Ugandans Must Embrace Politics Of Logic And Civility


more about sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; line-height: 150%;”>Concrete debates on ideology, and philosophy, science and transformation are losing grip.

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Universities like Makerere where heated intellectual debates that used to shape Public Policy in East Africa have gone mute.

Legacy stories about the sharp Professors Akiiki Mujaju and Samuel Rubaraza Karugire are now a subject of legend and largely nostalgic. Although one of their ilk Prof. M. Madman is once in a while around- the steam of logical and concrete debate is waning. Now the chaotic social platforms have taken over, where discipline is really person to holder.

Well, these are social and not academic platforms! But yes, academics can find space to sanitize these platforms. But the bigger picture is that our leaders and those aspiring to be our leaders must promote and engage in politics of logic and veer from innuendos, rhetoric and partisan jibes.

Ugandans are a decent people that appreciate logic. Long gone are days when our politics were driven by sectarian diatribes, provincialism and partisan hatred. It is okay to disagree- but we must respect each other. I therefore argue young professors in our Universities and other young citizens in other professions who cherish logical debate and are on right course to continue the course and perpetuate these ideals in their spaces.

You may for example disagree with Democratic Party President Norbert Mao’s positions and sometimes pokey views, but it is always a pleasure to listen to him. This is because; he mostly attempts to drape his arguments in facts and context. 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. I, for example, engaged in deep conversation with Brig. Noble Mayombo in early 2006 on why Uganda’s economy should be private sector led.

He for example argued that we should let private businesses and individuals do as much as possible because since they risk their own money; 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 discussion convinced about Uganda’s economic strategy although I now think that too much and unfettered capitalism can leave many people behind and be less inclusive.

Inclusive growth

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 partake in economic consolidation and prosperity while allowing private sector to flourish.

The master of political manoeuvre in our history was Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC). Old stories are told of how UPC had 99 tricks! Do we want to go back to Twariire politics of UPC? The young generation 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 and logical politics?

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, sober articulation, exemplary and action based leadership.

Ultimately, we should trust the judgment and decency of Ugandans and abandon assumptions as conveyed by some in wider media and political corridors that manoeuvres and maximalist schemes determine governance in this Country.

It is time for actors in our politics at all levels to make a case for concrete public policies and ideas that can make all of us succeed.

Ugandans are listening and will reward individuals and groups that cherish logic over partisan spin and misinformation. Politics of trickery, scheming and sloganeering will no longer pass as an acceptable form of debate in this Country. Eamon de Valera (1882-1975) said “I shall strive not to be guilty of adding any fuel to the flames of hatred or passion”.

We can indeed learn a lot from Eamon de Valera.

Morrison Rwakakamba

Special Presidential Assistant – Research and Information


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