By Oweyegha-Afunaduula
Virtually all my children were not old enough to understand the dynamics of governance and leadership in Uganda by the time Tibuhaburwa Museveni and his National Resistance Army (NRA) rebel outfit, composed of many refugees ( previously constituted as Front for National Liberation, FRONASA, and some Ugandans), captured the instruments of power in 1986. Most refugees had roots in Rwanda, while others had roots in the Mulenge area of Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo DRC).

One of my children was 15 when NRA arrived in Kampala from the bushes of Luwero. My twins ( a boy and a girl) were 6 years old, another was 3 years old, another was 2 years. Two others were born after 1986 – one in 1987 and the last one in 1990. They have grown up and developed into adults during the more than 36 years of President Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s rule.

They have been to the best schools and universities, some have more than one degree. They are quite intelligent people. Among them, all types of intelligence are detectable and well-distributed: Emotional Intelligence, Musical Intelligence, Spatial Intelligence, Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence, Interpersonal Intelligence, Naturalistic Intelligence and Interpersonal intelligence.

However, the education they have been exposed to does not turn them great critical thinkers or analysts. Besides, it has not turned them into lovers their country, emancipation and crusaders for human rights of Ugandans and environment. Like many Ugandans today they have been reduced to struggle for day-to-day survival.

They are chasing for money. Lucky enough they have not been enticed to chase for money by abandoning their professions for politics, like many Ugandans have done.

Therefore, one can say all my children and grandchildren have been nurtured, grown up and matured during the reign of President Tibuhaburwa Museveni, which is by far the single most human influence on them, in terms of education, social security, health security and mind security.

They are not alone. Almost 100% of all the youth and young men and women of Uganda are Musevenite children and grandchildren. Indeed, President Museveni refers to all of them as “Bazukulu” (grandchildren).

All young people who were between 15 and 20 years of age in 1986 and are now between 51 and 56 years of age, are a little more knowledgeable or conscious of what has unfolded before their eyes during the more than 36 years of President Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s reign.

Those who are younger, and should be more dynamic, more knowledgeable and more critical in thinking and analysis, are only a little more or less aware beyond what they have been exposed to, or denied, by the regime in power.

Everyday their environment is more clogged by the politics of President Tibuhaburwa Museveni, which is extensionalism (internally and externally), political survival, power retention, unchallenged access to all resources (natural and unnatural) and exclusion of indigenous people from them.

Sometime back, I told you that my own children had a soft spot for the NRM regime in power. That is not surprising. They have been polluted by the culture of money, with its institutionalized lie that there is no value beyond money value.

All young people are victims of this lie. To this end, reasoning is seen as a waste of time. Illusionary wealth is more attractive than thinking critically, analyzing critically and developing spiritually, ethically and morally.

One of my children was attracted to the illusionary wealth from the Middle East, got on a plane and landed in Dubai. He started working in a hotel, in the catering department. He spent two years working but wealth refused to come his way.

He decided to come back, with no money. He realized that East or West, North or South, home is best. However, it has taken him long to locate a suitable niche in the difficult socio-economic landscape of Uganda.

He is not alone. Many young people attracted into the modern slavery chain have only ended up being disconnected from their cultural lands as well as from their families, the same way the Slave Trade of the 19th Century did to many Africans from across the African Continent.

The only difference is that the modern slaves do not suspect that they are being uprooted from their ancestral lands for others with roots outside their country to grab and occupy. They are leaving behind their old and elderly parents and grandparents who are vulnerable to the greed of “new settlers from afar”, and to the superior culture of money.

All my children, like many others in the country, have leant that in the Uganda of today professionalism and work ethics are no longer critical essentials in the country’s dynamics, and that it is political orientation, loyalty and groupthink that make one fit in.

They have seen how public resources, including public offices, are being used and misused to wrong ends mainly by those in charge of the country, with dire consequences for the country.

The public resources being used and misused include: time, energy, air, water, food, plants, animals, minerals, metals and everything else that exists in nature and is of human utility, including money, equipment, land, tractors, computers, schools, hospitals, offices, et cetera.

Unfortunately, the use and misuse of resources is proceeding with the aim of those in power being to individualize and ethicize them, with individuals belonging to one small ethnic group tending to own what was once public as their own.

Many previously public enterprises, which included hotels, ranches and factories, were either sold to them by Government or grabbed by them following the Luwero bush war. Others were either donated or sold to so-called investors, some of whom have turned out to be fronts for some individuals in power.

The use and misuse of public resources to wrong ends, with stupid results, is trickling down from top to bottom, across all strata and in all institutions.

My children and grandchildren, and virtually all children and grandchildren of Uganda, have seen the use and misuse of public offices, and other resources, to wrong ends proliferate in State House, in President’s Office, in schools, in health institutions, in all sectors of the economy, in Ministries, in the Parliament and in the Judiciary.


The Writer Is a Ugandan Scientist And Environmentalist

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