Would you say that we have very competent representation in government? I don’t think so. In fact, I am surprised that on all the lists of the most incompetent governments in the world that I have found on the internet, Uganda does not appear. Despite the shocker, we cannot ignore the multiple times our leaders have let us down especially that one time we hoped that they would protect the constitution of this Pearl of Africa.
But, while we point fingers at the men and women in the August house and higher up, let us not forget that we vote them into power. Yes, since accepting loss is not our strongest trait, we always cry foul of elections rigging but in the end, decisions always seem to undermine the challenges we’ve faced before.
So, how do you, as an incompetent leader, win an election?
“Fortunately” Ugandans vote for a person they know. Popularity is key and has kept President Museveni in power for decades. Go to the rural areas in the deep dark corners of Uganda and ask them what they think of Robert Kyagulanyi. It is popularity that has made many abandon their political homes to cling onto Kyagulanyi’s fitting suits.
In Uganda’s politics, popularity can mostly be achieved through ridiculous PR. I am talking about Ssergirinya-style-politics and stunts of “generosity” that provide short-term solutions to poverty. Carry a goat on your head to parliament if you have to and buy cheap poor quality hoes for the farmers in your constituency. Anything for the attention of TV and radio outlets.
The so-called “intellectuals’, the ones whose dreams are limited by the idea of staying respectable do not know how to keep the supporters happy. Just make them laugh. Scientific long term solutions are not as exciting. Besides, who is going to give you the money for them? And, if they do give you the money, who is going to let you use it appropriately?
Do not forget to sacrifice. The clash between politicians and the police is in the culture of rising to the top in Uganda’s politics. What good is all that teargas we buy if no one is going to consume it? For no particular reason, a “good” leader has to take one for the team. Meaningful sacrifice – like leaving political office after 2 terms – does not keep people interested in you. That is even ridiculous.
Turns out teargas consumption is a measure for service to the people.
“Where were they when the police ruffed us up and sprayed us with teargas,” they cry echoing a very familiar tune of entitlement from the yellow camp.
If you are a politician vying for a seat in a rural constituency, you are most likely to be voted into parliament if you are on the NRM ticket and “big” at that. The “our son who is big in Kampala” kind of big. Buy your way to become flagbearer as Individuals in rural areas are starved of information due to terrible services offered by the sitting government. This is something you are probably going to keep as it is. I bet we can find a couple of rural dwellers who are not aware of the existence of the National Unity Platform.
Opposition strongholds are usually urban areas. In Kampala, a certain red colour is more likely to get you through in The captain of that camp has managed to get the ancestors to summon the might that is the youths in the Capital City. For a presidential seat, Kampala is not enough. But since you are an opportunist, you know that that Kyagulanyi guy is out of his mind to try and take on Sevo.
If all else fails, reject the results like any other African leader and go to court. If you are broke, give up and cry until the next elections.