Hon.Tumwebaze’s Article Was About Re-Affirming Civility In Our Politics And Vision For The Future

more about geneva; color: #222222;”>The other main media houses like The Daily Monitor and Red Pepper also published the same piece on Sunday May 12 2013. The article has generated buzz in the social media, health especially Facebook, order twitter, google+ and other major blogs and dashboards on politics in East Africa.

As expected, some of the responses to the article are partisan, diversionary and sensational. Innuendos like “leave issues of Generals to Generals” are dominant and central to arguments of those that don’t want to address themselves to the issues that the Minister raised.

What I construed from Minister Tumwebaze’s piece, is that he was talking to the generation that should embrace civility and democratic puritanism in order to ready themselves to take the mantle of leadership from the Independence and Liberation generations.

With the journey, progress and pitfalls we have encountered as a people (and thanks to those who sacrificed and continue to do so – and particularly so, those who have put their experiences in books and other forms of record), true, we should learn from history and appreciate history, but – not allow ourselves to be trapped in history.


We must move forward to perfect our Country and the continent of Africa. The focus of today and the future should be a contest over ideas and execution of those ideas.

The citizenry will chose leaders who have espoused superior and imaginative ideas – Ideas that will guarantee peace, freedom and prosperity. It is ideological debates, intellectual policy articulation and execution that embody citizenry to common purpose.

Minister Tumwebaze benchmarked some intellectual and ideological leaders of our time like Hon. Nobert Mao and Late Brig.Noble Mayombo (RIP). I agree with him.

You may for example disagree with Hon. Mao’s positions and sometimes pokey views, but it is always a pleasure to listen to him. When Brig.Noble Mayombo died, chills covered Uganda. You did not have to agree or know him in order to like him.

His silver tongue studded with policy commentary and sharp ears awed some us. He excited and inspired us with his intellectual curiosity and agility. The young leaders that Tumwebaze mentions in his article are iconic, visionary and inspiring – and they gave those of us who watched or studied them a sense of hope, purpose and a reason to get involved.

I for example engaged in deep conversations with Brig. Noble Mayombo in early 2006 on the question of – Why Uganda’s economy should be private sector led? He argued that we should let private businesses and individuals do as much as possible because the advantage is that since they risk their own funds; they have a much stronger incentive to invest wisely.

He also argued that private individuals and businesses are more likely than state bureaucracies to abandon unsuccessful ventures. He affirmed that the role of state as a regulator is important.

I left the discussions convinced about Uganda’s economic strategy although I now think that too much capitalism can leave many people behind and be less inclusive. Perhaps one of the things we should start a discussion on is inclusive growth and the level of involvement the government of Uganda’s should per take in economic consolidation and prosperity.

Therefore, it’s not enough for anyone to issue threats or engage in blackmail and mere sloganeering- but rather make a case for public policies and ideas that can make all of us succeed.

Gen.Sejusa, through all his previous letters, commentaries and ‘leaked correspondences” (who ever leaked the document remains a mystery!) – has not been talking policy.

And indeed the core argument on the table, that many commentators, facebookers and tweeps seek to push under the carpet is that, it’s not about fighting Tinyefuza or anybody perse’ but really about advocating for a sanitized political environment where logic, meritocracy, persuasion and policy options reign as opposed to scheming and maneuvering.

The master of political maneuver in our history was Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC). Old stories are told of how UPC had 99 tricks! Where is UPC now? Do we want to go back to Twariire politics of Uganda Peoples’ Congress? Our generation of course will be at a loss, if we allow those to be the rules of the game.

Can we stand up to jointly advocate for clean politics? Politics of trickery, scheming and sloganeering will no longer pass as an acceptable form of debate in this Country.

I believe what Ugandans are most hungry for in politics right now is authenticity – and that cannot be presented through overt or covert scheming but rather through ideological depth and sober articulation.

Ultimately, we should trust the judgment and decency of Ugandans and abandon assumptions as conveyed by wider media that maneuvers and maximalist schemes will shift the political base away from the National Resistance Movement (NRM). Uganda is ready to turn the page. Uganda is ready for a new set of challenges – and a new generation is ready to lead.

Is Brigadier Muhoozi part of this new generation? Yes, he is an accomplished citizen of Uganda with an equal right and shot- just like all of us. It is impossible to crowd him out because of where he was born or to whom he was born etc. We are all born equal and free, with equal opportunity to make the most of our lives – that is a creed and an ideal we must all individually and collectively seek to accomplish.

We therefore need to take civility in politics seriously and engage all people in the larger project of transforming Uganda.

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