetuated by leaders of the National Resistance Movement at the national level and also in district executives.
- Poor implementation of government programs
- Corruption, greed and sectarianism perpetuated by NRM leaders. While NRM are enriching themselves at the expense of the party, they keep advising party mobilisers to be volunteers. This volunteerism must not be part of the movement, which has been in power for 34 years.
- Highest form of pride and arrogance exhibited and perpetuated by NRM leaders. Political leaders with no time to meet NRM members.
- The failure by the NRM government to effectively engage and utilize the mainstream media and social media. This is responsible for poor information dissemination and public awareness on NRM programs and its achievements. Actually, NRM is in total darkness. NRM government must wake up and respect the great role media can play in national development and party building.
- The departure of the Rt. Hon Amama Mbabazi was a big blow to President Museveni as a person, but it was too disastrous to the NRM party and above all to the government. Truth is, the government of Uganda is non-functional ever since Rt Hon Amama Mbabazi left. It’s now the state running the affairs.
- Failure of the government and its leaders to establish strong relations with International state actors and Non-State Actors. While Uganda is an independent nation, it’s important to note that there are many entities abroad with strategic interests in Uganda. Uganda must redefine its foreign policy and how best to engage the state actors and non-state actors. Uganda Foreign Relations is at its worst.
- Poor mobilization and vote protection. While President Museveni is traversing the country meeting 200 NRM leaders and members per district, less has been done so for to ensure effective and meaningful mobilization of people to vote NRM and President Museveni. The grassroot people have been left in a state of confusion and helpless. But to make the matter worse, the opposition groups have penetrated the villages and setting up strong teams, yet NRM is doing less to actualize plans to protect its votes. The NRM should invest largely in vote mobilization and vote protection. This is not going to be a usual polling day. With all the weaknesses in NRM at hand, coupled with frustration of NRM people in villages, NRM is likely to lose votes at polling stations in villages. The NRM mobilization strategy of 48 people per village must be revised. Without a well-coordinated and empowered NRM vote protector or NRM polling agents and observer, expect the worst for NRM party and President Museveni.
- Lack of Cadreship identification, development, and placement. The NRM has failed to identify, groom and place its cadres on merit. It’s hard to mention people who have been groomed by the NRM party. This has left NRM with incompetent and ideologically bankrupt people.
- State attack on Civil Society Organizations is partly responsible for poor service delivery in Uganda. Instead of working with CSOs, government has been fighting them, weakening them, yet these organizations play a critical role in communities, especially on implementation of government programs, employing Ugandans, initiating policies, etc.
- The use and dump culture. The NRM has lost many great cadres and many devout supporters of President Museveni. While it’s not a policy of the NRM to use and dump, many great cadres of the NRM are now pararell with President Museveni and this is sending a bad signal to the populace.
- A brutal Police Force. The NRM government has persistently failed to build a citizenry Police Force that can fully respect and promote the rights of the people of Uganda. The police perpetuate hate, violence and human rights abuse, hence hiking the anger amongst the people of Uganda. But it’s also important to note that the NRM government failed to create a conducive working atmosphere for the policemen and women, hence increasing corruption in Uganda Police Force. The Police actions are not good for NRM and President Museveni.
- Limited funding hence inefficiency of the External Security Organization (ESO) and Internal Security Organization (ISO) to detect, collect, gather and analyze critical political and security related information to ensure the stability and longevity of the state. The ISO is no longer effective to monitor government programmes that are critical to the well-being of the state, the people of Uganda as well as collecting intelligence on locally based groups engaging in or intending to engage in acts of subversion, sabotage or destabilizing the country. Government will never serve Ugandans effectively for as long as ISO remains in Intelligence Limbo and now relying largely on social media Propaganda. Majority DISOs, PISOs, ISO Assets, etc. are poor and disgruntled. They only survive on attending NRM Political meetings to earn a living.
- Diminishing capacity and capability of Intelligence and counterintelligence agencies to provide national security and intelligence to government policy makers so as to initiate, design and implement better policies and programs that impacts on the lives of the common people of Uganda. The intelligence agencies are now largely propaganda agencies focusing more on blackmailing political leaders, businessmen, and delivering half-baked reports to the commander in Chief. It’s actually intelligence agencies which could have told the president that Bobi Wine has no support at all outside Kamwokya Ghetto.
- The existence of a national Army. For the first time in 500 years, Uganda now has a national Army called the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF). President Museveni has built a strong national Army with many graduates who understand the core principles of Internal Laws and conventions and respect for the rights of the people.While some people think UPDF is a Museveni Army, I fully believe that UPDF is no longer an Army of Museveni. Museveni will leave power but UPDF will remain. Actually Museveni greatest mistake was to build a national Army. This Army will at a certain point disobey his order and ally with Ugandans to bring him down. If NRM fail to rethink on better strategies to curb poverty and unemployment but continue to describe poor people as hooligans, I anticipate mass riots and violence that would even lead to intervention of International community and at this point, UPDF will disobey Mr. Museveni or it will capture power.
Way forward for president Museveni
- Reform NRM Secretariat to be more proactive
- Engage and empower Youth as soon as possible
- Avoid arrogance, pride, intimidation and describing angry and poor youth as Hooligans, thieves and thugs. They are in all villages, trading centers, Ghettoes, etc.
- Gen Museveni should begin to reconcile with his NRA bush war comrades and possibly bring them back to reform government
- Recruit, empower and deploy NRM Vote Protector/NRM polling agents and observers at all polling stations
- Support and engage NRM members and supporters in all villages.
- Engage International Non State Actors and western powers to continue supporting the development programs in Uganda. Government officials must avoid using harsh words on Uganda’s Development Partners
- Embark on mass information dissemination and public awareness on the achievements of NRM and what NRM government plan to do for the people of Uganda.
- Support and empower well organized youth groups
- Adopt a systematic way of working closely with media houses as well as social media platforms
- Keep communication with business community, especially market vendors, shop owners and business leaders of medium and large companies.
- Engage Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
- NRM leaders must empower party cadres and mobilisers to mobilize.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY,
The author is a founder Member of Uganda Poor Youth Movement (UPYM)
Tel: +256 701 992 426