By Jerome Kule Bitswande
KAMPALA - Former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leader Dr Kiiza Besigye has said political parties cannot effect change in Uganda.
Besigye made the remarks on Wednesday while talking to members of the Fahamu Reading Community, an association of university students passionate about reading books.
He was presiding over a review of a book titled: Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, a brainchild of Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson.
Besigye said in political environments like Uganda, the contribution of political parties in effecting socio-economic and political change is dismal.
"It does not matter whether you belong to FDC, National Resistance Movement or Democratic Party. What is important is that one makes a contribution to the transformation of this country." he said.
The FDC stalwart said the only way to bring change in countries like Uganda would be through, conscientisation, skilling in organisation, persuasion and resistance.
Besigye argues that political parties with the muscle to overthrow a regime cannot thrive in an environment like Uganda's.
"Political parties are supposed to be democratic, so they only thrive in democratic environments. But in the case of third world countries, Uganda inclusive, the people in power work hard to dismantle them, either through bribery or restricting the activities of the party," he said.
Besigye said the book talks to inclusive and extractive governance systems; the former involving all people in the decision-making process and the latter involving a small group of people who control power taking decisions on behalf of the citizens.
He opined that if all the systems were used patriotically, the country would realise development although he pointed out that development in extractive governance systems is not sustainable.
Godwin Toko, a team leader of Faham, said Besigye had helped them understand the global political concepts in relation to Uganda.
He thanked the opposition leader for sharing his national, continental and global perspectives of development.
Marion Kirabo, a second year law student at Makerere University, said Besigye has challenged her to take an inward look into the economy of the country.