Opinion | Paul L. Mukasa | My Impressions of Mbabazi’s Acceptance Speech

Posted November 7, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Opinion ~ 2,097 views



Opinion – I have finally managed to sit down and read John Patrick Amama Mbabazi’s acceptance speech following his nomination at Nambole this week and here is my assessment. It was a smart, idealistic and visionary speech. It clearly crystallized the multitude of Uganda’s ills and offered a change from the egotistical and authoritarian leadership, practiced during most of our post-colonial history ever since Uganda adopted the Republican constitution in 1967.

It was smart, in that it positions Mbabazi as a transitional force, managing the phase to the next and younger crop of leadership. Uganda is a young country and the continuation of the over representation of those of us who are over 60, in leadership and governance of the Country is odd. Just like the over-representation of one region, in the various Government organs or institutions is an abnormality.

It was smart, as it cast Mbabazi as an open and confident potential leader, who is comfortable to state his simple but decent upbringing as well as the set of values he inherited from his parents.  In contrast, the current leader seems to be ashamed of his humble beginnings. He does everything possible to hide that fact, as he tries hard to pump himself into a non-peasant born and bred entity.

The vision to enhance the quality of life for Ugandans, and a promise of a Uganda which works for everyone, recognizes the importance of offering hope to the masses, who have so far been left out of any meaningful participation into, or share of, what Uganda has to offer. It provides an inclusive vision of the future to the disenfranchised masses.

In away the architect of his speech had an easy time, given how bad and maligned the current leadership and governance of Uganda is and has been for some time.

Despite all of that positivity, I see at least two major challenges Mbabazi will have to overcome as he tries to sell his credentials for the top job:

  1. Credibility; many of the ills he has identified are chronic issues in a system he was part of, for a long time. So when did he realize the seriousness of the ‘disease(s)’ which ail Uganda?, people are bound to ask; and
  2. Public cynicism; the public has been deceived and manipulated by politicians for so long that they (the public) have become cynical, developing the ‘they feel entitled and are all the same’ attitude. Sleeping MPs in Parliament, caught on camera day-in-day-out, as they continue to draw Shs. +20M monthly salaries do not help to dispel the cynicism.

Uganda’s problems are many and some of them are systematic and ingrained with a 50-year or more history. To address those problems will require a change of political culture, a change of thinking and above all tolerance and respect for divergent views.

If elected, Mbabazi will need a multitude of goodwill from the public, to realize the bulk of the ideals he has articulated. The current leadership exhausted that resource (goodwill) a long time ago and relies purely on what I call negative vectors, intimidation, blackmail, coercion aka teargas and bribery, and that has not moved the country forward, has it?

In this speech where Mbabazi has articulated his vision and ideals for the people of Uganda, in my view, sets him apart from all other presidential aspirants.  He is the best chance the Country has against the dictatorial and regressive forces.

Paul L Mukasa is an Engineer residing in Ottawa, Canada —

About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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