By Kajabago-ka-Rusoke What should fundamentally be considered in order to judge them correctly is the sort of qualities each one of them has ideologically and spiritually.
What should fundamentally be considered in order to judge them correctly is the sort of qualities each one of them has ideologically and spiritually.
That will lead towards the type and nature each one of them holds in terms of aims and desire for becoming head of state. For it is not enough for one just to stand up and declare that he or she wants to be head of state. The fundamental point is “why” one wants to be head of state. Do you understand a state? Do you know what to do with a state?
Then how is it that none of them for economic growth and multiplication of sectors in the economic base? Others are completely qualified fulminating demagogues. Each one of them is struggling for one main item — the chair. But to do what with the chair? Some of them are complaining about the period the current hairman of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has spent as head of state and that there must, therefore, be a change. Others are saying he has grown too old to continue as President.
But period of service and age are not all that important if an individual can still be a reliable philosopher to organise and arrange society in terms of what people want. For there may be a young person who is not intelligent or wise or an elderly person who also is neither wise nor intelligent.
What matters is not age or period of service but wisdom to conduct a pro-people socio-economic formation, a combination of the economic base and superstructure for the welfare of the whole people on a national territory.
Talk about the welfare of workers concerning their housing, food and dresses. The presidential candidate tells the public what he wants to do with the state?
The only presidential candidate who is talking about what he wants to do or what so far he is trying to do, is the chairman of NRM. He is talking about how he is going to deal with roads, railways, health, education, oil, investments at all national places of work.
Where do their children go for education? Are they entitled to any pension schemes? Do they have any medical facilities at their places of work? Are they provided with protective dresses according to climate and nature of work they are undertaking? Are they entitled to annual leave with pay?
Looking into the life issue of a peasant
What about accommodation, food, dresses, roads, water system, schools, medical services. What is the social status of a peasant on national territory?
These are the national questions a presidential candidate is supposed to address. It should not be that one has a lot of money to offer to anybody who may accept to vote him or her into power. It should not be money. It should be what one can offer to the people, then at the end of all that, what he or she can also obtain from his or her political labour in order to maintain his or her family.
Then that can be regarded as love for one’s country, which is known as patriotism – matriotism. It has also appeared that some people think that since they are the ones who founded a party, they are, therefore, more entitled to it than others who came to join it later. Some say they are older than the newcomers, while the newcomers also tend to say that the founders are outdated. This is unfortunate.
What matters here is the nature and type of ideas that can match with what society needs at the time. Both the old and new should present ideas that the public will judge to be either acceptable or unacceptable according to what they think is good for their own welfare so that they remain the only factor to determine whom they support or not. There should be a mutual friendly platform within a party shared by all aspirants without superiority complex tendencies but philosophy then the public will judge.
There has also appeared a tendency of questioning blood relationship among comrades in a party questioning the right of a member to stand for a certain political position or not if he or she is related to another comrade in a higher position as this may reflect nepotism.
Another concern has been that of whether it is correct to have comrades from one tribe occupying political positions in a certain region or area. All these are just unfortunate. Comrades should not consider clan or tribe when work or performance actually demands ability and, prudence for perfection.
If clan or tribal tendencies are going to be used as a gauge for quality there is a likelihood of losing certain comrades who would otherwise have performed better than others in a party.
What fundamentally matters is that anybody aspiring for any position in order to serve society should tell the people why he or she wants to stand. What has he or she seen as mistakes and how he or she is intending to ameliorate them. This will enable the public to compare between candidates and ascertain who among them is better than the other.
Aspirants going in for consultations with bags of money as an offer to the electorate is relegating the electoral process to a commercial activity. This is moral and ideological vulgarity. An aspirant doing that is money – wise rich but politically bankrupt and is looking for state chair for personal self-aggrandisement after he or she has become president.
That one is not a leader but a self-seeker and looking back into the history of his or her social performances, it may be found that he or she might have even committed certain financial offences against society.
Uganda is made up of a population with classes of peasants, who are the majority, wage – earners in economic units an elite in the superstructure and, a petty bourgeois clique engaged in micro economic production units. whenever and wherever there is talk about democracy, it should always be noted that the term “democracy” is just relative according to the economic system in place at a given time in society “Demos” (people) + creetein (Rule) = Rule by the people is introduced by Greeks during their slave – owning society where the term “people” meant only “masters”. Slaves, slave maids and, women in general were not part of the “people” and are not allowed to contribute any idea concerning the running of society. They are merely economic productive forces, for the welfare of masters. That is democracy.
When it comes to the feudal society, it is the minority landlord class who is “people”. The tenant is not part of the “people” Under capitalism the people are the owners of means of production but who are the minority above wage – earners who are the majority.
That also is democracy.
Uganda should stand properly warned that there is a likelihood of a small group of the elite who own some business or those who are aspiring to own some big business who regard themselves as “people” above others. This type of groups is likely to be already part of the group taking part in the running of the state on behalf of ordinary Ugandans when actually they are ideologically and spiritually not part of the workers and peasants. Some ministers or civil servants are tempted to embezzle public funds for the sake of starting some business for themselves. Their spiritual life is governed and guided by money rather than pay attention to the welfare of the ordinary Ugandans. This is why aspirants do not say what they shall do when elected because all those not saying that are just eager to be put in those positions which they shall use to accumulate wealth for themselves. Unless this behaviour for accumulating money and wealth above peasants in villages and ordinary wage – earners in various economic units is spiritually checked, this country shall remain a constant victim of irreversible corruption.
Some civil servants and ministers are dedicated economic aspirants for self-business meant for self-aggrandisement above the workers and the peasant. They own big chunks of land squeezing peasants to a point of economic suffocation.
There should be an emphasis on promoting the labour Movement on the basis of political economy and political education so that Uganda has a worker’s organisation, which is capable of an academic collective bargaining before exploitative employers.
Peasants should be organised properly under a national cooperative movement made up of cooperatives from a variety of villages in the countryside. This means multiplication of districts leading to decentralisation of the running of our society should be used to approach workers and peasants in local areas for a better national approach to all people’s welfare. Workers and peasants should be the basis of a people’s party with the leadership of a pro – people revolunary elite heading for a people’s state where the joy of serving the ordinary people should indeed be our true reward.
The writer is a lecturer at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) Kyankwanzi
Why is there confusion among presidential aspirants in Uganda?