NEXT Wednesday, June 9, will be the Heroes Day, declared so to commemorate the sacrifice of many people to the present phase of the liberation of Uganda.
On that day, Edidian Mukiibi Luttamaguzi was brutally murdered by the Milton Obote regime and UPC party functionaries.
And his proverbial Luganda name, â€œLuttamaguziâ€, which loosely translated means â€œbrotherhood kills businessâ€ may, aptly apply to struggles, including the NRM!
It is also 18 years since President Yoweri Museveni led the NRA/M to the parliamentary terrace to declare, â€œNo one should think that what is happening today is a mere change of guards: it is a fundamental change in the politics of our country.â€
â€œIn Africa, we have seen so many changes, that change as such is nothing short of mere turmoil. We have had one group getting rid of another, only for it to turn out to be worse than the group it displaced. Please do not count us in that group: the NRM is a clear-headed movement with clear objectives and a good membership,â€ Museveni said.
But he hastened to add: â€œOf course, we may have some bad elements amongst us because we are part of the Ugandan society as it is, and we may, therefore, not be able to completely guard against infiltration by wrong elements. It is, however, our deliberate policy to ensure that we uplift the quality of politics in our country. We are quite different from the previous people in power who encouraged evil instead of trying to fight it.â€
Today, many people wonder whether the NRM struggle was worth, and it is sometimes said, â€œthe most radical revolutionary will become the most conservative, if not reactionary, the day after the revolution.â€
A casual look at the ongoing squabbles motivated by selfishness within the Movement leadership over political goodies, cast doubt on the intention of some of the â€˜revolutionariesâ€™ of yesteryears. Some have recently declared that they no longer see the need for the Movement struggle merely because they can locate their rocking chairs after 2006. Yet for sure, the Movement ended abuse of state authority with impunity and restored a predictable rule of law, which are the cornerstones of any democratic enterprise.
Today, even if a village woman will neither become an MP nor go to Parliament; but she will, surely be a member of the LC1 where her views will be heard. By having districts and other lower councils and Parliament, we have achieved both participatory and parliamentary democracy.
However, what remains to be done, is ensure that elected representatives do not change sides across the floor without explicit mandate from those who elected them.
LCs have a lot of power from settling local disputes to local development resources, and no one can join the army or police without recommendation from them.
Furthermore, they are important organs of citizensâ€™ popular security intelligence network because no one can live in a locality for long un-detected. Even in ordinary circumstances, you need to inform the local LC official to address a gathering. In this way, it has been possible, convenient and cheap to track wrong doers, and guard against the misuse of state power.
The issue of security of person and property remains a cardinal agenda particularly in Acholi sub-region and neighbouring districts where Joseph Kony continues to sow rural terrorist lawlessness.
As Parliament receives next yearâ€™s budget, it ought to do so, mindful of the defence and security challenges at hand, even when demanding strict accountability on the actions and resources of the Executive.
If the same amount of vigilance being applied against the so-called â€œthird term projectâ€ was placed against individuals or groups threatening our security, banditry would have been smashed without mercy.
In God and the State, Michael Bakunin wrote, â€œThere are but three ways for the populace to escape its wretched lot. The first two are by the route of the wine shop or the Church; the third, is by social revolution.â€
Uganda chose the latter, and as Leon Trotsky said, â€œRevolutions are as a rule not arbitrary. If it were possible to map out the revolutionary road beforehand and in a rational way, then it would also be possible to avoid it altogether.â€
We should neither fear political change nor exalt law and order at the cost of liberty, as some of the new-found democrats seem to believe. The NRM did not win over the people through sentiments but reason, mobilisation, hope, trust and fraternity.
Hope, and socio-economic achievements in stability, basic goods and services, education, health, water, reliable infrastructure and market.
Ugandans may need to heed Che Guevaraâ€™s advice: â€œA revolution that does not continue to grow deeper is a revolution that is retreating.â€
With the expansion of democratic frontiers, many lectures will come. Politics, it is said, is like the elephant which has a thick skin, a head full of ivory and circus-goers know it proceeds best by grasping the tail of its predecessor. The struggle has just began.
May the heroes have
True heroes change world