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Opinion | By Okodan Akwap – No political party can dominate power forever

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Posted March 17, 2014 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Opinion ~ 3,718 views

     

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Some people erroneously believe that the renowned American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford, who died in 1947 aged 83, invented the automobile (car). He did not. Some others equally err in believing that the man invented the assembly line. He did not.

Someone else invented the automobile. However, it was Ford who transformed an obscure invention into a product that many Americans could not only touch but also afford to purchase.

Ford refined both the technology behind the invention and the technique of mass-producing automobiles in factory assembly-lines. Result? He etched his name in history as one of the greatest industrialists of all time, summarising his success in a quote that is as poignant today as it was in the 20th Century: “Vision without execution is just hallucination.”

Hallucinations, I understand, are sensations that appear real but are created by the mind. Here we are perhaps talking about delusions, fantasies, imaginations and other things the mind plays with.

Going by the interesting scenarios that are unfolding before our very eyes, the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) has a major problem denying that the vision of a “fundamental change,” which was pronounced some 28 years ago, now looks like one heck of a hallucination.

By reacting rather irately to individuals he sees as a threat to his perch at the top of the NRM and – by extension – the government , President Museveni no longer exudes an aura of invincibility.

It is only inflexible commentators such as Mary Karooro Okurut, a Cabinet minister, and Ofwono Opondo, a government spokesman, who consistently paint a picture of an impregnable and visionary leader. Yet, like the rest of us mortals, the man has a soft underbelly; Kizza Besigye exposed it by making a spirited run for the nation’s leadership during the presidential election of 2001 and Amama Mbabazi has practically touched it simply by standing out from the NRM crowd.

What does this mean for our country? It means that we are at a critical point in time when we must prepare for the 2016 polls with a bit more maturity than ever before. Let us, like the Chinese did after the “Cultural Revolution” of 1966-76, speak of “emancipating the mind” rather than mouthing vague phrases of tokenism such as “women’s emancipation.”
Where is the evidence of women’s emancipation in this country when the Evelyne Anites unashamedly kneel in the full glare of TV cameras to make a point? If the idea was to project respectful behaviour of the youth, why give young people the opportunity to vilify one elder while lionising another in the presence of both elders?

Let us, like the Mexicans did, accept that no single political party can dominate power forever. The Institutional Revolutionary Party dominated Mexico’s political space for 68 years from 1929.

Aileen Yoo, a Washington Post staffer, wrote in August 1998 that the party achieved this feat by weakening any resolve for a political coup by appeasing the middle and lower classes with political opportunities and favours in exchange for votes. (Sounds a familiar story, doesn’t it?)

However, the story goes, in the July 1997 elections, the world’s longest-ruling party lost control of the lower house of Congress because of voters’ anger about corruption; its 239 seats fell short of the 251 seats needed for a majority.

There has never been a better time than now for the crowd around President Museveni to reaffirm its commitment to the 1986 spirit of a fundamental change. Let the quest for internal democracy in NRM be driven by the notion of fair competition.

The writer is Mr Akwap a lecturer at Kampala International University.

Source — Daily Monitor


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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