Discussion:
MULTIPARTY DICTATORSHIPS: WHAT SOLUTION?
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Hussein Amin
2017-08-30 02:34:53 UTC
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Dear Ugandans,

What specific actions have Ugandan political parties ever achieved that
conclusively guaranteed the peaceful transfer of power from one elected
civilian leader to the next?

There was a parliament between independence day 1962 and 1971.

There was also a parliament since 1979 to-date. People paid to legislate,
and think ahead on behalf of the people of Uganda.

If my memory is correct, political parties were the first to be used by
civilian individuals to entrench themselves in the countries top seat and
also to legitimize their usurpation of power. We have several times ended
up with essentially multiparty dictatorships beautifully designed to fool
both Foreign donors and the people of Uganda.

That was a fact twice with UPC (Uganda People's Congress party) under
despot Milton Obote who also first started the behaviour of changing the
constitution to suit himself. That is why it was called "the pigeon hole
constitution 1966".

Members of parliament were told to find the new document in their pigeon
holes and pass it on the floor of parliament that same day.

The same general behaviour is essentially what continues today.

So let me ask again. If multiparty politics is an abused solution where a
political party, incumbency, state institutions, and the Constitution
itself can all be utilized for selfish clinging to power, what guarantees
have political parties and their leaders ever devised which ensure that
nobody will ever be able to entrench themselves in power abusively once
they get to State House?

In my opinion there is alot of thinking and innovation that is still
required in the collective political psyche of Uganda lest we constantly
live to regret our complacency and continue in the cycle of abuse of power.

The country's post-independence history with political parties is clear,
and it provides us with the necessary lessons to draw wisdom from even
today.

We now know for example that it is not sufficient to just write a
Constitution and think we have established peaceful transfer of power.
Especially when the Constitution itself provides the very loopholes to
abuse/remove articles constitutionally.

Living by our own principles is not easy. For example, if we claim to abide
by constitutionalism and then someone starts changing the constitution
constitutionally, then why should anyone be complaining? We should be
blaming our paid leaders in parliament for not having thought about the
problem nor addressed it before hand.

The unseriousness of the purported intellectual political class on critical
governance issues is still very worrying. I am sure that those claiming the
highest degree of political morals, tolerance, constitutionalism and rule
of law today will turn into despots themselves once in power. Look what
some of them said about President Idi Amin in the 70's, and compare that
with what they themselves became once in power in the 80's until today.

We should therefore stop getting overexcited by our politicians speeches.
Even today we see some of them shockingly changing their political stance
right in front of our very eyes.

And I can guarantee you that with the biting poverty, greed, loose morals,
and rampant corrupt behaviour across the entire society, 99.9% of Ugandans
who are yapping today from outside government would act the same given the
right financial opportunity or if they got to power.

Going around the rules and paying/receiving bribes is already the behaviour
of all ordinary Ugandans. What else can we expect from anyone who then
joins politics and is entrusted with billions of shillings in public funds.

Meanwhile, as a nation we might also need to urgently get back to
conducting the now forgotten in-depth electoral reforms that all civilian
leaders/political parties literally abandoned in 2015 when they all joined
the very general elections that they had themselves said were going to be
fraudulent. It was basically like accepting fraud as the standard to go by.

Clearly we still have to further upgrade our moral standing. Including
civil society.

So the question that we still face today, particularly at the presidential
election level, (and even in the upcoming Local Council polls scheduled for
this November) is how do we honestly and reliably establish and abide by
the will of the people of Uganda?

Signed: Hussein Lumumba Amin
30 Aug 2017
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