By Oweyegha-Afunaduula.

When Uganda got independence on 9th October 1962, we had Hereditary Chiefs and Hereditary Kings in some parts of the country. We neither had hereditary politicians nor dynastic families nor what could be characterized as political families.

Hereditary politicians, political families, political dynasties and Dynastic politicians are a creation of the perennial rule of President Tibuhaburwa Museveni. Political families are prevalent in Japan, and influence everything.

When Apollo Milton Obote and Idi Amin Dada ruled Uganda they desisted and resisted involving members of their nuclear families in politics of the country, which would have made their families transmute into political families, or even political dynasties or bred for us hereditary politicians and dynastic politicians.

There is no evidence either to suggest that Apollo Milton Obote wanted any of his sons to capture the leadership of the Party he started, the Uganda People’s Congress, after him. However, in the Uganda that has evolved over the last 36 years, the phenomena of hereditary politicians and political families are becoming a reality, as the tendency towards dynastic politicians and a political dynasty seems to be manifesting itself.

One big problem with the evolution of political families and political dynasties is that those in power begin thinking that they are indispensable and that being in power is a right that is only theirs.

With this thinking, political heredity whereby hereditary politicians begin to arise and also think that that political office is for only members of their families, and no other, pollutes and makes the politics of the country dirty and exclusive. All this is responsible for the mushrooming of political corruption.

Besides, some political families begins to consummate public Institutions, public money and public resources as their personal possessions. This tendency distorts the Democratic Process in the country, and makes nonsense of public pronouncements of those in power of equality under the law, justice, and equal opportunity, as they tend to exclude everyone else from the governance of the country, the enjoyment of rights, justice, democracy, and fair access to opportunities, jobs and collective resources.

The tendency towards political dynasty in the reason why the Public State gives way to a Deep State whereby a few unelected individuals capture the State and its Institutions and begin to use the institutions, public funds, human resources, jobs, and even army and police to feed their greed and selfishness at the expense of meaningful and effective societal development, transformation and progress.

Everything becomes deception and deceptively done. Even if money is allocated to development in the national budget it ends up in the pockets of the members of the Deep State and little or nothing is recorded on the ground in form of meaningful and effective development, transformation and progress.

Society sinks further and further into the abyss of poverty. Most policies and laws are maneuvers to serve the greed and selfishness of the members of the Deep State. It is robbery of the future security and prosperity of the country to feed the greed and selfishness of a few families and people in them. It reflects lack of love for country and people.

Let me end this article by writing a little on the phenomenon of hereditary politicians. As someone the biological background the words heredity and hereditary were familiar to me. I used to use the word hereditary when I was teaching my students about diseases called “hereditary diseases”, namely: sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, mongolism and albinism.

These are diseases that do not really have a cure. However, the phenomenon of hereditary politicians cannot be seen in the same sense. It is acquired by politicians who pretend to be democratic and even subject themselves to electoral politics, but believe political office should never ever go away from their families.

Even their kin may entrench this belief by collectively holding that once a member of the family holding a public political office dies, that office should be passed on to another member of the family, whether it involves appointment or election. It may be Office of President, Ministerial Post, Office of Speaker or Member of Parliament.

We have seen hereditary politicians arise especially when Members of Parliament, and when the first Speaker to die in Office, Jacob Oulanyah, passed on. When fiery Woman Member of Parliament for Butaleja, Nebanda, died she was replaced by a sister. Another Member of Parliament for Kamuli Municipality (What was her name) was replaced by her daughter.

There was another Member of Parliament in Mutukula (What was her name?) who was replaced by a relative. There was also another Member if Parliament in Busia (What was her name?) who was replaced by a relative. We have heard that members of the Family of Jacob Oulanyah want him to be replaced by his son, who has already shown interest, as MP for Omoro Constituency in Acholi. We are also hearing of maneuvers to have President Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba replace him as President in case he says enough is enough or God decides to end his time on Earth.

All this is happening when we have been made to believe that Uganda is a democratic country which changes leadership through elective politics. What it is achieving is erosion of the democratization process, quality of choice, equality of access to political office, and ethics and morality in the field of politics in Uganda.

It does not further political development of Ugandans since it is a commitment to the power and influence of a few families. If we are to to ensure democratic growth and democracy, we must discourage hereditary politicians and hereditary politics in Uganda.

For God and My Country

The Writer Is a Ugandan Scientist And Environmentalist

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