Thought and Ideas
Who will be President Museveni’s successor?
Posted Sunday, March 17 2013 at 02:00
In some cases, the President insisted on appointing politicians who had been resoundingly rejected by electors. Meanwhile, he continued belittling or castigating senior ministers and NRM officials for reprehensive acts and behaviours.
Recent by-elections results, statements attributed to President Museveni and ghastly cases of corruption and abuses of human rights in Uganda have tended to undermine public belief and trust in the current government. The situation has been exacerbated by the knowledge that by his own remarks on ministers, public servants and party cadres, the President’s own trust in them is at best unpredictable and at worst, hostile.
A government in which its leader and the public at large have no faith or trust is doomed to fail eventually and its decisions and acts will always be suspected, however well-intentioned. At the same time, the President’s practice of continuing to impose the same discredited government ministers and public officials onto the population and recycling them have become a nightmare for most Ugandans.
Only a few months ago, the President’s office and the police were investigating certain crimes allegedly committed by several ministers and senior cadres. President Museveni, himself, publicly named some suspects who he vividly described as criminals and doers of wrong. His opinions were published in the media.
Yet, in the recent re-organisation of the government, the President retained most, if not all, including those he named as bedfellows of the corrupt and thieves. He brought back several suspects who had been politically and publicly condemned as unworthy by diverse and credible reports and President Museveni himself.
In some cases, the President insisted on appointing politicians who had been resoundingly rejected by electors. Meanwhile, he continued belittling or castigating senior ministers and NRM officials for reprehensive acts and behaviour.
These are political acrobatics which are disapproved by the vast majority of Ugandans. The confidence of Ugandans and friends of Uganda in the manner in which the country is governed today has evaporated. In consequence, many people think, rightly or wrongly that the President and his government no longer care about them or this country. At any rate most observers believe that the President has lost control of his government and is politically mortally wounded and afraid of his most powerful ministers, if any.
When at one time asked whether he still wished to continue as President, Museveni remarked that he would only do so if the people of Uganda decided that they still wanted him. Later, he modified the term people to a smaller group whom he called “my people”.
The latest modification he recently revealed is that he will retire only after he finds a worthy successor. In light of his severe condemnation of incumbent ministers, cadres and supporters of the NRM party of which he is co-founder, where from, one may ask, will he find a worthy successor?
In any event, will the people of Uganda accept his choice, considering that as of now there is not a single political leader in Uganda in the NRM party he has so far acknowledged as worthy? Those who appear to be preferable by the standards of the NRM party, he and others condemn wholesale as unsuitable if not as culprits or associates in crime.
Therefore, it is increasingly becoming more likely than not that the people of Uganda will harbour serious doubts about any choice the President may make in future as his successor. Such a choice would certainly be rejected and resented by his present, dearest and closest political associates and allies if only because they will not have been chosen to succeed him. On the other hand, Ugandans will reject them because they will be seen as designed to preserve the prevailing NRM party methods of work that encourage and tolerate corruption, abuse of office, incompetence, undemocratic governance, impunity and unconstitutionalism.
Ugandans are thoroughly fed up with the glorification of wrong-doing and preference of suspects who are subsequently congratulated and rewarded with posts, wealth and honours. There is a foreboding in the country that the present government has totally lost its way.
It is also becoming increasingly obvious that many of its current senior leaders are fully aware of the people’s disillusionment with them and are busy gathering wealth and buying insurance for their own survival and that of their families and friends. Ugandans are therefore seriously thinking about alternative leaders. Surely such a question can no longer be offensive to the NRM Party.
Justice Kanyeihamba is a retired
Supreme Court Judge. firstname.lastname@example.org