Opinion | What is the Post Museveni Agenda? Dr Martin M. Lwanga

Posted August 30, 2018 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Opinion ~ 3,189 views


Opinion — In 1979 as the war to evict dictator Idi Amin gathered pace concerned Ugandan leaders at the time convened at Moshi in Tanzania to put together a government to manage the country once the Amin regime fell. Although the struggle to remove Amin had started as way back as 1972 once his evil ways were exposed to the world of conscience it soon became apparent that there was no plan after Amin. Ugandans had spent more time fighting Amin than thinking through what happens after his fall. Then Amin was the target and all manner of rebel groups had come up. They now gathered at Moshi at the invitation of Tanzania’s President Julius Nyerere to sort themselves out.

After some acrimonious power sharing meetings with each group feeling it had the rights to start a new government a semblance of some post Amin government was put together to be headed by the respected Prof Yusuf Lule. No one then brought up his tribe and political leanings. All that mattered was Amin had to go. Prof Lule fitted the bill especially to tempt the restless Baganda and the donor international community.

The moment Amin fell it took only 68 days for all the devils to come out. Suddenly it was discovered, or rather someone remembered, Prof Yusuf Lule was a Muganda with federalist views. His opponents quickly gathered pace and in one nightly meeting of long knives overthrew him. A gentleman of the past who had just returned to the country from exile, Mr Godfrey Binaisa, QC, was pulled from his hotel by one Mr Yoweri Museveni, rushed to Entebbe, where to his shock was informed he had been elected the new Uganda President in absentia!

Thereafter all sorts of factions started going after each other’s heads, vying for power. It was now a naked bitter and painful struggle as one who lived in Kampala those days. Kampala became a mayhem much like present day Libya with many innocent people being killed in the lawless environment that followed. It would take nearly 6 years of a bloody fight in which countless lives were lost, including the infamous Luwero Triangle genocide, before the NRM government emerged as the winner in 1986. And that “victory” would quickly be greeted with another round of genocidal fighting extending to the Eastern region on to the Northern region culminating in over a million people being displaced in camps!

These thoughts have been on my mind as I see the way so many Ugandans are cheering up Mr Robert Kyagulanyi ( alias Bobi Wine) as the new hope. He is a unifying factor for a very fractured opposition in desperate need of a star candidate. That Mr Yoweri Museveni will go is only a matter of time, as even if all factors remained constant, age is not on his side. Then what next!

This is why elsewhere and now here I have felt compelled to raise the question, what is Mr Kyagulanyi’s manifesto that we can have an idea what he brings to the table. Or how about of the various other groups opposed to Museveni regime, like political parties, or the thoughts of the elders forum, youth forum, women leagues etc on Uganda after Museveni ? I am anxious, as am sure many Ugandans are, to know what are their ideas regarding the health sector, education, agriculture, industrialization, youth unemployment, macro economic stability, public administration costs, federalism, torture against political opponents, civilian supremacy, corruption, infrastructure, urban development etc. Shouldn’t these interest groups now be holding nationwide seminars where these market place ideas are discussed and how they can fit into our wanting development. How do we maintain and sustain development in the post Museveni era is the key question.

Ugandans particularly of a younger generation may not be keen to be reminded how far we have come. There was a time when the AK 47 was the hottest item on the streets. Gangs would be hired by those holding grudges against each other to finish their nemesis off. Lights in Kampala would be out at 7pm. There was no running water in most residences. Essential goods like sugar were only sold on the black market. Many parts of Uganda were ungovernable more or less managed by war lords.

Even the harshest critic of the Museveni regime ought to concede some development has taken place. But this country is not beyond the pale of a war torn Somalia if the transition after Museveni is not well managed. Hence, I think, people here should now be concentrating more of their energy in discussing how to manage the post Museveni era irrespective of who is in power. I agree that there is a need to find a galvanizing candidate. But there is more to that. How shall the gains of the past 30 years, for these are there, be retained without the center falling apart and back to square one, just as it was in 1979.

Dr Martin M Lwanga is Dean of the Faculty of Business & Administration at Uganda Christian University, Mukono. He is the author of Things Fall Apart in Uganda (2013).

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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