Vigilance is vital for our survival

Sunday May 02 2021

Author, Patrick Katagata. PHOTO/FILE

By Guest Writer

A couple of years now past I was, introduced to a new phrase— “VUCA World” which soon became a common reference whenever my colleagues and I encountered complex situations.

Reflecting on Uganda’s and global recent—and prevalent socio-political and economic unfoldings, my mind almost effortlessly drew back to the “VUCA World” phrase! “VUCA” is an acronym that denotes: Volatility; Uncertainty; Complexity and Ambiguity—all of which do not point to a pleasant world to live in.

Our call, in this “VUCA” scenario, was to devise leadership strategies to effectively transform our nations, local community and wider society into one(s) that exhibits: Vision, understanding, clarity and agility —or,  precisely, turn the bad “VUCA”  world into a better place.

Have you, as a nation, community, family, ever experienced a VUCA situation? How did it make you feel and/or leave you?
Who wants to endure unpredictability, insecurity, obscurity or intricacy?

I doubt any person does.  A VUCA world comprises confusion, anxiety—and general unpreparedness, desperation, crossroads, and all such as these, for which any slight mistake might grievously and permanently ruin the life and destiny of the individual player(s) or society.
On December 31, 2019, China announced that it had been struck by the novel coronavirus.

For a while, the rest of world largely thought that that was a “Chinese virus” which would not affect them. But with socio-economic mobility, the virus soon spread like wild fire becoming a global crisis.


As it continued to spread at an unprecedented rate, Uganda, too, was soon gripped by untold anxiety, panic and fear! With lockdown came a reversal of the hitherto traditional.

Adjustments and adaptation became inevitable! For instance, with full-time presence of their usually “Too Busy” parents,  for the first time in the history of education, children stayed home for more than a year—some are yet to return to school!

Except for ‘essentials’, organisational workers learned to work from home and submit reports online! While most people fretted the closing of bars and places of  worship, others found it a rare opportunity for ‘self-encounter’, relationship deepening with God and family bonding!

With the economy hard hit, most people learnt to be frugal with resources, save and share food with neighbours.  Sadly, we lost some folks! With President Museveni’s firm emphasis on Covid-19 SOPs, the onslaught subsided giving a new lease of life!

Politically, with the coming into the race of artiste-cum-politician, Robert Kyagulanyi of the much-hyped-NUP, amid youth unemployment and tribal sentiments, to the feeble and naysayers, anxiety rose as to who between a seasoned strategist four-star army general, politician would carry the day!

In the end, of course, water ran in its gullies, but tension raged on thereafter as during the campaigns and the dust is yet to settle!

Proverbs 27:12 says, “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly and suffers the consequences.”

Therefore, always be vigilant. It is not cowardice. “It is better to prepare and prevent,” as Ezra Taft Benson, aptly cautioned, “than it is to repair and repent.”

Patrick Katagata Jr.,