By Belguin Prosper Lumu
Strategic thinkers do everything differently and in a calculative way. Strategic thinking is all about deeply understanding and analyzing processes, developing performance metrics, collecting data and producing analytics to make more razor-sharp strategies.
If there is anything NRM youth have failed to learn from their elders, is the art of strategic thinking. This includes NRM youth leaders as well.
Most of the NRM youths are brick and motor thinkers, they are neither creative nor strategic thinkers. Most wait on being told what to do, when to do it and how to do it. This lack of critical thinking skills is highly costing NRM in the long run.
NRM founders were very strategic thinkers back then, and in their times, every strategy they brought on board was spot on. It is how and why they were able to start a freedom fight and win it. They have maintained that victory for more than 30 years.
The down side is, generations have evolved, patterns of thought have evolved and problem assessment and solving have drastically changed as youth interests, perspectives and nature evolve over time. It is incumbent upon the NRM youth of current times to be the strategists for the future of NRM.
The elders have the ability to mobilize resources and offer guidance, but the NRM youth have the responsibility to come up with the strategy that matches their generation and is able to propel NRM to the next level amidst newly rising youths from other corners of the country.
NRM youth and their youth leaders need to understand that until they learn the importance of being strategic thinkers, NRM is far from having the ability to influence new youth loyalty within its masses and this is going to cost NRM highly as a party especially during 2026 elections.
NRM youth need to out-grow the stage of being reactionary youth that simply react upon or comment on matters. They need to adopt strategic thinking skills. They need to understand NRM’s position in the market, establish and focus on a goal, understand the past, present and future events, thereafter ask the right questions, identify opportunities, create the strategy and secure those opportunities for NRM.
The comfort zone of failing to be proactive simply because they wait on being told what to do, how to do it and when to do it, will cost NRM highly. The same energy they put when implementing what they have been told what to do, is the same effort they should put when contributing to mobilization strategy. NRM needs brains, not just muscles.
This should be a wake-up call to all NRM youth leaders out there. Their primary objective should be finding ways on how to attract more youth towards NRM, then NRM elders can have enough time to focus on providing resources and guidance to ensure the success of the strategy.
NRM youth leaders need to understand that governance is not bargained for. It is competed for. Just like international politics is about national interests, so is national politics, it is about party interests.
For NRM to be able to serve Uganda, its first duty should be to itself and that duty is to ensure it does not give up power to any other party. Self-preservation is key. But self-preservation is only possible when NRM learns the art of how today’s youth look at issues and how they are influenced into issues.
Understanding that art is only possible if NRM youth and youth leaders are able to think outside the box and figure out ways on how they can revamp NRM as a brand and position it before youth of the current generation.
NRM youth leaders need to understand the direction and vision NRM is taking and break it down and communicate that direction and vision to Uganda’s youth, using means today’s youth best understand and appreciate. Resonating with youth is very important for the survival of NRM in both short and long run.
NRM youth leaders need to understand that it is not their beliefs about NRM that will make NRM a better enticing party for youth to join, it is their communication strategy about the party that will.
Politics is a competition and, competition is about three things; Resilience, Strategy and Timing. The backbone of NRM’s success for 30 years plus, has always been due to Resilience, Strategy and Timing. NRM cannot afford to accommodate youth that wait to be told what to do.
NRM needs youth that create what to do to achieve a purpose for the party. Selling the ideology to youth out there, is and should be key, with an expected result of turning youth over to NRM with inbred loyalty.
If NRM youth leaders cannot sell NRM’s ideology to youth (even to the most stubborn youth), NRM will not be in business for long. This is because to build a great NRM, youth need to be able to sell the NRM ideology to fellow youth. Having the passion for the party is just not enough for NRM these days.
NRM needs more than passionate youth, it needs youth that can sell the idea to others and create a new NRM generation. They need to find ways they can communicate the renewal of NRM’s promise to the youth.
Every NRM youth leader needs to ask themselves three simple questions;
- Where is my party going?
- Who does my party want to go with?
- How can my party get there with that person?
If any of them gets those questions in the wrong order, they are putting NRM in very serious trouble and instead creating opportunities for others, at the expense of NRM.
The writer, Belguin Prosper Lumu, is a market intelligence analyst, PR crisis strategy expert and Founder of Young & Free International, a youth supporting, marketing intelligence and lobbying company.