By Oweyegha-Afunaduula

The Ruling Party, Opposition Parties and Ugandans allowed the governance and leadership of the country to evolve into monarchy-type governance and leadership and, therefore, left changes in governance and leadership to the family of the long -ruling President Tibuhaburwa Museveni.

Already the future is here with us. Leadership contest in Uganda is not within the NRM or between NRM and the Opposition Parties, or based on differing ideologies. It is between the President and his son.

This has not only divided the NRM, which has so far been the basis, source of political power for and legitimization of President Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s rule, if we do not factor in the military.

The President’s son is not basing his illegal quest for power (illegal because he is still a serving soldier paid by the public) but on the old falsehood that the old have no more business to play in governance and leadership. This has divided the country further, thereby turning the President’s belief that he has united the country in far more ways than did his predecessors he frequently referred to as “swine’ when he captured the instruments of power.

We now have the mainly young NRM-leaning political activists confusing and dividing the country by targeting 2026 Presidential elections with General Muhoozi Kainerugaba as their Presidential candidate.

Curiously President Tibuhaburwa Museveni has allowed his son to traverse the country, ostensibly to meet his supporters, as the President himself manifests as if he is in full control of the country. He continues to set the agenda in virtually everything political, economic, military, legislative and developmental, while keeping a lid on the Opposition politics as he has successfully done in the past. He has some obnoxious laws such as anti-terrorism law and Sectarianism law to serve as the oppressive and repressive legal instruments to keep the Opposition under strict check.

As his son moves around the country doing politics while still a serving soldier, which is unconstitutional, legitimate political leaders are not allowed to freely meet or connect with the population or recruit members.

A party such as Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC), has become older with mostly aging members because for 36 years it has not been allowed to renew its membership, but has instead struck a cooperation agreement with the NRM. The Democratic Party (DP) has followed suit, and its President-General, Nobert Mao, has been rewarded with a Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. He will probably, in unity with President Tibuhaburwa Museveni, initiate and see through constitutional changes that will allow an NRM-dominated Parliament to elect the President of Uganda in 2026.

So, in a way Mao will have played the role of freeing the Presidency of Uganda from the people of Uganda. The people will no longer claim that they elected a President. Deceptively NRM will claim that it elected the President. And just like the Opposition participates in electing Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament, whose absolute elector is NRM, it will participate in electing the President, whose absolute elector will be NRM. If by 2026 Muhoozi Kainerugaba will have retired from the army, which is likely, the strongly and predominantly NRM Parliament, will elect him in case he stands, which is likely. The NRM folklore will do so thinking, believing and convinced that they are preserving NRM hegemony, which has been declining, while that of the President’s family has been rising.

In effect NRM folklore will not only free the Presidency, but also the President’s family, from Ugandans. The only thing Ugandans will claim as theirs will continue to be State House, which will be the home of a President paid by them but over whom they will have no sovereignty.

I have no doubt this is coming as we sleep with open eyes. A 2026 President will claim that he is legitimate because he is elected by representatives of the people. This will be akin to Rishi Sunak being elected Prime Minister by the Parliament of Great Britain by the Conservative Party in the presence or absence of the Opposition members. Once elected, Sunak becomes the legitimate Prime Minister, but not elected by the People of Great Britain.

A president so elected will claim he is the true representative of the people and of Uganda, and the true embodiment of freedom and democracy. Most likely, he will continue to claim and lead celebrations of the myth that NRM/A liberated Uganda and Ugandans, when in fact it liberated Rwanda and ushered in a new black colonialism interspersed with neocolonialism that is more exploitative than the orthodox British colonialism was.

For God and My Country

The Writer Is a Ugandan Environmentalist And Scientist

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