The dire dearth and death of political talent
What you need to know:
There is also the more complex definition of politics as the activities associated with actors, their interests, and desired outcomes in the affairs of governing society
There is the basic definition of politics as the activities associated with the governance of a specific area, which, by a mile is simplistic. There is also the more complex definition of politics as the activities associated with actors, their interests, and desired outcomes in the affairs of governing society.
I learned both these definitions whilst in government school and as far as textbook knowledge goes, they have been very important in understanding the role politics plays in shaping society.
Politics, in this regard, are an important part of shaping society. This also means, for anyone interested; participating in, shaping of, and benefiting from politics is inevitable. And yet, when I look at Ugandan politics, I feel heavily unrepresented. And I’m possibly not alone.
During my leave, for which I let go of writing this column for a bit, I felt lethargy and powerlessness as many confronted the breakdown of city roads, the trouble of our health care system, and now, as I note, the brutality of security services.
A lot of the problems of our public service seem solvable in our time and yet, in reality, the answers are often hidden far behind the mountain of ‘politics’. To fix roads, for example, in a capital city that generates nearly three quarters of GDP, one needs to run the number of how many kilometres of road that exist in the city [2100kms] and seek the best possible cost of tarmacking them and charging that bill on the consolidated fund. Although, to do that, you’d need to dabble in the politics of things.
A lot many things seem out of our ambit in this regard; think, for example, where would you go to solve a problem as simple as disposing of garbage in your community? Or, where would you go to stop an errant neighbor from playing loud music?
The systems of our government are so bureaucratic and out of touch with our daily lives to be effective. A lot many more are drowned in ‘politics’ that doesn’t represent us, see us, and yet is held up by our taxes, our goodwill, and our cessation of legitimacy.
It shouldn’t be, that to take part in the affairs of our government, each of us must run for office, or find a ‘gamba n’ogu’.
Can we use the political talent at our disposal to craft a system of government that is effective and a politics that oils that machine?
Can government create a pool for citizen agencies channeling complaints, concerns, and solutions to their most required destination?
It can’t be too much to ask!