OPINION: There is No Crisis of “Succession” in the Country

By: David Mafabi 

“People have always been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, viagra and they will always be until they have learnt to seek out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises.”

V.I. Lenin: “The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism”, 1913.

In the false “succession” debate we mentioned last week, a number of refrains are mixed up: “Uganda has never witnessed a peaceful handover of power”; “Yoweri Museveni has stayed on for too long”; “by 2021, Museveni will be ineligible to run for President”, “the challenge is not succession, it is transition”; Etc. The newest refrain is, “a new generation is ready to take over from the old generation – and solve all political and economic problems”.

The common denominator to all these, is the absolutely false construct that the removal of Yoweri Museveni from the leadership of the country and the Movement, is the magical elixir that will solve “all Uganda’s problems”.

There are two major complications with these refrains. First, there is a clear lack of understanding of the origins of norms and values in society.

Our elite wrongly believe that norms and values of “good governance” arise from “good intentions”, “good will”, “good leaders”, etc.

The elite have no appreciation whatsoever of “democracy” as a historical and socio-economic category. They now want to “remove” perceived “bad leadership”, and usher in some kind of messianic variety, and “all shall be well!”


Second, and arising from the immediately foregoing, this elite fails to recognize the existence of objective imperatives for national economic management and transformation.

They do not understand that the rigorous and relentless implementation of those imperatives, is the anchor for democratic governance, national integration, as well as for the qualitative leap from backwardness to modernity.

The best they do in the situation, is to rush up and down blind alleys, in the search for short cuts and instant coffee solutions to “our problems”! They even seek to re-invent themselves as “the new generation”, in a futile and directionless spurt of energy!

Karl Marx’s immortal contribution to political economy in general and specifically on the value of commodities, benefited immensely from the earlier pioneering work of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, etc. However on the question of how societies reproduce and transform, he borrowed heavily from the work of the French economist of the physiocratic school, François Quesnay.

In the second volume of his seminal work Das Kapital, Marx distinguishes between what he calls “simple reproduction” in the economy on the one hand, and “expanded (or enlarged) reproduction” in the economy, on the other. With simple reproduction, no economic growth occurs, while in the case of expanded reproduction, more is produced than is needed to maintain the economy at existent level, making economic growth possible.

This is then, is the first strategic imperative in national economic management and transformation: saving (accumulation) plus re-investment in production (expanded reproduction), is a condition sine qua non for achieving sustained economic growth.

The second strategic imperative in national economic management and transformation is regards the division of the total product or all production of society into what Marx called “two great sections” – the two departments of social production. These are the “means of production” (Department I), and the “means of consumption” (Department II).

While “means of production” refers to commodities which are utilized in production or productive consumption, “means of consumption” refers to commodities having a form in which they pass into the individual consumption of members of society.

The strategic imperative here is that, expanded or enlarged production aside, Department I (as described above), must produce means of production sufficient for its own needs, and at the same time produce means of production sufficient for the needs of Department II which deals with the production of means of consumption! In modern society, this is the condition sine qua non for the qualitative leap from backwardness to modernity and transformation!

Production in Department I is the production of: energy, infrastructure, heavy industry, metallurgy, machinery, machine tool production, electronics and cybernetics, chemical industry, etc. When this is combined with the all-round development of the human resource, the country is set for take-off.

In our enclave or peripheral capitalist economy, a “succession debate” where the strategic imperatives for national economic management and transformation are severely blurred, is an exercise in irrelevance.

Next week, we discuss the character and mission of the national liberation movement, as well the historical role and place of its founders – and why this must be central to any serious conversation regarding Uganda and Africa’s walk into the future.

The author is the  Private Secretary/Political Affairs in State House

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