Sunday May 11 2014

NRM has poisoned parenting and has also killed patriotism

By Alan Tacca

Last Sunday’s little essay in this column brought me to the remark that blaming citizens for bad parenting and lack of patriotism was a clumsy attempt by the NRM leadership to dodge responsibility for its dubious record, an insult that deserved no further comment.

Sorry, it deserves further comment. For the ruling elite never gets tired of repeating glaring falsehoods.

When you think an idea has been so thoroughly debunked that (surely) no grown up member of our species would repeat it, it is time for someone in the ruling elite to repeat it. And they will recite it with brazen faces that completely expose their arrogant conviction that the rest of us are incurable idiots.

Therefore, you can be reasonably certain that this crap about patriotism and bad parenting will not just go away.

After all, about five years ago, we were at the same pass, with selected NRM cadres (many of them teachers) being deployed to teach patriotism to masses of school-going youth who would be old enough to vote in what was at the time the impending 2011 general election.
Patriotism then, as now, was of course another word for supporting the NRM and President Museveni.

As party cadres teach this NRM-distorted virtue, good parents should also teach their children to be honest, hard working, fair, just, socially responsible and in many other ways of sound character.

The mockery in all this is that the NRM pretends to have absolutely no account of the poison from the rot in its soul.

Such is the rot that outraged parents and true patriots should have taken to the streets long ago, with banners protesting the decay and filth from the top that had oozed down and reached the dust in which their children were standing. The patriots had no inheritors, and the parents were stranded with a lost generation of youngsters.
How did the country get so condemned?

Permit a confused expression: it is the rogue role models. Rogue models. The people up there, from whose exhibitions children are partly shaping their dreams.

Take honesty. If mom instructs Musa never to steal from her money bag or the shops, with a threat of hellish fire after Musa’s death thrown in, Musa also gradually learns that political leaders and other officials who are smarter, more educated and more successful than his mother, and whose names are always on radio – like celebs – are often named in the theft of public funds.

What is more, the greatest man in the land, the President, is apparently happy with them, since he does not punish them.
Musa is a little confused. Mom might be right about her small money bag and the small shops, but the President’s celebs are probably right about public funds and big companies.

Musa also soon learns that justice is like a handkerchief, which can be produced and then returned to the pocket. He has heard from a government minister on the radio, that although the courts have awarded tens of billions of shillings as compensation to different wronged people, most of those people have not been paid, and they may not be paid for years.

Mom is also funny. Why does she always tell him not to beat his young brother, Zigi, when the naughty boy shouts or makes other mistakes? She also tells him not to bad-mouth people. Maybe she is a coward because she has no tear-gas like police soldiers. Okay, she is mom, but what does she know? How far can you go when you are soft-soft? Even the President’s radio man has a sharp devil tongue. He is not a joke. He bangs people who do not like Museveni and always says that they should be beaten up by mobs.

Mom is just good for digging and cooking food. But he does not like working in the shamba like mom. It is too tiring. When he grows up, he wants to be like the big men with Museveni, drive a big car and get free money.

Mr Tacca is a novelist, socio-political commentator