First things first. For the benefit of those who do not follow what goes on around the world we live in, he is a rude businessman with low regard for politicians but is now running for a political office in the United States of America.
Whenever Trump has in the past talked of interest in politics, he has been laughed off as a joke and may be for good reason. The man never exudes seriousness. Sometimes he comes out as a man who speaks without thinking through what he wants to say.
One morning a few months ago, Americans woke up to the news that Trump was joining the race for president of the US. Very few believed he stood a chance only to be shocked when he started attracting fans and supporters through opinion polls and national conversation.
The old Republican Party supporters couldn’t stomach being represented by Trump. What seemed to have passed them by while they were not watching was the voters’ apathy towards the career politicians. While the US economy has been growing, many Americans have been struggling to survive, decently.
The voters from the two parties, say they are disappointed by the leadership and management of the economy by politicians and they are now looking for someone, anyone, preferably an outsider, who can come in and offer Americans a better life. And that, is how Trump has come to be embraced by the Republican voters.
Now, in Uganda we have just been through a general election with many shocks. A number of senior politicians were rejected and amateurs elected. Comedians have defeated the less comic or the non-comedians. Men and women many expected to win as usual have been humiliated to say the least.
The explanation from voters has been traditional politicians’ fatigue. Ugandan voters simply wanted change just like the American voters who are rooting for Trump.
In the case of Uganda, there have been indicators which ought to be looked at analytically. There have for example never been cases of soldiers voting against the party of their Commanding Officer – until now.
What does the NRM read in this? Could this have a bearing on 2021 when Ugandans hold the next general election? By rejecting some ‘historicals’ in the just concluded elections are the voters sending a message to all that they have been taken for granted for a long time and they know they deserve better.
As if this is not worrying enough, the media this week reported of ‘internal war’ at the ruling NRM headquarters. The NRM boss is a tough guy but even the tough guys once in a while need to step back and reflect on the goings-on.