President Yoweri Museveni has said the likes of Rubaga South MP, Kato Lubwama, owe their election victories to the ruling National Resistance Movement [NRM] that has done away with sectarian and religious differences in Ugandan politics.
In his long article on by-elections written from his country home Rwakitura in Kiruhura district, Museveni said the politics of Uganda is evolving very well, in fact.
He noted that electors are beginning to lose interest in those who were exploiting the opportunistic issues of identity of religion or tribes.
“The NRM has been defeating this opportunism ever-since 1993, the elections of the CA,” the president writes, clarifying, “Now, however, even those who have been inclined to the anti-NRM positions are abandoning that politics of identity.”
He added: “That is how the likes of Kato Lubwama were able to retire the likes of Kenny Lukyamuzi who was the epitome of that type of politics.”
In June this year, Museveni awarded Lubwama a “fun and laughter” heroes medal for his contribution to the Uganda entertainment industry.
In his article, Museveni says even the money users for elections are getting out of business.
The Ugandans seem to rightly want involvement, wealth creation, service delivery or, at least, timely explanations in case of any shortfall, he argues, adding that this is the type of politics that NRM should excel in. It is now the task of the NRM leaders at all levels.
“By 1968, when I was 23 years old, I was in Katwe with the youth of the area that included Zubairi Bakari, Haruna Kibuye, Kabara, Mayanja, Kalyesubula and others.”
“I was in Kibuli with older persons like Abbasi Kibazo. This was in very difficult and, even, dangerous circumstances. Why should the present NRM actors fail to connect with the youth in these urban centres or the rural ones?”
He further writes: “Do not tell me about money, please, because I had no money at all in 1968 when I was mobilising these people. It is just understanding the vision of the NRM and passing it on to the masses painstakingly and patiently.”
Museveni says when Kabaka Mwanga slaughtered the new believers in 1885, he was 17 years old. He was a youth. At Independence in 1962, almost all the actors were youth.
Mutesa was 38 years old, Obote was 37 years old etc. Some of the Ministers such as Ibingira, Nekyon etc., were 28 years old. Idi Amin at Independence was 37 years old. John Kakonge (who was UPC Secretary General at the time) was 26 years old.
Belonging to the biological category of youth did not help them to solve the problems of the country. By 1966, the country was in a crisis, Museveni writes.
“In our own time, we were, of course, biologically youth. However, we took different ideological positions. Quite early on, by 1965, the youth I belonged to ideologically, took a position that, eventually, evolved the four principles of the NRM: patriotism (anti-sectarianism); Pan-Africanism; social-economic metamorphosis; and democracy.”
He notes that the other youth took the ideological position of sectarianism, parochialism and subservience to foreign interests.
Some of the youth on the other side joined the State Research and the UPC young supporters that were committing crimes against the population were actually called “Yusi” (youth).
“Our respective positions were, eventually, tested in the field of battle (two wars ─ 1971-79 and 1981-86). Those who preached patriotism, who preached Pan-Africanism etc., won at a high cost.”
Uganda, according to the president, recovered and built institutions following some of those principles.
The African people need prosperity and security, he writes, adding the NRM’s conclusion, after many years of study, is that it is the four principles that are and will guarantee these.
Uganda already has peace for the first time in the last 500 years. It is because of some of the youth of the 1960s and 1970s that took a correct ideological position. What are these media houses telling the youth of today?
“The newspapers (including the New Vision) are telling our youth that biology is enough. Well, biology is not enough. It must be biology and ideology. Which ideology, then? Progressive ideology or reactionary one?”