There is every reason for the President to go to the election campaigns for his own vote
Dr Joseph Serwadda
Recently, the Council of Presidents of the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (Mufti Sheikh Shaban Ramathan Mubaje, Archbishop Dr. Cyprian Lwanga, Rt. Rev. Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, Presiding Apostle Dr. Joseph Serwadda, Archbishop Yona Lwanga was represented, Archbishop Dr Daniel Matte was represented, Monsignor Charles Kasibante the Board Chairman of IRCU and Mr Joshua Kitakule the Secretary General) had a meeting with the President of Uganda. Top of the agenda was the proposed National Dialogue and the Volatile Security situation in the nation. Their Eminences and Graces handled these and other issues with profound clarity!
When opportunity arose for me, I took the floor to thank him for an item on the agenda and request for another, this one off the agenda. I thanked him for the plans to merge and restructure the Government Departments and Agencies. I asked him “not to put down the axe” until he has also touched the sizes of the Cabinet, Districts and Presidential Advisors! Because he was in mood to listen, I asked him to consider appointing individuals who would offer free advisory services – pro bono as his advisors!
Then I further reminded him that he is the Fountain of Honor in this nation and he needs to allow a few people talk into his life concerning that title! He smiled - which he rarely does in a such a gathering! He normally cuts a serious searching look when one is addressing him. But I dared!
I quoted the Bible’s very interesting incident (2 Sam 18:1-3) in which “David numbered the people that were with him, set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them. And David sent forth a third part of the people under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, I will surely go forth with you myself also. But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they (the enemy forces) will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but now you are worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better that you succor(help, send advice, re-enforce) us out of the city.
David (determined as all war hardened fighters are) refused the idea insisting he would go to the frontline! Then the people’s observation manifested itself! On this occasion, David almost died. 2 Samuel 21: 15-17. Moreover the Philistines had yet war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines: and David waxed faint. And Ishbibenob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah succoured him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, “Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, lest thou quench the light of Israel”.
My argument was that there is every reason for the President to go to the election campaigns for his own vote. But to go to these campaign rallies, especially the bye-elections, such as happened in Bugiri, Arua and others was wrong. Like Ishbibenob the giant, who came to war just to square off a long hatred for David, who had killed his father Goliath, these Bazzukulu come to these rallies with him in mind.
Their resolve is to embarrass the President! In fact when the election is won by the opposition, the candidate’s defeat is not to the party or the individual, it is the President’s! Museveni twamukubye engwala! I then politely implored him: Do not go to those by-election campaigns again, your Excellency! Ojja kuzikiza ettaala ya Uganda!
The President was at his best of moods and spoke freely! He revealed that the State was paying Shs. 96bn/= in renting offices and workplaces for the departments, but that some of these premises belonged to Government officials! He lectured us on many issues regarding the history of this nation. Off his head, he could have spoken for more than an hour, drawing from his own experience, having been on the scene for 58 years in political and leadership activity. He has garnered so much information, he could beat any consultant on the subject. The leaders in Israel still wanting his contribution asked him to stay in Jerusalem but offer help and advice from there.
Savviness is defined as: astuteness, sharp-wittedness, acuteness, shrewdness, cleverness, intelligence and high concentration of practical knowledge. May I add to my last request, that in consideration of the above, on his retirement, President Museveni should consider availing himself for this noble service: Become a Political Savvy for Uganda! That way, the candle of Uganda will be protected and remain shining! King David’s still does!
Writer is the Presiding Apostle – Born Again Faith in Uganda.