As the electorate has from time to time, with circumspection, come to learn from the ruling party’s mobilisers, the NRM cannot be easily defeated or discouraged by the ‘few victories’ of its opponents but the debate Mr Odrek Rwabogo’s ‘ideological adventurism’ and the unintended consequences it has generated makes interesting reading for those outside the NRM party but because we cannot all find Bibanja elsewhere we must live here! The challenge is how to improve its political habitability.
Even though the NRM is under no ideological compulsion to embrace anyone’s ideals or hurriedly accomplish the goals and issues being prolifically written about, the ruling NRM party must be exposed to scrutiny by every citizen of the country because its leader is President, not only for NRM followers but of Uganda and, therefore, every Ugandan is a stakeholder; with the right to respectfully critique.
They wouldn’t like to see the multiparty dispensation they approved through a decisive referendum disintegrate before their own eyes; they would like to see it operate in deliberate and planned ways so that things are linear, ordered and done in sensible sequence.
In the wake of chaos during the NRM primaries and Eala elections can the NRM afford the indiscipline and impatience causing internal political opprobrium, one might ask?
Ideological fatigue has caused those whose job is to ideologically guide it to drop their guard; Revolutionary methods of work? Huh! What a bluff! Excessive sensitivity, loss of temper and self-control in and on small things at every level of party leadership cannot sustain any revolution or advance goals. These are never sources of strength in political affairs; there is more than an echo of simultaneous loose coupling as well as all political parties being ‘siloed’!
The old generation feels they have no right to risk the existing national achievements for the sake of some untouchable or a few people’s narrow self-interests. There is no need to allow divisive factors to undermine the country’s progress.
Being under no compulsion of term limits, the NRM should perhaps be wary of political ambushes and ‘blackmail’ that would necessitate unfeasible retreats. The ruling party’s political actions aren’t like a stream moving constantly wherever it is and not embraced and move to pursue so called long term national goals. However, when it finds unassailable barriers in its path it is in order for it to philosophically accept and accommodate itself to them.
Against the background of disunity and internal party disintegration, Mr Odrek Rwabogo is probably right! There should be pressure for preserving the sanctity of the revolution and constant progress exerted towards nationally desired goals.
Sporadic acts of defiance represent the momentary whims of short-term interests by which the NRM is usually animated but it should be made abundantly clear that sustainable change can only be effectively brought about constitutionally. The country may not be operating in more auspicious circumstances than during the Movement system but we have learnt great lessons from the past. Whereas noticeable achievements have been made, great challenges and opportunities lay before us.
Political party members ought to behave like good sportsmen; defer their internal differences in order to effectively harness energies for the task of nation-building.
All participants in the last elections, whatever their party affiliations were, and regardless of whether they won or lost, should work together; bearing in mind that apart from Africa remaining Uganda’s primary interest in Foreign Policy, her domestic interests are still supreme.
If President Museveni has wholeheartedly offered his hand of cooperation to the Opposition [demonstrated recently by his apparent willingness to include people other than NRM members in his government] why shouldn’t the gesture be embraced? During the Movement days, inclusiveness and a philosophy of ‘integral nationalism’ were best practices, why not now? As for social media ‘fake news’ and invective, Mr Rwabogo’s promised suggestions for a solution are eagerly awaited.
Mr Baligidde is a former diplomat.