| By Magezi Kiriinjju |
“WE LEARN FROM HISTORY THAT WE DO NOT LEARN FROM HISTORY” -Georg Hegel.
Uganda has just concluded elections that produced interesting results; scoring a win for National Resistance Movement (NRM) in Northern Uganda, Rukungiri reclaimed by the yellow brigade and several sitting cabinet and state ministers losing their seats to National Unity Platform contenders.
Perhaps the most interesting of them all came via a novice in National Unity Party (NUP) defeating NRM in Buganda and replacing Forum For Democratic Change (FDC) as the most dominant opposition party in the coming 11th parliament.
NUP also brought in the youngest parliamentarians even though the price will be a lower caliber of debaters in the 11th house.
However, my main concern is the presidential election which was won by incumbent President Yoweri Museveni of NRM followed by Kyagulanyi Sentamu alia Bobi Wine of NUP.
Those who voted for opposition claim that President Museveni has over-stayed in power hence, a need for new blood. Yes, forty years in power is long but the most important question should be, how?, they have been utilized.
There is no doubt about the progress Uganda has made in the last forty years under President Museveni, they have been well utilized from security, education, infrastructure including ICTs. The next president will only improve and consolidate on the existing developments and add on the country’s needs at that time.
The biggest question though is, Uganda’s constitution doesn’t have term and age limits after the amendments that were made. With this background in mind, why vote for a 38-year-old Bobi-Wine while claiming that the incumbent has over-stayed?
Are you setting yourself up for another forty years of the same? Remember one of the reasons President Museveni has stayed long is because he assumed office at 45 years of age.
Uganda has been lucky that the last thirty-five years have been under a pragmatic President Yoweri Museveni who has managed to unite the country even against himself.
Museveni managed to rid the country of rebellions, helped neighbors regain their peace and freedom and returned Uganda to the respected nations high-table on the international scene.
Just imagine if we had to spend forty years with a Mubutu Sese-Seko leader-like?
Zaire did with catastrophic economic and security consequences. So, why would anyone with a clear headed mind that grasps historical precedence risk with an unknown 38-year political rookie as president?
What if Bobi-Wine ascends to the throne and decides to take full advantage of the constitutional provisions we have of; no-term and no-age-limits? By the way, he would be entitled to them.
Much worse, what if it turns out that the man is clueless and wreck-less all at the same time? Won’t we spend over forty years of arrested development?
My opinion is that as long as term and age limits are absent in Uganda’s constitution, we should be voting candidates above the age of 50 years. Apart from being mature enough, we would have had a chance to observe them long enough to understand their abilities at local and international level.
But we keep learning that, “HISTORY IS THE SUM TOTAL OF THINGS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED” – Konrad Adenuer
Magezi Kiriinjju is a political Commentator in the National, Regional and International sphere.