KAMPALA – The ungentlemanly behavior being displayed by a big number of NRM politicians is a sign of increasing political desperation in Uganda. Incumbents are employing means of last resort to retain their political offices and as a result, electoral violence has progressed from use of money, guns and goons to human sacrifice.
In 2017, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni employed the highest form of political violence when he deployed the military to attack parliament and beat up MPs opposed to the lifting of age limit, a constitutional amendment that was solely meant to benefit him and his life presidency ambitions. This was the highest form of political desperation exhibited by at the top ladder of leadership in Uganda.
Consequently, Ugandans have witnessed increasing violent behavior by National Resistance Movement – NRM politicians seeking to retain political office. This behavior calls to question the claim that the practice of clinging to power by all means is people driven and leaders can’t retire because the people still want their services/leadership.
It’s also important to note that Uganda is a broken society after complete moral decline under President Museveni’s tenure characterized by elaborate patronage politics; extreme inequality; poverty, deprivation and depraivity. This is what has made politics a do or die business because the incumbents know better than anybody else what it means to live without political privilege in Uganda.
Ugandans should reflect on these key questions of the day as we move closer to 2021 elections: Can the state of affairs in Uganda today be termed as progress? If the president can use violence to lift age limit and keep himself in power, why can’t MPs and other leaders employ the same tactics? Is this the Uganda they want?
Ms Sarah Bireete is the Executive Director for Center for Constitutional Governance (CCG)