Leaders should not make divisive statements

Ronald Eporu 

What you need to know:

You can disagree ideologically amongst yourselves as politicians without necessarily using divisive language or undertones.

The success of a political party is not necessarily judged by numbers in Parliament; rather, there is a question of having a diverse and inclusive board of advisers. Recently, the media reported a statement made by the National Unity Platform (NUP) president, Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, to the effect that Lt. Gen Muhozi Kainerugaba is not his brother.

This remark comes in the wake of attacks made by the NUP supporters against party leaders from other regions, such as Nobert Mao and Dr Kiiza Besigye. This begs a question as to whether NUP is sending a message to Ugandans from other regions that they are not part of this outfit.

As much as Opposition politicians are agitating for a transition, they should preach the politics of accommodation not the politics of identity and discrimination.

Last year, General Katumba Wamala, the Minister of Transport, queried the national character of NUP president at the burial of the former proprietor of Ssembule in Buikwe, and apparently NUP has not mended this flaw.

In my considered view, it is unwise and unethical for anyone to direct whatever grudges he may harbor against Mr Museveni towards his family members, who are likely to be around even after his departure. This unethical stance goes against biblical teachings and principles of natural justice. Whoever gets sworn into a public office by raising a bible has a moral duty to uphold values of love and reconciliation enshrined in it. God attaches value to everything that He created, especially a human being. Hence, everyone who is sworn into a public office by the Bible has a moral obligation to preserve the creation of God, with love, respect, fairness and selfless service.

The divisive statement made by the NUP president showed either lack of consultative leadership or lack of ethical advisers with extensive managerial experiences. It is trite that there is safety in a council of advisers. None should run a political party with national aspirations the way sole proprietors conduct business. I have practised as an Internal Auditor, and studied corporate governance as a student of CPA, to appreciate the value of having a broad and inclusive board of directors in organisations. These advisers guide leaders with strategies on responding to all external stakeholders without denting the reputation of an organization. You can disagree ideologically amongst yourselves as politicians without necessarily using divisive language or undertones. There should be no permanent enemies in politics. I want to believe that there are numerous services that Mr Kyagulanyi and family have received from the regime of President Museveni notwithstanding its shortcomings.

Likewise, the current government should treat everyone with respect and fairness regardless of political affiliations, and right its wrongs by releasing political prisoners, and compensate aggrieved families. Not everyone wants to be associated with NRM given its checkered record of amending the Constitution at least twice by means of violence and bribery, let alone the Kayunga killings of 2009 and the November 18 killings, which added fuel to the rise of NUP.

Many NRM parliamentarians, who amended the Constitution, were rejected by voters in 2021, whereas a high proportion of NRM parliamentarians who objected to amending it were reelected, which sent a clear message to legislators not to trade the trust of the electorate.

Consequently, the coffee agreement showed that the current NRM legislators learnt a lesson from their predecessors, not to sacrifice their budding political careers at the altar of senior party leaders, who are in the twilight of their careers. Similarly, President Daniel Arap Moi was deserted by youthful politicians in his last term.

By Ronald Eporu 

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