By Hussein Kyanjo
Kampala, 21 Dec 2017
Ugandans have just witnessed another example of elite craft against the people’s will.
We have seen all main participants at different stages playing their role. We saw the decoy of a private member and his group. Then we saw the major party and consequently their chairman plus cabinet. We also watched the army, police and other security organs desecrate Parliament.
Keen observers saw both the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Uganda do their part availling un budgeted cash to proponents of the bill. We followed the minority parliamentarians on both sides sustaining a powerful campaign till the end at exactly 11pm on the historic night of 20th December 2017.
Besides this recent episode, there have been tireless efforts by religious and civil societies as well as The Elders Forum to find a durable solution to the country’s succesion question.
Before then over the years there has been a long list of candidates who also tried to follow the rightful procedures of the law to cause political change but all in vain. I can remember, in no particular order -Dr Semogerere. Mr. Muhammad Kibirige Mayanja. Mr Francis Bwengye. Hon Aggrey Awori. Haj Sebaggala. Col. Kiiza Besigye. Hon Sebaana Kizito, Hon. Norbert Mao. Hon. Beti Kamya Mr. Lubega Mukaaku. Mr. Olara Otunu. Mrs Miria Obote. Hon. Bidandi Ssali. Prof. Baryamureeba. Hon. Amama Mbabazi. Dr Kyalya. Gen Biraro. Pastor Abed Bwanika and Mr. Elton Joseph Mabirizi.
All the above meant well save for changing positions of some as of now. There are some on the list who were thought to be weak, ridiculed and considered lacking in ‘substance’ only to discover at the end that even those perceived to be powerful ended up with the same net result as their earlier colleagues.
When I was a Member of the 8th and 9th Parliament some of us resisted the creation of Districts and constituencies hence the ever swelling numbers of the legislature but we were over powered at all occassions. Some members on my side were tricked to support the idea. Now you all know what the intention was.
There have been critics of hardline members of parliament who were called all sorts of names and were blamed for using their fists rather than their debating skills.
My position was and still is that these were more relevant and somehow propotionate to the treacherous tricks of the dictator than some of us who were thought to be smarter at debate. I argue even now that you can’t fault Hon Niwagaba, Hon Sekikubo, Hon Seggona, Hon Ogenga Latigo, Hon Regan Okumu, Hon Winnie Kiiza, Hon Abdu Katuntu, Hon Mathias Mpuuga (a typical sample) for being violent and lacking in debate. But where is the profit of their sober effort?
They have cited laws and rules, they have attempted court processes but the hard liners scored higher in the end. I dont have words suitable anough to thank them and more so those from NRM who braved the intimidation and tesisted the bribes. You are great!!!
During this last hot debate on the ammendment of the constitution you must have heard voices of seccesion from the North, the East and the Central. It was only the West which was understandebly silent on this issue.
You wonder how quick time flies; when I raised a similar voice 8 years ago many simply rubbished my cry; reality has vindicated me.
In short, we are faced with a dictator who employs elite conspiracy using both good English and twisted law, mixed with military dominance and financial bribes to subdue the majority voices.
It is time to concede that conventional methods have failed and to start listening carefully to voices of other means from people we may erroneously consider irrelevant. These are the general public who have been cheated and variously robbed through a scheme of tricks. They are definitely going to react and I doubt whether they will be advised on how where and when because they have lost trust in elite leadership and only look at us as hypocritical self seekers.
They will not listen to any voice whatever reasonable because they have seen our glaring failure in the face of a military man attempting to create family rule using their resources. Any one who thinks am wrong can continue to try their luck.
Look at what mainly transpired. The presidential age limit was scrapped, the term limits reinstated and the parliamentary term was expanded to seven years. If all goes according to plan the presidential term will also be expanded accordingly after a referendum. These have never been the desired positions of the masses but were arrived at by self seeking legislaters duped by a greedy leader.
The argument that 5 years arent enough time is lame because even 7 is equally short. I would have been persuaded if they had proposed 35, because even after 32 years the president is not yet done and seems to be just begining work.
He has started with the constitutional amendment as was the case in 1995. He has to re-establish cooperatives. He wants to start on the railway system. He also in high gear to fly a flag carrier (the same Uganda Airlines he destroyed). He has just embarked on distributing coffee and fruit seedlings. Recently he commissioned sign posts which indicate the construction of an oil pipeline… so the list is long. All are new projects which can not be completed in 14 years. After 14 what guarantee does any one have that the sitting parliament will not craft new reasons to lift the terms again?
Bellow is a conservative sequence of events as they are likely to unfold. Am just thinking allowed you can create your own check list but one fact is that things will never be the same again.
To begin with some of the legislators who have secured the seven years will not live to benefit from them as death will continue to take its toll. This is not to say that some us will not face the same fate.
We are going to see MPs facing increased financial demands from voters who have discovered that their purported representatives actually work for money (selfishly) than the people.
Very soon there is going to be a cabinet reshuffle to reward the new turks as well as offload the misplaced “parasites” currently occupying positions.
Those who will live hopefully to the next general ellection are going to experience unprecedented in fighting during party primaries for the presidential flag bearer Ugandans may see Gen Moses Ali, Haji Kirunda, Hon Kajura Hon Sekandi, Hon Sam Kutesa among the candidates.
On the other hand we may also be suprised by Hon Kibuule Hon Balyeku Hon Anite also puting up bids for the big office but i bet all will be intimidated into solence or just heftly bought out.
The parliamentary flag bearers are going to fight even more with majority ending up joining other parties or running as indipendents and for the first time we are likely to see drastically reduced numbers of NRM in the 11th parliament if they are not outrightly defeated.
The regime is going to increase and tighten security around themselves and their cronies. The dictator will act more ruthlesly on suspected opponents and brutally on outright ones.
We are going to see more militia training sessions and so called crime preventers all over Uganda(chaka mchaka).
We shall also witness enhanced curbs on civil liberties as well as increased curtailment of press freedom save the current Mutabazi crusade.
There is likely to be many Ugandans running into exile in three main categories; political for fear of repression professional for frustration of poor pay and economic for lack of employment.
The education system is going to deteriorate further, as the health services are substituted by traditional healers and unqualified jua kali medical personnel.
We are definitely going to witness accelerated corruption, nepotism and tribalism in public institutions as the unpopular leader will opt to sorround himself with his own trusted tribesmen while at the same time he won’t have the moral authority to fight these vices.
As a result, we must face an inevitable closure of both local and foreign investiments because of dwindling profits. Next will be unbearable inflation and the net effect of this will be a collapsing economy.
Crime is going to be on the rise and with the failure of the traditional police the justice system will be rendered impotent.
Lastly we might live to see terrorism gaining currency as a result of frustration and hopelesness.
If people of faith don’t pray harder, we shall end up with destruction and a break down of Uganda into small tribal states controlled by young millitias in the end.
Fore warned is fore armed.
_Hon. Hussein Kyanjo is former MP Makindye West and retired Secretary General, JEEMA_
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