Wikipedia defines Deep State as “a type of governance made up of potentially secret and unauthorized networks of power operating independently of a State’s political leadership, in pursuit of their own agenda and goals.
It refers to a hidden organization seeking to manipulate the legal public State in every sphere of the economy. It is parasitic, greedy and selfish , and in pursuit of greed and selfishness, or it’s ideological objectives, it has no shame at all in what it does.
It obstructs, resists, subverts and even perverts policies, laws and processes such as the Executive, Legislative and Judicial processes to emerge superior to public interests.
In Uganda it is today more loud about interest politics than public and identity politics. The interest may be ethnic, social, economic or political but twisted to serve it’s agenda and goals. Anything else is irrelevant.
The Deep State has the capacity to disorient the national budget so that its interests are fully financed at the expense of the public interest of education, agriculture, health, environment, transport, et cetera. Eventually, the State is weaker than the Deep State and, in fact, the State ends up serving its interests, stealthily.
The public may believe it has a government with Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, when these were long ago consummated by the Deep State to serve its interests. For example, the Legislature may believe that every year it makes a national budget to facilitate the State to serve the public interest of growth and development, yet the Deep State has disoriented the budget to serve it’s interests.
Where do the members of the Deep State come from? All organs and agencies of the State. The State pays them but they serve the Deep State. They end up constituting a small group of people that makes all the decisions beyond those normally taken by the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary.
The decisions of the group are paramount and it only uses the organs and agencies of the State to legitimize them. It might initiate projects, programmes, policies, laws an budget proposals and legitimize them to appear they are publicly derived.
Usual sources of Deep State are the Armed Forces, public authorities such as intelligence agencies, police, secret police , administrative agencies, and even the Presidency. This could explain the huge budget outlays acquired by these elemental arms from the National Budget. It could also explain why everything has been militarized, even the police and secret police.
Deep State is the greatest depicter of a failed State. When the Deep State mushrooms, the Public State gives way and is easily manipulated to do anything for the Deep State. If the Public State loses control over its Central Bank and the budget making process in the Legislature, then anything can happen to public money.
The Deep State, for example, may decide to go to war apart from the Public State, crumbles but use the Public State to fund the war. The Deep State may negotiate peace with another country without involving the organs of State but cause the diminishing Public State to fund whatever is connected with the negotiations.
And the Deep State may ignore the Health of All but cause the diminishing Public State to fund the treatment of a member of the Deep State abroad at enormous cost to the hapless taxpayers.
In short, where Deep State takes root, Public State crumbles and interest politics displaces public or identity politics. This spells disaster in the near, medium and long term. It disempowers a people and it’s institutions.
For God and My Country.
The Writer is a Ugandan Scientist and Environmentalist
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