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OWEYEGHA-AFUNADUULA: Imagining a Uganda Without President Museveni

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By Oweyegha-Afunaduula

It is true. During his more than 37 years, President Tibuhaburwa Museveni has never told Ugandans that he is sick. The fact that he publicly announced that he was sick and threatened by Covid 19 revealed that the President is a human being that may be attacked by microbes like the rest of us; that he is not immortal; and that we should as a country begin contemplating a future without him.

A future without the President is drawing nearer and nearer. Unfortunately, the overwhelming evidence is that the country, ourselves, are not ready for it, because we have not been prepared for it. We have been prepared to live off dependency and handouts. We have been prepared to depend on the President as the beginning and end of everything that makes life livable in Uganda.

What I see is that ordinary country-folks, including some elite, that have chosen to be ordinary, have not imagined yet a Uganda without President Tibuhaburwa Museveni. Their political future seems to revolve around the President. They seen nothing good beyond President Museveni.

It can be catastrophic to place one’s future on the fortunes of an individual leader or ruler.. We saw what happened to some Ugandans when Obote and Amin were no more. They have never recovered. They have never looked forward. They are stagnant. They are vulnerable.

Obote and Amin never stayed so long in power but President Tibuhaburwa Museveni has stayed in power for long. Those who do not see a future without President Tibuhaburwa Museveni are likely to be affected immensely; far more than those who never imagined a future without Obote or Amin.

Collectively, Uganda is endangered by a possible absence of the President from the politico-military stage, over which he has had a firm grip for decades. It is worrying many Ugandans are mired in worship attachment to the President. They need liberation, but who will liberate them?

It is understandable many cross-border refugees who have had an opportunity to be politically active in the country, or else accessed jobs that would otherwise belong to Ugandans, and now enjoy our resources, nationality and citizenship, or even dual citizenship, would feel insecure and uncertain about the future.

Others have accessed traditional, ancestral lands of indigenous Ugandans, something that can only happen under the governance and leadership of President Tibuhaburwa Museveni. Some of them have become wealthy amidst the mushrooming poverty of diverse communities of Ugandans.

Their children are assured of education, unlike those of Ugandans. All these are uncertain about a future without President Tibuhaburwa Museveni. They cannot imagine a Uganda without the President. When the President talks of Peace and Security they have far more of these than Ugandans – sometimes, if not always.

We must pray for President Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s continued well-being because peace, security and tranquility beyond him can be just a dream for many. The President does not seem to have imagined a Uganda beyond him, but one may say he has, because in 1997 he told the the then The Monitor Newspaper, which became daily Monitor, that Uganda after him will be ungovernable. Those who are old enough and used to read The Monitor, will not forget this statement of the President, and must seriously imagine a Uganda beyond the President.

One time in 1997, as the newly unanimously elected Secretary General of Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), I told the same newspaper that if we did not change our political trajectory our country would be in a worse situation than that of Somalia.

I said so because Somalia has only 4 Clans but in Uganda we have numerous Clans, numerous indigenous groups, numerous refugees and at least 4 ethnicities. If the centre broke loose, mayhem would ensue.

.Yes, we must begin individually and as a country to imagine a future without President Museveni. Our stability is unstable stability. There can be no stable stability without meaningful democratisation. We have more de-democratisation than democratization.

For God and My Country.
The Writer Is a Ugandan Scientist And Environmentalist

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